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Updated: 2 hours 9 min ago

Sunscreen 101

Mon, 2019-07-08 19:11


New England’s rainy spring has finally turned into summer. This past July 4th brought a string of sunny and hot days with lots of time spent outside. As I took out my sunscreen and looked at the SPF rating of 55 I thought to myself that if anyone asked me to explain what SPF 55 means I would have a hard time providing a clear explanation. It turns out I am not alone in admitting I find sunscreen lingo confusing!”

What’s in Your Closet?

I found the sunscreen products pictured in this post in my closet. I even found one product that had an expiration date of 2016! Who knew that sunscreens have expiration dates? As I looked at all of these products, I became a little confused.

I hope to give you some useful  information about sunscreen. The information in this post was very easy to find as I used the NLM consumer health website I typed “sunscreen” into the search box and found the information for this article from the American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.

 According to a JAMA Dermatology study, less than half of the patients at a dermatology clinic could explain the meanings of “Broad Spectrum” and “SPF.

Broad Spectrum and SPF

Terms like Broad Spectrum and SPF have official meanings from the FDA. Broad Spectrum means that sunscreen can protect you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. This important to prevent skin cancer, early aging i.e. wrinkles, premature age spots and sagging.

SPF describes how well a sunscreen protects you from sunburn. An easy way to remember the meaning of  “SPF” is to think about it as “sunburn protection factor.” It is important to remember that no sunscreen can filter out 100% of the UVB (ultra violet burning) rays. The number after SPF describes how much of the UVB light the sunscreen filters out. For example SPF 15 filters out 30%, SPF 30 filters out 95%.

Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

No sunscreen is waterproof because sweat and water wash sunscreen away from our skin. Therefore, the FDA no longer allows the term “waterproof” on labels. The term “Water Resistant” is permitted, as some sunsreens have been tested and earn their ability to post the info on their product. Below are the FDA definitions and how often sunscreen must be applied to the skin to be effective.

Water resistant:The sunscreen stays effective for 40 minutes in the water. At that time, you’ll need to reapply.

Very water resistant:The sunscreen stays effective for 80 minutes in the water. Yes, after 80 minutes, you’ll need to reapply.

If sunscreen is not water resistant, to continue protecting our skin from the sun when outdoors, we must reapply sunscreen, every 2 hours, after toweling off, when sweating.Even if your skin remains dry sunscreen re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours to remain effective.

Difference Between Chemical Sunscreen or Physical Sunscreeen?

Each of these protects your skin differently and contains different active ingredients. Here’s a summary of the basic differences:

Chemical sunscreen:Protects you by absorbing the sun’s rays. May contain one or more of many possible active ingredients, including oxybenzone or avobenzene. The Neutrogena brand (the back of the tube) pictured here sunscreen lists Oxybenzone and Avobenzene as active ingredients.

Physical sunscreen: Protects you by deflecting the sun’s rays. Contains the active ingredients titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. Some sunscreens use both types of active ingredients, so they contain one or more active ingredient found in physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen.

What does the word “sports” mean on sunscreen?
The FDA has NOT defined this term for sunscreen.

When you see the word “sports” on sunscreen, it usually means that the sunscreen will stay on wet skin for either 40 or 80 minutes. To be sure, check the label. You may also see the words “water resistant” or “very water resistant.”  To protect your skin, you’ll need to reapply sports sunscreen when you’re sweating (every 40 or 80 minutes), after toweling off, after getting out of the water.


What do the words “Kids” or Baby” mean on sunscreen?
Like the word “sports,” the FDA has not defined these terms for sunscreen. The AAD recommends the following when using sunscreen on babies and toddlers.

Children younger than 6 months – Protect babies or kids from the sun by keeping them in the shade and dressing them in clothing that covers their skin. It is important to cover skin, but not so much that they overheat. If possible, avoid using sunscreen on these children.

Children 6 months  and older – Choose a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as sunscreen with these ingredients are most appropriate for the sensitive skin of infants and toddlers. Keep children in the shade and dress them in clothing that will protect their skin from the sun even when using sunscreen.

There is more information about sunscreen I could tell you, but you may it more beneficial to read the information yourself from the American Academy of Dermatology in the link provided.  Also take a look at the infographic provided in the link. Enjoy your summer and remember to use sunscreen!








