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Updated: 5 hours 32 min ago

Getting the Most from NNLM: Public Health Part 3

Mon, 2020-11-16 09:41

In November, 2019 and February, 2020, I wrote about NLM and NNLM resources that our public health partners often find particularly useful in their work. Since then, ongoing streamlining has moved, retired and reorganized some of the resources previously discussed in this series.

So what’s new for our public health partners?

HealthReach and Genetics Home Reference have been retired as stand alone resources and the information from these resources can now be found on MedlinePlus.  Find health information in multiple languages and genetics information on MedlinePlus.

Community Health Maps has a new home and is now solely run by Bird’s Eye View instead of being a joint project with NLM.

NLM’s AIDSSource and the NIH’s AIDSInfo have combined to form HIVInfo under the NIH’s Office of AIDS Research.

Stay up to date on changes to NLM products and resources by subscribing to the technical bulletin.

And don’t forget these great resources and services

Partners in Information Access for Public Health Workforce (PHPartners) is committed to helping the public health workforce find and use information effectively and includes listings for trainings, conferences, internships, jobs and more. PHPartners is a collaboration of government agencies, public health organizations and health science libraries.

Doing research and building searches that produce relevant results are skills that need to be learned and practiced.  Getting the most from PubMed and other databases can be learned.  Use the PubMed Search Builder Tutorial to learn more.

For more about using PubMed, check out the How PubMed Works on-demand class.

Webinars and Classes

All NNLM regions create and host webinars that are free and available nationally.  Webinars and classes cover a wide variety of health, information and data management topics including some that may be of interest to public health professionals.

Search the full NNLM class catalog or find NNLM webinars that are CHES eligible.

Upcoming CHES eligible classes:

11/19/20: Rural Health Resources

12/9/20: Understanding the Power Human Behavior Wields in Our Lives

12/15/20: The evolution of public health: Tackling tough questions and messy stuff

There are also on-demand CHES eligible classes available anytime.

NNLM now has a Public Health Webinar Series with sessions every other month on the second Wednesday from 2-2:45 (ET).

The post Getting the Most from NNLM: Public Health Part 3 first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Conducting Focused Outreach with Patient Populations

Fri, 2020-11-06 09:15

On Tue, Oct 27, I presented a poster at the North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries, Inc. (NAHSL) virtual annual conference. NAHSL selected the Whova platform for the conference. Whova embeds Zoom for sharing presentations and hosting discussions. As participants entered the room, I launched into explanations of my poster. Participants typed questions and comments into the chat box.

The poster explored techniques for conducting outreach to patient populations based upon strategies that we use at the Network of the National Library of Medicine.

Burgeoning efforts in participatory care and the inclusion of patients in the decision-making process pose a unique opportunity for librarians and information professionals to offer more personalized information services. ~DeRosa et. al.

During the poster presentation, I offered five suggestions:

  1. Identify a patient population that you hope to engage, such as pediatric cancer patients and their caregivers.
  2. Identify a specific goal, such as supporting shared decision-making with the healthcare team through personalized information services.
  3. Assess your motivations before introducing yourself to patients and caregivers. What do you hope to gain?
  4. Keep in mind that we do not have the power to single-handedly impose change that will lead to improved usage of hospital library services. Partnership is necessary.
  5. True collaboration requires a long-term commitment, and improved outcomes is a slow, deliberate process.
Pandemic Challenges

Here at the Network, we are struggling with Focused Outreach during the pandemic. Our partners are not responding to emails. Social distance measures are impacting our ability to connect face-to-face. We are thinking through adaptations, and look forward to resuming our tried-and-true methods when it is safe to do so.

Further Reading
  • Malachowski M. Conducting Focused Outreach with Patient Populations, J Hosp Librariansh. 2020 Jul 21; 20:3, 253-262. Available from10.1080/15323269.2020.1779536
  • DeRosa AP, Blatich Nelson B, Delgado D, Mages KC, Martin L, Stribling JC. Involvement of information professionals in patient- and family-centered care initiatives: a scoping review. J Med Libr Assoc. 2019 Jul; 107(3):314-322. Available from: 10.5195/jmla.2019.652.
  • National Institutes of Health. Principles of community engagement, second edition. Bethesda (MD); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2011 Jun. Available from: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/communityengagement/index.html
  • Urciuoli W, Swiatek J. Providing health care professionals and patients with tablet computers at the point of care. J Hosp Librariansh. 2018 Jul 17; 18:3, 246-253. Available from: 10.1080/15323269.2018.147191

The post Conducting Focused Outreach with Patient Populations first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Satellites – Who is watching whom?

Fri, 2020-11-06 07:49

I love staying connected to the weather this time of year.  In New England it changes all the time.  Today we had bright sunlight with snow flurried.  Well, with that pictured in your mind.  What do you think about your TV stations weather deliverer?  How are they providing us such amazing images, so we can stay tuned in to how our weather is ever changing – down to the specific flow patterns.  It’s with satellites!!

Maybe it’s our turn to watch the satellites as they ‘streak’ throughout our skyline.  NASA is looking for a few citizen scientists who might be interested in this very task.  This is a free SciStarter affiliate project.  You can use your smartphone’s camera to record satellite streaks through the night sky and monitor this problem over a period of time.  Scistarter described this project on their webpage https://scistarter.org/satellite-streak-watcher.