Categories: RML Blogs

2019 Science Boot Camp for Librarians Highlights

Tue, 2019-06-25 11:53

This is the first blog post in a series authored by four individuals who received scholarships to attend the 2019 Science Boot Camp held at the University of New Hampshire on June 5-7, 2019. In this installment, the author highlights resources and presentations that occurred at science boot camp.  Please watch for more posts from this event and views from scholarship recipients in the upcoming weeks.


New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians 2019 Blog Post

Jenna Riley – Library Services Specialist, UNH Dimond Library

I had heard wonderful things about the Science Boot Camp from colleagues and was very excited to attend this year! I work at the UNH Dimond Library in Durham, New Hampshire where the conference was held. This experience offered me the opportunity to explore the campus I work at in a whole new way! It also allowed me the chance to hear from many faculty members from the UNH community and learn more about their specialized fields of study. I found the conference a perfect way to immerse myself in a variety of themes including remote sensing, social justice in science, and assistive technology.

I found the atmosphere at the Science Boot Camp very inviting. I could tell immediately that it was a passionate crowd that thrived on learning, just like me! It was great to be surrounded by so many people from different libraries in one setting! It gave me the opportunity to hear about initiatives being implemented at other colleges and universities. I also related to some of the challenges they were facing. Overall, I found the communication between peers in this type of setting to be very helpful.  

One thing that really drew me to this conference was the theme of Assistive Technology. I’m very passionate about this topic and was really interested in hearing more about the pairing of Libraries and Assistive Technology. I also currently lead an Accessibility Project Team at the Dimond Library and am always looking for new ideas and information that may lend itself to our library. I really enjoyed both speakers who discussed AT at the Boot Camp. Sajay Arthanat was very thorough in his presentation and gave an educational breakdown of Assistive Technology. He explained the many ways AT can improve the lives of people with disabilities, including daily activities, transportation, computer access and environmental access. Speaker Therese Willkomm’s enthusiasm for assistive technology was contagious and really got my brain thinking of ways to create solutions by repurposing materials. Her inventions are simple yet very effective and can help so many people! Her creation of a portable book holder really caught my eye, so much so that I’ve been in contact with her to see if we can collaborate and introduce them to patrons in the Dimond Library this fall!

Malin Clyde’s evening talk on Citizen Science also sparked my interest! Finding out more about Nature Groupie and the different ways to volunteer and help advance science and education was enlightening. Hearing how crowdsourcing is helping the environment and research initiatives locally and globally was impressive! It’s great to know that volunteering can have such a positive impact, at times even extending the longevity of research projects! Social Justice in Science speakers Sophia Lemons and Elena Long also offered a lot of food for thought. I found the discussion on coded bias interesting and a bit scary! I was unaware of Algorithmic Bias and was surprised computer coding could produce results in this way. The lecture was very informative, especially the ways to improve accountability and inclusion.

The capstone presentation on patents by Paulina Borrego offered an interactive element to the conference that I really enjoyed. The full text and image databases were so much fun to peruse! Who knew some of the patent images could be such beautiful works of art!? I’m looking forward to seeing the final product of the patent coloring book that everyone contributed to.

Below are some of my favorite online resources from the conference:


I also signed up for tours to see the Chase Ocean Engineering Lab and Fairchild Dairy and Research Center. These activities were a huge highlight of my Science Boot Camp experience. Getting to see these places in person was a real treat! I learned so much by being in the setting and seeing everything firsthand. I’ve enclosed a couple photos from my tour of the Fairchild Dairy and Research Center. One picture shows a calf that was only one day old! Getting to witness this was priceless

Thank you so much to the scholarship committee for allowing me the opportunity to attend this conference and further my library and science knowledge. Also, a big thank you to everyone for making the Science Boot Camp such a success! I enjoyed meeting new people and learning new things. It’s not every day you walk away from a conference with such a wide array of new interests. This was a great professional development opportunity and I urge others to participate next year!

Jenna Riley
Library Services Specialist
UNH Dimond Library


I hope you enjoy the first installment of the 2019 Science Boot Camp for librarians. For more about this year’s Science Boot Camp resources or other upcoming events, please visit the NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.

Categories: RML Blogs

Graphic Medicine and the Immigrant Experience

Fri, 2019-06-14 10:31

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 personally.  These stories can also help us feel less alone in our own lives.

Immigrants and refugees are a diverse group of people with a variety of experiences both in their countries of origin and their new homes.  Graphic novels that explore the experiences of immigrants and refugees provide glimpses into people’s lives allowing the reader to connect to and learn about individuals that make up the larger communities.

In honor of Immigrant Heritage Month, here is a selection of graphic novels to learn more about the varied experiences of immigrants and refugees:

  • Escaping Wars and Waves: Encounters with Syrian Refugees drawn and recorded by Olivier Kugler. Kugler interviewed and photographed Syrian refugees  in camps and along the road on their journeys, turning these records into a graphic novel that recounts stories of survival. From the publisher, “What emerges is a complicated and intense narrative of loss, sadness, fear, and hope and an indelible impression of the refugees as individual humans with their own stories, rather than a faceless mass.”


  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Satrapi recounts her experience of coming of age in Tehran, Iran during the Islamic Revolution and her high school years in Vienna, Austria facing adolescence while also dealing with home sickness, loneliness, and navigating a new culture.


  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. Yang tells intersecting stories that illustrate the expectations placed on people by family and society as a new arrival and being first generation, how stereotypes and racism influence immigrants’ lives, and the importance of metaphor and stories for understanding lived experiences.


  • The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. Bui discusses her search to connect with her mother through her own experiences as a first-time parent. To find that connection, she has to better understand the families escape from Vietnam in the 1970’s and the difficulties of building new lives in the United States including sacrifices and hardships, but also love and support.


Immigration status, race and ethnicity can all be factors in health disparities.  To learn more about health disparities, visit the MedlinePlus Health Disparities Topic Page or the National Institute of Minority Health and Health DisparitiesFind more information on how immigration status can impact health and healthcare access with research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

And to learn more about Graphic Medicine visit the NLM’s website for the traveling exhibit Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived, Well-Drawn.  Or request a Graphic Medicine Book Club Kit for your library, school or community group to try.

Categories: RML Blogs

Marketing Library Research Data Management (RDM) Services

Mon, 2019-06-10 11:35

Are you having trouble figuring out how to connect with your current and potential library users and getting them to utilize to all the great programs and services available at your library? Join us as we host Jill Stover Heinz, the Director of User Experience at the University of Virginia, in a webinar to explore strategies to market Research Data Management (RDM) services and other services in your library.  She is the author of the book, “Library Marketing: From Passion to Practice.”  Like you, she’s a librarian who wants her work to connect with users, so they can benefit from all of the amazing resources and services libraries offer.  Marketing offers us an effective way to connect with our users and to support data sharing and open science.  For more information please refer to the website: NNLM RD3: Resources for Data-Driven Discovery ( I hope you will join us for the presentation and a valuable question and answer session.

This webinar is free and open to anyone interested, but advance registration is required. Please register at this link:

Categories: RML Blogs

One-Day Summer Session for New England Region Hospital Librarians

Mon, 2019-06-10 07:03

StrawberriesPlease join us! We are hosting an in-person summer session for hospital librarians in the New England Region.

9:30 am until 2:30 pm

UMass Medical School
Worcester MA 01655



1. Discuss National Library of Medicine changes to DOCLINE, LinkOut, PubMed and the elimination of LoansomeDoc, and how this will impact your document delivery services.

2. Construct document delivery workflow charts to understand how you are providing access to library collections for clinicians, researchers, nurses and administrators at your hospital.

3. Hear from Michelle Bass, PhD, MSI, AHIP, about Impostor Syndrome among health sciences librarians, and explore ways to cope with this phenomenon.

Fill out this registration form for our in-person summer session.

Registration is LIMITED to 25 participants. Preference given to librarians working in New England hospitals.


Please contact Margot Malachowski ( or Martha Meacham (

Did you miss the Hospital Libraries Advisory Group meeting?

We met online on Tue, May 14, 2019.

Check this recording to learn about our annual survey results and our plans for 2019-2020.

Categories: RML Blogs

Eating with the Ecosystem: Citizen Science Project

Mon, 2019-06-03 16:36

What New England foods do you associate with summertime in New England?   I bet “Lobstah” and “Fried Clams” are in your top ten answers. Being a “Foodie” who has lived in New England my whole life, I am very in tune with using local ingredients choosing recipes that celebrate New England’s local species and seasonal harvest. So when WGBH (my favorite local NPR station) aired a story with the title, “Just 5 Types of Fish Dominate Our Seafood Counters, It Doesn’t Have to be This Way,” they had me at Hello!