As more satellites are placed into orbit, they will become an increasing problem to astronomers on the ground.  By taking part in this exciting citizen science project you can help scientists understand the international impact that satellites play in our outer atmosphere field.  Help be a global partner – watch for satellites!

The post Satellites - Who is watching whom? first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

RDM Snippets – Finding Repositories for Your Data

Wed, 2020-11-04 07:38

Now that your data has been organized nicely, saved in an open file format, and have your data packed up safely in storage, it’s time to consider where to put your data for the long term. Repositories come in several different flavors. A publisher or funder may dictate where data needs to be stored, but they will almost certainly require that it be deposited somewhere.

Aside from funder requirements, depositing data in a repository will allow other researchers to discover datasets for potential re-use, following the FAIR principles for data use, and encourages a culture of sharing and reuse in the scientific community.

As you’re working with researchers, remember the different types of repositories and consider the right fit for the data.

Institutional repositories collect research and other works from one institution. Even if the dataset or publication is being published elsewhere, many times a pre-print or other version of the work can also be deposited in an institutional repository. Check the contract, and find out the terms for datasets. Not all institutional repositories will be able to handle large datasets, so find out what your institution offers.

Disciplinary repositories store data from a research discipline, and may be broad, such as a general biology repository, or specific to one organism or type of research. Sharing like with with like is a way for other researchers to find datasets to use in their work and to see what others in your field are doing.

General repositories allow for all types of data deposits, and can take documents and other materials in addition to the datasets. This is also a good option for smaller datasets, conference materials, and other materials related to the dataset. OSF, Figshare, and Zenodo are some of the most commonly used general repositories. CodeOcean shares code and related materials.

There are many directories available to help find appropriate repositories. Re3Data allows you to search by subject area and includes humanities and science disciplines, broken down to very granular subject areas. They also offer searches by content type or country. NIH has a data sharing requirement as part of the grant process, and offers directories of domain-specific and generalist repositories. 

Lastly, remember to check the terms of each repository for information about what type of content you can upload, sharing terms, options for private vs. public access. Remember that they may not always include preservation as part of their service, so make a plan for how your data will be preserved for the long-term if that is not included.

This wraps up the main series of RDM Snippets! Next month there will be a Bonus post on tools that you and your researchers can use while working to manage data.

The post RDM Snippets - Finding Repositories for Your Data first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

2020 National Summit on School Safety

Fri, 2020-10-30 12:06





Rising to the occasion is nothing new for school administrators and teachers. What is new — is that many of us are finally recognizing just how important and dedicated those who teach our children are and always have been. In the extraordinary times of COVID19 our K-12 school administrators, educators and staff have quickly taken on new responsibilities such as adapting lessons to be delivered virtually (at a moment’s notice), continually monitoring the mental health of the students and some are even delivering meals to families because food insecurity is even more prevalent than it was pre-pandemic.

Over the past 5 months the NER has been collaborating with the Massachusetts PTA, specifically it’s committee on Health and Wellness providing online health resources, education and some funding to assist the committee in its efforts to educate families about vaping, vaccines, mental health and other health-related initiatives facing families. Through this work, the National PTA extended an invitation to PTA partners to attend the National Summit on School Safety that I attended virtually each afternoon on  October 7-9/

The summit was put on by the Safe and Sound Schools organization (https://www.safeandsoundschools.org ) founded by Michele Gay and Alissa Parker, two mothers who lost children in the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut. Safe and Sound Schools defines their very specific mission on their website:

Our mission is to support school crisis preventionresponse, and recovery, and to protect every school and every student, every day.

We have always — and only — focused on school safety. We are firm in our mission and firm in our resolve, and we will continue to advocate for and provide research-based education, tools, and resources to ensure the safest possible learning environment for the youth of our nation.

Safe and Sound Schools promotes and provides resources for a comprehensive framework for school safety planning and development. This framework includes:

  • Mental and Behavioral Health
  • Health and Wellness
  • Physical Safety and Security
  • Culture, Climate and Community
  • Leadership, Law and Policy
  • Operations & Emergency Management

I’d like to share some of the highlights with you from this very informative and engaging 3-day conference.

The summit opened on the first day with a special presentation from the FBI Violence Reduction Unit (VRU),  it was a new documentary film called In the Aftermath (https://www.fbi.gov/video-repository/in-the-aftermath-093020.mp4/view). The film sheds light on the personal stories and lessons learned by those directly impacted by school shootings. It was impactful and sad to hear the life-long journeys of survivors, victims’ families, first responders and communities in the aftermath of tragedy they have experienced. I learned best practices gleaned from lessons learned about how to provide trauma-informed care to those involved in similar tragedies, as well as resources and ideas to prevent future tragedies and promote safe and sound schools.

Following the film Michele Gay, gave the keynote presentation for Day 1. Michele is the mother of Josephine Gay who was just 7 years-old when she died in the Sandy Hook School Shooting. Michelle shared her story and the lessons she learned that sparked her involvement in the creation of the Safe and Sound School organization.

Next, Dr. Lina Alathari, Chief, National Threat Assessment Center, U.S. Secret Service, discussed her research, and the assessment and training using a multidisciplinary or team approach that is most successful for schools when addressing safety.

The afternoon session began with a presentation by a leadership panel that discussed School Safety in the Era of Pandemic. Each day a leadership panel presented a specific topic of safety from each of their unique perspectives. The panel presentation was followed by an opportunity to attend a small group break out session for discussion with each person on that day’s leadership panel.