The story was about a citizen science project called “Eat Like a Fish,” that was coordinated by Eating with the Ecosystem, a small nonprofit whose mission is to promote a place-based approach to sustaining New England’s wild seafood, through healthy habitats, flourishing food webs, and short, adaptive supply chains (

This citizen science project was a bit different than a typical citizen science project that studies wildlife in their natural habitat. The “Eat Like a Fish” project studied wildlife in a human habitat, specifically in New England markets, kitchens, and tables linking ocean to plate.

The project enlisted the help of 86 seafood-eating, citizen scientists who gathered data from weekly shopping expeditions, home cooking experiments, and dinner-table taste tests. For 26 weeks these scientists searched seafood markets, supermarkets, farmers’ markets and seaside fishing piers looking for 52 New England seafood species. Every week, each participant was randomly-assigned 4 seafood species to search for. The first goal of the project was to understand how well the New England retail marketplace reflected the diversity of the wild seafood from their nearby ocean ecosystems. When the participants searched for and/or located their weekly assigned seafood species, they noted where they found it and where they didn’t. When they found a species they were assigned, they took it home and made it for dinner. The second project goal was to use their lived experiences to help explain why they found the seafood where they did, and did not, and why a species may be difficult to find and what can be done to create a greater diversity in the number of species found.

The following species of seafood led the pack in the availability in the marketplace:

  • Lobster (found 80% of the time)
  • Sea Scallops (found 69% of the time)
  • Soft shell Clams (found 64% of the time)
  • Cod (found 57 % of the time)
  • Haddock (found 52% of the time)

In contrast, 32 species were found 10% or less of the time

There is lots more information about this project in the article. Of particular interest were the participants stories of cooking with a new seafood species, as well as important lessons for diversifying market demand for local seafood.  Link to the article:

For the Eat Like a Fish, Diversifying New England’s Seafood Marketplace, Citizen Science Project Executive Summary,

Did you know that Citizen Science is an important NLM initiative? Here is a link the a new NLM flyer that has many Citizen Science resources that will help you explore your inner Scientist – .

Categories: RML Blogs

Scholarship Recipient’s Observation of the Research Data Alliance Plenary Meeting

Mon, 2019-06-03 12:23

This is the second blog post in a series authored by several individuals who received professional development scholarships for completing the Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians. In this installment, a scholarship recipient, Alyssa Grimshaw, describes her professional development opportunity to attend the Research Data Alliance.  For more information about upcoming research data management classes, webinars and events please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website.

Alyssa Grimshaw, Access Services/Clinical Librarian – Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University

I had the pleasure of being part of the 1st cohort of the “Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians” offered by the National Library of Medicine and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office. To further our knowledge about research data, the cohort was given the opportunity to attend additional trainings.

With this professional development award, I was able to attend the 13th plenary meeting of the Research Data Alliance in Philadelphia, PA on April 2-4th, 2019. The theme of plenary session was “With Data Comes Responsibility”. The Research Data Alliance sessions are considered working sessions, so it’s much more hands-on interaction then typical conferences with lecture style talks. Research Data Alliance is an international group and it was interesting to see how other countries handle their data and the policies that their countries have initiated. The theme of the session was brought out in several discussions with a strong message of advocating for countries to realize the importance of data that their countries are outputting and making them realize that their data are an asset, rather than a burden.

The most interesting data concept that I learned about during the sessions was synthetic data. Synthetic data are datasets that are generated programmatically and have been around since 1992. Synthetic data did not originate in the medical field but could change the way medical professionals use and share data. The advantage of synthetic datasets is that the data are generated from original research data and have added noise in the dataset to ensure privacy and randomization of patient information in medical data. Synthetic data can also reduce costs by making biomedical data available at scale and support real world application and AI development. This allows researchers to be more comfortable sharing their research with small population sizes without having to be concerned with patient information being identifiable. One example of synthetic data that was shared was a health care research project where researchers used the technology to generate slightly different views of the original radiology images. Something I would never have thought was possible!

I think a valuable lesson learned at this conference was that all data is not created equal. There are vast amounts of low-quality data and significantly fewer good quality datasets. I think that libraries are in a perfect place in institutions to help educate health care professionals how to assess the quality of the datasets, which will result in better quality research for the entire medical community. This conference was vital to my better understanding of not only research data management, but how data scientists view and use data. I encourage any librarian that would like to become data-savvy to attend the NLM/NNLM RDM workshops and courses.


For more about data science or other upcoming events, please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.

Categories: RML Blogs

New webinar series- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Nine Conversations that Matter to Health Sciences Librarians with Jessica Pettitt

Tue, 2019-05-28 12:57

New webinar series- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Nine Conversations that Matter to Health Sciences Librarians with Jessica Pettitt

Are you confused about all the topics under the umbrella of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Are you overwhelmed by all things swirling around in our world today?

Are you ready to have less frustrating conversations?

Conversations that matter include both internal and external dialogues about our similarities and our differences. Each webinar session will showcase examples across various subordinated and marginalized intersectional identities as well as give us all time to reflect, organize, and do our own work in claiming responsibility for our privileges and full lived experiences.

Please join us for the “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Nine Conversations that Matter to Health Sciences Librarians with Jessica Pettitt” series. Registrations is encouraged but not required. (1 MLA CE per session)

This webinar series is being underwritten by the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL), the Medical Library Association (MLA), and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM).

Each webinar session is 60 minutes long and begins at:

12:00 p.m. ET | 11:00 a.m. CT | 10:00 a.m. MT | 9:00 a.m. PT | 8:00 a.m. Alaska | 6:00 a.m. Hawaii

Categories: RML Blogs

A Focus on #citeNLM 2019 – Elevating Health Equity: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Thu, 2019-05-23 16:54

On May 6, 2019, NNLM successfully hosted its Spring Wikipedia edit-a-thon. This  year’s edit-a-thon occured live during an MLA immersion session titled, “Elevating Health Equity: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Building on the success of the prior edit-a-thons, this time more than 50 editors, including first-time editors, edited 42 different articles, adding over 6,980 words for 134 total edits.

Participants were active on Twitter, using #CiteNLM to connect with others and share their contributions. Many thanks to all participants and to the NNLM team who hosted live immersion session and engaged colleagues and students throughout the day of the edit-a-thon.

We hope to continue our work on Wikipedia and invite you to edit health articles not only on edit-a-thon days, but throughout the year. The WikiProject page contains editing resources. You can also view NNLM training videos created for the edit-a-thon for step by step directions. In a prior installment we curated a list of resources for tips on hosting your own edit-a-thon.  Share your editing story with fellow librarians and with NNLM and keep an eye out for news about our Fall edit-a-thon in 2019.


42   54    6.98K 475K Articles Edited       Editors          Words Added    

Article Views


Categories: RML Blogs

Know Your Resources: Hepatitis Awareness Month

Fri, 2019-05-17 12:18

Know the ABC's of Viral Hepatitis infographic from the CDC.

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States.  Take the time to learn more about hepatitis and the resources you can use all year round to support education and prevention.

What is Hepatitis? Hepatitis is swelling, and inflammation of the liver caused by immune cells attacking the liver, liver damage from alcohol or poison, and bacteria, and parasites.  Hepatitis can also be caused by viruses (Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E)

How can you prevent Viral Hepatitis?  Prevention depends on the source of the liver damage and inflammation. Hepatitis A and E are typically spread through contact with infected food or water, so practicing safe food handling, including hand washing, is important.  Hepatitis B, C and D spread through contact with infected blood.  And Hepatitis B and D may also be spread through other bodily fluids including sharing needs or unprotected sex.

Learn more about viral hepatitis from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

May 19 is Hepatitis Testing Day.  Find free, fast, confidential HIV, STD and Hepatitis testing near you with the GetTested site from the CDC.

And remember when you’re looking for health information online, start with trusted sources and continue to develop your critical thinking skills with the MedlinePlus Evaluating Health Information Online Tutorial.

Categories: RML Blogs

Register for the 2019 New England Science Boot Camp

Thu, 2019-05-16 14:41

Join us for the 11th Anniversary of the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians, to be held on June 5-7, 2019 at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire.  A picturesque campus minutes from the New Hampshire seacoast. The campus is located in Durham, just about an hour north of Boston and about an hour south of the White Mountains. It’s easily accessible by many means of transportation, including Amtrak train, with a station right on campus.

The themes for this year’s SBC science sessions are:

  • Assistive Technologies
  • Social Justice in Science
  • Remote Sensing

Science Boot Camp is an immersive experience that provides librarians with the opportunity to network with peers and learn about topics in physical sciences, health sciences, life sciences, and technology.  On Wednesday evening, join us for a discussion with Malin Clyde, the Community Volunteer State Specialist as we discuss citizen science, and other efforts that create meaningful connections between communities and the natural world.  On Friday join us for the Capstone: Patents with Paulina.