Day two started with a keynote presentation from Dr. CJ Huff, the former Superintendent of Joplin Schools in Joplin, Missouri. Dr. Huff shared the story of how his school district recovered from a deadly EF-5 tornado that damaged or destroyed 10 of the 19 schools in his district in May of 2011. He highlighted the importance of community-wide leadership, teamwork and consistent focus on what’s best for children.

The afternoon leadership panel provided presentations about how to achieve resilience after being involved in a tragedy.

Day Three began with a presentation from Clayton Douglas and  Dr. Frank Straub, Director of the Center for Mass Violence Response Studies at the Police Foundation. On December 13th, 1987 after years of bullying at school and physical abuse at home, Clayton Douglas took a gun to school planning to shoot his teachers and classmates. Through a powerful video presentation and follow up discussion with Dr. Frank Straub, Clayton shared his personal story of that day and how that experience gave him insights into the prevention and intervention of acts of school violence that he uses now to help schools prevent gun violence.

The conference ended with a powerful keynote presentation from a school counselor in rural Tennessee, Molly Hudgens.   When Molly was beginning her career, the school shooting at Columbine High School happened. After Columbine, Molly devoted her career to making sure that no child fell through the cracks in her school community. She learned all she could about “recognizing red flags” and even provided training to educators in her state about how to foster meaningful connections with students because her research consistently pointed to the idea that “connection” is essential for school safety. After 20 years, of research and providing training to others, a student walked into her office with a gun and declared his plan to implement a school shooting. Molly shared her story of how connection and compassion saved Sycamore Middle School from a school shooting.

I came away from this conference with many resources the NER can share with our network partners who are involved with K-12 and higher education.

The Safe and Sound Schools website has toolkits that can be downloaded and used to assess and improve safety. The resource library on the website also provides links to information related to all aspects of safety, for example:

Cyber Safety, Bullying, First Aid & Trauma Care, Substance Abuse, School Leadership Law and Policy, Gender and Sexuality as well as many more topics.

As a result of attending the summit, I am planning to reach out to Safe and Sound Schools to share the NLM Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery Resources (https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/ ) in the hopes they and their partner organizations will find these resources useful and perhaps consider posting them on their resource list on the website. Who knows, perhaps there are more ways NNLM can partner with this organization doing this very important work to keep our schools safe!

The post 2020 National Summit on School Safety first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Legacy PubMed Site To Be Retired

Thu, 2020-10-29 12:27

Legacy PubMed site is due to be retired at the end of October with more than 99% of PubMed users using the new PubMed site.

To aid in increasing familiarity with the new PubMed NLM has these learning and training resources:


If you would like to learn more about the transition from the old PubMed to the new PubMed, please check out the recently published NLM Technical Bulletin article (link is external) on this issue.

The post Legacy PubMed Site To Be Retired first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Things that go Bump in the Night

Tue, 2020-10-20 12:51

When I hear the words “Things that go Bump in the Night” – reminders me that Halloween is soon upon us which is to the glee of many children who enjoy dressing up to ‘trick and treat”.  As an adult, though it reminds me that our days are going to be shorter and nights longer thus more darkness.  It might be a surprise to you that many researchers are delighted in this time.  The nights are crisp, and stars are shining bright.

Bob Hirshon posted on the SciStarter newsletter this very same idea with a twist – Helping scientists find things that go bump in the night.  He stated, “Just in time for Halloween, here are our picks for citizen science projects that will help ward off primal fears, conspiracy theories and creature phobias.” My favorite sentence connects with the fear of knowledge and letting science light the way – literally.


Globe at Night is presented as a National Optical Awareness Project to raise awareness about light pollution and night sky brightness.  The best part is you can be anywhere on Earth and be able to partner with this SciStarter project.

If you are looking for a little more on the spooky side of the environmental part of science then how about reptiles, arachnoids and toads?  Oh my!   Two projects from SciStarter are regarding observing reptiles and amphibians for research, conservation and preservation purposes.  Perhaps you will find the cutest spider of them all, so tiny that it wasn’t discovered until recently.

SciStarter is available for children of all ages and is free for all to enjoy.


The post Things that go Bump in the Night first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Meet Our Virtual Interns!

Fri, 2020-10-16 14:46

This fall, NER and MAR are jointly hosting two virtual MLIS student interns from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT, Bennie Finch and Jacqueline Fonseca-Ramos. We are thrilled to have them working with us on several exciting projects and learning about NNLM, NLM, and health sciences librarianship! They have each written a brief introduction to themselves and what they are working on this fall.

Headshot of Bennie Finch

Bennie Finch

Hello! My name is Bennie Finch and I come to library and information science after many years working as a social worker with children and families.

I truly do feel that this internship with NNLM is a privilege because I am meeting so many great people and learning about so many resources; AND having the opportunity to work virtually has made this internship possible, as I don’t live near one of the regional offices.

I have enjoyed getting to know people around the country through NNLM and learning about some of the amazing work happening through the network. I have also been able to attend a number of trainings offered by NNLM.

The internship project I am working on is with the #CiteNLM Wikipedia edit-a-thon this October, which is focusing on Maternal and Child Health. I’m reaching out to LIS schools to encourage student participation and working on ways to further engage LIS students and schools in these campaigns. I am very excited about this topic and am looking forward to this event. If you aren’t already signed up for the #CiteNLM virtual editing event, it looks really fun!

I am a mother of two teenagers who keep me fairly busy. I enjoy time outside, gardening or walking with family and friends. I enjoy reading (and listening) to many genres but some favorites are history and historical fiction. I also love seeing movies and attending plays and musicals when I am able.

Headshot of Jacqueline Fonesca-Ramos

Jacqueline Fonesca-Ramos

Hola, my name is Jacqueline Fonseca-Ramos. I have over 13 years of experience working in the federal government, within different agencies. I began this career when I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and becoming a mother, I decided to separate from the Marines. After serving 8 years, it was time to focus on my educational career. In doing so, I earned my BS in Criminal Justice and my Master of Social Work (MSW).

During my time at the UConn School of Social Work, I worked as the Community Liaison for United States Senator Richard Blumenthal. My focus was conducting targeted outreach to the military and veteran community of Connecticut, to help introduce federal legislation to assist these groups. Currently, I work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where I hope to learn more about health science librarianship.

As an NNLM intern, I am working on a few different projects. First, I am really looking forward to taking the Introduction to Health Sciences Librarianship Course from Library Juice Academy, since this is the library field I see myself working in. Second, I have been introduced to the world of graphic medicine and am now seeing how we can utilize graphic medicine to help improve veteran healthcare. Lastly, I am working on putting together a veteran resource’s toolkit for distribution, to help folks who interact with the veteran population navigate through the veteran resources available.

I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity to intern with the NNLM this semester!

The post Meet Our Virtual Interns! first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

ICYMI: NLM Supports Inclusion Across the Lifespan

Fri, 2020-10-09 12:50

On Wed, September 2, 2020, the National Institutes of Health held a one-day workshop on Inclusion Across the Lifespan. Presenters discussed the inclusion of pediatric and older populations in clinical trials, and showcased ways that the NIH is promoting age-based inclusion to the scientific community.

According to the NIH Inclusion Across the Lifespan webpage:

“In 2017, in response to the 21st Century Cures Act, NIH held a workshop entitled ‘Inclusion Across the Lifespan’ (IAL), which examined the barriers to and opportunities for inclusion of children and older adults in clinical studies. Discussions at the workshop contributed to NIH considerations in developing the IAL policy that went into effect in January 2019.”

The 2020 follow-up workshop examined the methodology of inclusion, providing a look at evidence-based approaches to meeting the IAL policy. The recording of this workshop is available for viewing.

Director of the National Library of Medicine

Dr. Patti Brennan, Director of the NLM, spoke about policy implementation from the perspective of the National Library of Medicine. If you are interested in her talk, skip ahead to the 50-minute mark for about 25 minutes. Dr. Brennan began with discussing the importance of common data elements for interoperability between information systems. She spoke specifically about capturing age data in ClincalTrials.gov. Principle investigators must include age limits of potential participants in clinical trials. Minimum and maximum ages must be identified, as well as the unit of time to study this population.

As a result of these requirements, ClinicalTrials.gov is able to offer three options for filtering research by age: mean age; categorical age range (e.g. >65 years); and customized age range.

Dr. Brennan talked about the implications of accessing age-based data, for the research community as well as for the general public. She referenced an article from Cancer Medicine that looked at sponsorship of clinical trials relevant to the pediatric population which found that “[i]nterventional oncology trials that include patients < 18 years are less likely to be industry-sponsored compared to oncology trials exclusively in patients ≥ 18 years.”

For the general public, this New York Times article raises concerns about excluding older adults from clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. The NYT article examines the complexity of controlling for confounding variables while developing treatments that will be safe and effective to at-risk populations.

To learn more, here is the  NIH Inclusion Across the Lifespan policy.

The post ICYMI: NLM Supports Inclusion Across the Lifespan first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

RDM Snippets: Storage and Preservation

Mon, 2020-10-05 05:22

ServersThis month on RDM Snippets, let’s talk about storage and preservation. It may seem like these are the same thing, but while there is some overlap there are also important differences between the two.

Where you store your data can and should change throughout the project lifecycle. While you are preparing your project, data and documentation may be stored on your laptop, office computer, or a shared drive in the cloud if you are collaborating with others. As your project progresses through the data collection phases, you again may be using a laptop or other devices, storing data in the cloud, or uploading it to a server.

Data analysis may be conducted off a hard drive or uploaded to a high performance computer for processing. Data may also be analyzed by a researcher hand-coding results or writing code to process the observations. Again here, researchers may also be working in the cloud to collaborate on analysis.

At the end of the project, data and associated files including a README and/or data dictionary should be packaged together and stored on a hard drive or other backup location. Put data in open formats, as we discussed last month, using the most open file format for your data type.

Since data may be moving between locations during the lifetime of a project, take care to make sure that everyone involved knows where the data will be at what point.

It’s also crucial to check funder and institutional requirements for data storage, or for privacy and encryption requirements. Human subjects data or biomedical research data that falls under HIPAA regulations have encryption requirements while data is being stored and transmitted.

Having multiple copies of your data as backups is also essential for good data management. A good rule of thumb is the 3-2-1 rule. As explained well by the Penn Libraries Data Management Libguide:

A common best practice for backing up and storing your data is the 3-2-1 Rule which says you should keep:

3 copies of your data on

2 types of storage media and

1 copy should be offsite

Having 1 copy offsite protects your data from local risks like theft, lab fires, flooding, or natural disasters.