To register, view the schedule and to see more information about Science Boot Camp visit:


Categories: RML Blogs

Mitigating Bias in Literature Searching: A View from the Health Sciences

Mon, 2019-05-13 11:34
View of downtown Cleveland

View of Cleveland, OH. Image  by Cleveland84 CC0

Cynthia Young, MLIS, Associate Academic Dean of Library Services at Eastern Maine Community College Library, received funding to attend the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) 2019 Conference in Cleveland, OH. She contributed this blog post on the session “Improving Ourselves and Improving Care: Mitigating bias in literature searching in health sciences” presented by Rachel Stark, California State University – Sacramento, Molly Higgins, Library of Congress.

Are librarians biased in their health research with students? Is health literature biased? Those are the questions two librarians tried to answer in their research for a workshop at the Association of College & Research Libraries Conference (ACRL 2019) in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 11, 2019. The workshop was led as a teach-the-teacher type course. The intent was that librarians would adapt a similar training session at their own institutions.

The conference workshop was attended by mostly college health librarians and health science librarians from medical institutions. Participants were introduced to three types of bias including racism, microagressions and implicit/unconscious bias. The first activity involved using mobile devices or laptops to take the Project Implicit bias tests created by Harvard University. The implicit bias tests use repetitious images and keyboard functions to learn users unconscious bias toward various minorities including but not limited to, sexuality, gender and weight. The test results often proved difficult for participants to accept, but the intent was to help them become aware of their faults in order to better serve diverse populations.

The next activity had participants write down an assumption of themselves made by a library patron. Each person then walked around the room viewing each person’s response and putting a checkmark if they’d experienced the same. Several librarians in the room wrote, “I thought you were a student” or “where’s the real librarian?” Other assumptions included, “you must love to read” and “you’re Asian, you must be smart.” To further drive home the concept, participants then walked back around the room and put an X if they’d seen a library patron experience that bias. The most common assumptions centered on age, sexuality and race.

A slideshow and discussion around the results of the presenter’s research showed large biases in medical research. Many minority groups were underrepresented or in some cases were completely unrepresented in health literature. The largest group of represented individuals in health research was Caucasian males. Caucasian women were less represented than males. Other demographics were less represented. An example used was that even studying Japanese women in Japan does not necessarily represent Japanese American women in the United States.

The final activity split the room into groups to do live database searching. The scenario participants were given involved a 30-year-old, pre-diabetic Japanese American female who went to her librarian to try to find a food list that was specific to her diabetic needs, but also met her Japanese style diet. Each table was tasked with developing a PICO question and using a computer to try to best answer the reference question. The research on the topic was lacking. There were plenty of diabetic studies on diet, but most were not focused on Japanese American females.

What will I take from attending this workshop? Many things! First, I work closely with our nursing students every year. Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) has the highest NCLEX-RN pass rate in the state of Maine, so our students perform very in-depth research for a two-year program. In future work, I will be cognizant of broadening student’s minds concerning the biases that exist in healthcare research. The workshop leaders also encouraged us to search many types of populations while searching with students. Second, during the search activity, I learned about many databases I had never used. Embase, EthnoMed, MedEdPORTAL and SPIRAL were all new resources to me. EthnoMed proved perfect for the activity search because you could filter by population and location. These newly discovered databases will be helpful for not only assisting our nursing students, but other healthcare program students we have at EMCC. Finally, Eastern Maine Community College has a diverse student population. We serve many first-generation college students, veterans, distance education students, students with disabilities and non-traditional students. It is imperative that as the sole librarian, I am serving all students to the best of my ability without making assumptions about their needs, habits or abilities. I also oversee our student employees, so my plan is to also add some training for them on serving diverse populations. In addition, I am interested in offering this type of health bias course to our nursing instructors. I believe it would be of value to them in developing their courses.

Overall, I am very grateful to NNLM-New England for giving me the opportunity to attend ACRL 2019! I attended many wonderful sessions that will help in all aspects of my work including a session on assisting patrons with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, training student employees with future workplace skills and offering faculty mini-grants to partner with a librarian on an assignment. I look forward to using all of these tools in the future.