Using 2 storage media improves the likelihood that at least one version will be readable in the future should one media type become obsolete or degrade unexpectedly.

Having 3 copies helps ensure that your data will exist somewhere without being overly redundant.

Storage does not equal preservation. Just because data is stored somewhere, this does not mean that storage is safe for the long-term. One of the most common ways to preserve data is to put it in a repository. This will be the topic of next month’s RDM Snippets post.

The post RDM Snippets: Storage and Preservation first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Give a Man a Fish…

Fri, 2020-10-02 14:47




Falling leaves, apples and pumpkins are images that come to my mind as I turn my calendar page to the new month of October. Attending agricultural and harvest fairs are some of my favorite weekend activities as I settle into the “Back to School” routine. Even though I am not a teacher in a school with children anymore, at this time of year I still experience those conflicting feelings of sadness that the freedom of summer is over and a bit of gratitude that it’s time to begin a more structured and predictable routine.  However, everything is different in the fall of 2020 because of COVID.

Back to school looks different this year as many schools were forced to delay their first days of school in order to prepare teachers, students and schools with sufficient protective equipment, distancing rules and disinfecting routines to prevent the spread of the virus. Many other schools have opted to start the school year with all remote learning that will be in place for a specified amount of time, as my city of Worcester, Massachusetts has done.

As children start their new school year, it is a fact that many will not have the most important school supply of all and that is FOOD. According to No KID Hungry, a national campaign run by the Share Our Strength ( https://www.shareourstrength.org/) organization, estimates that as many as 1 in 4 children in the U.S. may face hunger this year because of the coronavirus. Before COVID-19, hunger was an issue in our country. Millions of K-12 students relied on school for food, for some it was the only meal they may get on a given day. With many schools closed, school leaders and non-profit agencies are working hard to provide children with the food they need even though school doors are closed.  With many parents are out of work, more children than ever may be facing hunger.

Share Our Strength is a national organization working to end childhood hunger in the U.S. The organization holds culinary events, solicits donations and uses social media to raise funds that are then used to fund long-term solutions to end the hunger problem.  Under its No Kid Hungry campaign, it runs several programs that address the issue of childhood hunger from different angles. One of their programs is called Cooking Matters (https://cookingmatters.org/). The Cooking Matters campaign is helping end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices. This program is one of the best culinary and nutrition programs I have had the priviledge of working with. Several years ago, I was a volunteer culinary and nutrition instructor for the program. Here is the information from their website about how the Cooking Matters program works.

We envision a world where all caregivers have the skills they need to prepare healthy, low-cost meals for their families. We work toward this vision by providing education programming to families, mobilizing a network of community partners, and working to engage and influence key stakeholders on the value of food skills education–practical education for individuals to purchase and prepare foods that meet their nutrition, budget, and personal needs. The combined impact of these strategies empowers families with the skills they need to build lifelong healthy habits for their children, and to help shape the way our society values and prioritizes healthy eating.

Our participants are parents and caregivers with a limited food budget who want to provide healthy meals for their families. We have a particular focus on parents and caregivers of young children under the age of six. 

Our programs teach parents and caregivers to shop for and cook healthy meals – building a world where healthy eating choices are available for everyone. Cooking Matters educates through interactive, hands-on lessons and digital education tools and resources. 

We partner with citywide, regional, and statewide nonprofits, community groups, social service agencies, universities, and healthcare and public organizations across the country. These valued partners use our curricula to provide in-person cooking courses and grocery tours in venues that are convenient and familiar to Cooking Matters participants.

Dedicated facilitators support Cooking Matters Partners by helping to lead in-person lessons. These chefs, students, Registered Dietitians, nutrition educators and people with a passion for good food are critical to achieving our mission.

We have over two decades of nationally-recognized food skills education experience working directly with low-income families and community partners.  Cooking Matters participants who receive time-saving, budgeting and food-preparation skills are more able and likely to switch to healthier meal preparations.

Although the in-person, hands-on programming is suspended during the pandemic, Cooking Matters is using Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/cookingmatters.national/) to share nutrition and culinary information through Facebook Live sessions. They have a Facebook group for support and tip-sharing and posts with information about stretching food resources while staying at home.

Here are some of the other useful resources, No Kid Hungry and Cooking Matters has available;

No Kid Hungry has an online tool to locate free meals for kids. Go to https://www.nokidhungry.org/find-free-meals and enter your address.

Cooking Matters has also curated its tips and videos to online to provide support to families through this unprecedented time http://cookingmatters.org/tips.

Use https://cookingmatters.org/educational-tools to see the other online educational toolkits and handouts that Cooking Matters has made available to teach nutrition and food preparation skills to caregivers, children, community organizations and even food pantries. These are terrific tools if you want to make a nutritious, economical and delicious meal together with your family. All of the recipes Cooking Matters uses are created by chefs.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

The post Give a Man a Fish... first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Professional Development Opportunities for Data Librarians and Research Data Management

Wed, 2020-09-30 15:18

Professional development opportunities for data librarians and research data management are a great way to develop skills, network with other professionals, and gain new knowledge about your field. While most events are currently online, many groups that offer online events have offered in-person events and conferences in the past, and will hopefully do so again when they are able.

Here is a round-up of places to watch for announcements and information about professional development opportunities. Not all of these are specifically data-related, but may have topics that are relevant to data librarianship, data management, or data science. Many data librarians are also science librarians, so there is often an overlap in content and programming.

While events are being offered online many organizations are offering free or reduced cost programming, but this is not the case for all. Please check the announcements for specific events for more information.

Professional Organizations

  • NER and NNLM  – NER, the other regional NNLM offices, and the NNLM National Training office frequently offer webinars and other events. The training calendar is here.
  • ACRL New England RDSIG – The Research Data Special Interest Group of ACRL New England offers events throughout the year. View a list of their events or join their mailing list on their website.
  • RDAP – The Research Data Access and Preservation Association (RDAP) hosts an annual conference as well as webinars throughout the year. View webinar information here, or learn about the annual RDAP Summit.
  • RDA  – The Research Data Alliance hosts webinars and other educational opportunities throughout the year, along with an annual Plenary. The 2020 Plenary will be virtual this year. For more information:  RDA | Research Data Sharing without barriers
  • FORCE11 – The FORCE11 organization focuses on research communications and e-Scholarship. Many of their events have data management related components. They offer an annual conference, a scholarly communication institute, and more.
  • DataOne – DataOne offers webinars, training, and self-guided learning materials.

Boot Camps

Boot Camps are regional conferences for science librarians and may have data topics included. Some boot camps may have online events throughout the year, though their main conference is usually during the summer. Some events were either cancelled or virtual in 2020, keep an eye on their postings for information about 2021.

Other Resources

  • The  #datalibs hashtag on twitter is very active. People share information about upcoming events, articles, and other topics relevant to data librarianship
  • The Datalibs listserv offers announcements, calls for proposals, and opportunities for discussion on related topics. Subscribe here.
  • The NER Staying Informed webpage also has more links to organizations, blogs, and other resources.

The post Professional Development Opportunities for Data Librarians and Research Data Management first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Funding for HIV/AIDS Information Outreach

Mon, 2020-09-28 13:52

The NNLM HIV/AIDS Coordination Center (NACC) is pleased to announce the availability of funding for short-term outreach projects that focus on bringing HIV/AIDS health information resources to consumers.  Awarded projects will start on November 9th and run through April 30, 2021.  The maximun funding award is $16,595.50.  The application due date is October 30, 2020.

Community-based organizations (CBOs), community health centers, public libraries, and other organizations working with people living with HIV are encouraged to apply. Projects must include some aspect of broaden access to and awareness of HIV/AIDS health information resources. This can be achieved through educational programing, training programs, and the use of technology … read more

The post Funding for HIV/AIDS Information Outreach first appeared on NER Update.

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All of Us: Learn Internet Skills

Thu, 2020-09-24 10:30

The Network of the National Library of Medicine and All of Us Research Program have developed new resources to help community members expand their digital health literacy skills.  These resources will teach people how to find health information online and apply that knowledge to address specific health programs.   The new suite of resources included a curriculum guide for libraries and a series of online modules for the public.  For more information and links to these resources, please visit the  “Learn Internet Skills” module (available in both English and Spanish).

In addition, All of Us is interested in assisting finding out how the Coronavirus Pandemic has affected people’s lives, like health, housing and job security. The All of Us Research Program has initiated three new scientific activities to help us better understand COVID-19 and inform current and future pandemic responses: antibody testing, the COVID-19 Participant Experience (COPE) Survey, and electronic health record (EHR) integration.

The post All of Us: Learn Internet Skills first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Graphic Medicine and Emergency Preparedness

Mon, 2020-09-21 13:54

 Zombie Pandemic, Coping After a Disaster, A Fire Story, Ready Freddie, Survivor Tales.

September is National Preparedness Month! How can graphic medicine help with emergency preparedness, response and recovery?

Graphic Medicine is comic books and graphic novels that cover topics of health and wellness.  The visual format makes the information easier to understand and digest.  By reading a personal, non-fiction story, we can learn about issues we may not have experienced ourselves.  These stories can also help us feel less alone in our own lives.

So how can graphic medicine help with emergency preparedness, response and recovery? Here are graphic medicine resources for getting started with graphic medicine and emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Mental Rehearsal-Comics about emergency preparedness, response and recovery can help people mentally practice what they would do in an emergency which can help overcome the initial feelings of being overwhelmed that can have people freezing.

Dealing with trauma-Seeing other people’s responses to emergency and disaster related trauma can help people feel less alone and build empathy.

Comics can help people understand social and political issues that affect personal and community emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Learn more about emergency preparedness, response and recovery with resources from Ready.gov.

To learn more about Graphic Medicine visit the NLM’s website for the traveling exhibit Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived, Well-Drawn.  Or request information about the Graphic Medicine Book Club Kits (due to COVID, kits are not currently ciruclating), including the Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery kit that uses Drowned City by Don Brown.

The post Graphic Medicine and Emergency Preparedness first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Dr. Choo’s McGovern Lecture: Article Links

Mon, 2020-09-14 09:38

The Medical Library Association invited Esther Choo, MD, to give the McGovern Lecture in 2020. Dr. Choo is a Portland-area emergency room physician. After the Portland conference was postponed, Dr. Choo made the shift to the vConference with ease. If you have access, this lecture is well worth your time!

In 2017, Dr. Choo was featured in a column in The Oregonian, “Portland Doctor Esther Choo Responds to Racism in the Emergency Room”. Reporter Samantha Swindler tells us that Dr. Choo’s tweets about prejudice in the emergency room receive thousands of retweets.

“Choo’s posts about being refused by patients resonated with physicians of color who shared their own experiences with her in public and private messages.”

Healthcare Inequities Exacerbated by COVID-19

For the McGovern Lecture, Dr. Choo lay open the racial disparities in exposure, treatment and clinical outcomes for COVID-19. Her excellent lecture included references to these articles. A huge shout-out to Maggie Ansell, Nursing and Consumer Health Liaison Librarian at the University of Florida, Gainesville  (@meansell) for live tweeting the links.

Dr. Choo urged us to move beyond research that, as a mentor said to her, “admires the problem.” We need to move toward action if we hope to take corrective measures in disease prevention and management.


Categories: RML Blogs

Project Showcase: Educating Healthcare Professionals and the Sighted Community on the Health Disparities

Tue, 2020-09-08 13:59

Caregivers and researchers from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at UMass Memorial Health Care and the University of Massachusetts Medical School are dedicated to preserving and improving the vision of our community members. They’ve had years of training, they’re experts in their field, and they know a great deal about the structure and functions of the eyes. But what they may not understand first-hand, is what it’s like to be a visually impaired person in society.

“We care for visually impaired people in our clinics and work to develop treatments in our labs each and every day,” said Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, MHCM, Chair of the department. “But most of us don’t know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a patient who is blind or has restricted sight. This event allowed us to do just that; and it was very eye opening.”

Educating Healthcare Professionals and the Sighted Community of Worcester County on the Health Disparities

Partnering with VISIONS Consulting L3C, the eye team participated in a “Blind Date” . Each team member was partnered with a sighted guide, blindfolded and given a white cane. They then walked through a simulated trip to the UMass Memorial Eye Center, following every step of a visit from registering and signing paperwork, to undergoing an eye exam and surgical procedure, and finally taking a walk around the beautiful gardens, which they were taught to appreciate differently by accessing their other senses of touch, smell and hearing.

Participants were observed during their visits and received feedback at the end of the simulation that detailed their behaviors: “She had difficulty signing her form.” “She awkwardly found and sat in her chair.” “He hesitated to walk through the doorway without his guide.” Caregivers shared how difficult it can be to depend on someone else to guide them, and how disconnected some felt without the use of their eyes to inform them.

“I think a experience like this makes us all more compassionate and better caregivers,” noted Dr. Schaal. “It’s easy to get caught up in our busy days and rush. But a simulation like this teaches us to slow down and consider how our patients are feeling and what hurdles they may be experiencing during a visit. Taking the time to be sure they’re comfortable, that we’re not moving along too quickly – these are important mental notes we have to make to ensure we’re delivering the best possible care and a positive patient experience.”

Categories: RML Blogs

International Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month

Fri, 2020-09-04 11:44




Structure and community connection are two key elements that most individuals challenged with substance use disorder rely on to maintain their recovery. COVID-19 and the physical distancing and quarantine measures required to prevent the virus from spreading, has contributed to a spike in the number of overdoses from opioids during the last 6 months.

Recent data from around the U.S. confirms that drug overdoses are rising by roughly 18% during the coronavirus pandemic. ODMAP – the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (http://www.odmap.org/), located at the University of Baltimore, is also reporting a significant spike in the number of fatal overdoses.  The ODMAP tool provides near real-time suspected overdose surveillance data across jurisdictions to support public safety and public health efforts to mobilize an immediate response to a sudden increase, or spike in overdose events. ODAP compared reported overdoses, both fatal and nonfatal in the weeks right before quarantine measures were implemented and in the weeks after. More than 60% of counties participating in the information-gathering project reported increases in drug overdoses.

There is also another factor besides COVID-19 contributing to the increase in overdoses, street drugs are even more dangerous now because more dealers are lacing their drugs with the synthetic opioid, fentanyl.

“The nation needs to confront the fact that the nation’s drug overdose epidemic is now being driven predominantly by highly potent illicit fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, although mortality involving prescription opioids remains a top concern,” said AMA Opioid Task Force Chair Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A., who also is the AMA’s immediate past president. “If it weren’t for naloxone, there likely would be tens of thousands additional deaths. It is past time for policymakers, health insurers, pharmacy chains and pharmacy benefit managers to remove barriers to evidence-based care for patients with pain and those with a substance use disorder.”

August 31st was International Overdose Awareness Day — IOAD. This global campaign began in Melbourne, Australia in 2001. Last year 874 events took place in 39 countries. This year was the 20th anniversary year. IOAD aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. It is also an opportunity to stimulate discussion around evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy. IOAD acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends whose loved ones have died or suffered permanent injury from a drug overdose. It spreads the message about the tragedy of drug overdose death and that drug overdose is preventable.

The goals of International Overdose Awareness Day are:

  • To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn loved ones in a safe environment, some for the first time without feeling guilt or shame
  • To include the greatest number of people in International Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement
  • To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non-fatal overdose
  • To send a strong message to current and former people who use drugs that they are valued
  • To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy
  • To provide basic information on the range of support services that are available
  • To inform people around the world about the risk for overdose

Even though we are in difficult and uncertain times, there is good news. Many people do recover from substance disorder.  The American Medical Association’s Opioid Task Force report released in July of 2020 did contain information about positive changes in the prescribing of opioids and in the care those with substance use disorder are receiving.  The following are some key points from the report.

  • Opioid prescribing decreases for a sixth year in a row. Between 2013 and 2019, the number of opioid prescriptions decreased by more than 90 million—a 37.1 percent decrease nationally.1
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) registrations and use continue to increase. In 2019, health care professionals nationwide accessed state PDMPs more than 739 million times—a 64.4 percent increase from 2018 and more than an 1,100 percent increase from 2014. More than 1.8 million physicians and other health care professionals are registered to use state PDMPs.2
  • More physicians are certified to treat opioid use disorder. More than 85,000 physicians(as well as a growing number of nurse practitioners and physician assistants) now are certified to treat patients in-office with buprenorphine—an increase of more than 50,000 from 2017.3
  • Access to naloxone increasing. More than 1 million naloxone prescriptionswere dispensed in 2019—nearly double the amount in 2018, and a 649 percent increase from 2017.4

September has been recognized as National Recovery Month every year for past 31 years, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and other organizations involved with the prevention and treatment of substance use disorder take part in celebrating the gains made by those living in recovery through the national observance of National Recovery Month. Educating Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorder to live healthy and rewarding lives.  SAMHSA has a series of webinars related to recovery that you can attend throughout the month of September. For more information see the SAMHSA recovery month webpage https://www.recoverymonth.gov/.

The following websites, articles and resources are related to substance use disorder and may be of interest:

  • NLM’s Environmental Health & Toxicology website – https://www.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/opiate-addiction-and-human-health.html
  • Support After Death by Overdose (SADOD) provides resources, information, and assistance to people throughout Massachusetts who have been affected by the death of someone they care about from a substance-use-related cause. Our focus is on increasing the capacity and effectiveness of peer grief support for bereaved people, frontline care providers, and people in recovery or struggling with drug use. https://sadod.org/
  • Strategies and Resources to Maintain Sobriety During COVID-19, Network of the National Library of Medicine hour-long webinar presented in April 2020.Webinar recording link, presentation materials and resource list https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/ner/83/
  • Donated Mobile RV to Offer Care and Outreach to High-Risk Populations – University of Massachusetts Medical School & Massachusetts Department of Public Health https://bit.ly/3ibUCqg


Categories: RML Blogs

Request for Proposals (RFPs) Re-Opened

Mon, 2020-08-31 07:35

hand holding coinsThe NNLM NER is delighted to announce that Request for Proposals (RFPs) for funding in 2020-2021 has been re-posted and we are accepting applications. Awarded projects will start on November 1, 2020 and run through April 30, 2021.

Please review the information found on our Funding Opportunities page (https://nnlm.gov/ner/funding). You will find the specific RFPs under each award type. Applications will be due September 30th, 2020. Applications must be submitted through the online application system. Notifications of awards will be on or before October 14, 2020.

Let us know if you have any concerns about the award categories, your application, the submission process, or the deadline. We are happy to review any drafts or answer questions related to your project or applications.

Thank you, and we look forward to your projects!

Categories: RML Blogs

Request for Information (RFI): Information and Data Resources Needed by the Health Services Research Community for Research and Practice

Tue, 2020-08-25 07:41

Request for Information (RFI): Information and Data Resources Needed by the Health Services Research Community for Research and Practice

Notice Number: NOT-LM-20-017

Key Dates

Release Date:   August 24, 2020

Response Date:   November 06, 2020

Related Announcements: None

Issued by: National Library of Medicine (NLM)


This Request for Information is to solicit public input on future resource and program directions for the National Library of Medicine (NLM) support of information related to health services research, practice guidelines and health technology, including technology assessment.


NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library, established to “assist with the advancement of medical and related sciences and to aid in the dissemination and exchange of scientific and other information important to the progress of medicine and the public health.”

Since the early 1990s and the establishment of the National Information Center for Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), NLM has taken steps to ensure that its general activities and its core collections of journals, journal articles, books and manuscripts reflect the current state of health services research (HSR), including practice guidelines and health technology and technology assessment. Additionally, NLM has developed specialized products targeted toward the HSR community. These resources were designed to address challenges in accessing certain information understood to be needed by the health services research community: the academicians, clinicians and other health professionals engaged in conducting, disseminating, or implementing health services research, including the public health workforce.

Information Requested

NLM seeks input from all participants and disciplines of the health services research community, regardless of previous engagement with our products.

We invite your comments in the following areas:

  1. Products that NLM currently offers in the areas of health services delivery or health services research.
  2. Information types necessary for your organization to successfully support health services research or public health.
  3. Tools, resources, or health services literature that are the most critical for NLM to collect or support.
  4. Any other comments that would enable NLM to support future work related to the delivery of health services, or health services research.

How to Submit a Response

To respond to this RFI, please go to the submission survey. To ensure consideration, responses must be submitted by November 6, 2020. We do not require you to provide your name with the response. Responses are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously.

This RFI is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health, or individual NIH Institutes or Centers. The NIH does not intend to make any type of award based on responses to this RFI or to pay for either the preparation of information submitted or the Government’s use of such information.

NLM will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion and will not provide comments to any responder’s submission. However, responses to the RFI may be reflected in future funding opportunity announcements. The information provided will be analyzed and may be shared publicly or appear in reports. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).


Please direct all inquiries to:

Doug Joubert

National Library of Medicine

Email: douglas.joubert@nih.gov<mailto:douglas.joubert@nih.gov>

Categories: RML Blogs