Categories: RML Blogs

Interested in Mental Health? Looking for a Great Conference? Check Out the AMHL/SALIS Annual Conference

Fri, 2019-05-03 16:07

What do you like most about your job?

A big perk to my job as an Education and Outreach Coordinator for the NNLM NER is that there are many opportunities to attend very interesting conferences.

Just last week, I was in Boston at the Countway Library of Medicine attending a 3-day annual conference of the Association of Mental Health Librarians (AMHL) and the Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialist (SALIS) organizations. For the third year in a row, these 2 organizations have combined their resources and efforts to put on an exceptional annual conference with engaging speakers and presentations about timely topics in the areas of mental health and substance use disorder.

The conference was small and provided opportunity to get to know a bit about each of the participants.  I met mental health professionals from across the US, as well as Canada and the UK.  They shared the work they do in following organizations —  Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at University of Washington, Hazelden Betty Ford Addiction Research Library, McLean Hospital – Belmont, Massachusetts, St. George’s University of London, Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan, Center on Addiction in New York City, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research in New York, International Alliance for Responsible Drinking in London, University of South Florida, and University of Massachusetts Medical School. I felt honored to update the group about the outreach and education work the NNLM has been doing in New England. Over 3 days of  presentations I learned about cannabis legalization in Canada, how Art is being used as medicine, approaches to regulating alcohol marketing from a public health perspective,  how to engage minority populations in health research, the  history of mental health treatment in the US and UK, the work Louie Diaz is doing with the Middlesex Sheriff’s office in Lowell, Massachusetts providing outreach to those with SUD, we watched the documentary made about Louie – “Beyond the Wall,”, learned the true story of Phineas Gage (Google it, a fascinating story) and we received a sneak peak of a new mental health literacy project. Mentalhealthbridges, is a new website created through a multi-year NNLM grant. The site is due to go live in the next couple of months. It will be a terrific resource for consumers, as well as those involved with mental health education. This conference was the perfect lead into the month of May which is Mental Health month!

For more information about the Mentalhealthbridges website you can contact Len Levin

If you would like to know more about AMHL or are interested in attending next year’s conference (location TBD) consider joining AMHL

Categories: RML Blogs

Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Professional Development Scholarship

Tue, 2019-04-30 13:56

This is the first blog post in a series authored by several individuals who received professional development scholarships for completing the Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians. In this installment, a scholarship recipient, Jennifer Chaput, describes her professional development opportunity in data science.  For more posts about resources from this funding opportunity and views from other scholarship recipients please keep watch in the upcoming weeks.

Jennifer Chaput – STEM Librarian

In 2018, I participated in the National Network of Librarians of Medicine (NNLM) course “Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians”. This year the NNLM made available a training grant for members of that class cohort to pursue additional professional development. I received funding from this grant for a site visit with my course mentor at the NYU Health Sciences Library in New York City.

Along with three other members of my class cohort, I spent two days in March 2019 meeting with the NYU Health Sciences librarians, observing classes, meeting the NYU main campus Data Services team, and attending a symposium on data rigor and reproducibility at Columbia University.

The main portion of our site visit involved discussions with the NYU Health Sciences librarians to talk about their work and get perspectives and suggestions on how to offer successful research data programming and classes. For me, the most useful discussions were the ones on assessment of programming and on active learning ideas. We also discussed how to create a presence for data services at our institutions. Continued small steps and continually putting yourself out there in any way possible are the most important takeaways. These small steps will lead to more opportunities and connections over time, and though the pace may seem slow, looking back will allow you to see how your program has grown. I can see this myself in how much our program has grown in the year since I took the RDM 101 course, and I am looking forward to expanding more using the new ideas gained from this visit.

Our group also observed two classes taught by the librarians. In “Data Visualization in Excel for Biomedical Research”, we participated in the class as learners and came away with new tricks and tools in Excel to simply but effectively visualize data. This type of information is something that any researcher (or librarian!) can use and I look forward to incorporating this material into my work. We also observed a Research Data Management 101 workshop for first-year PhD students. Educating graduate students and early-career researchers on best practices for data management is essential to improving research data rigor and reproducibility and making data more open and accessible. I have been teaching a version of this workshop at my own institution and I got some helpful tips and updates of the material.

We also met with the main NYU campus Data Services team after a beautiful spring afternoon walk through some of New York City’s parks. It was interesting to see perspectives on how such a large institution manages their data services program. My institution has a much smaller data program and it was helpful to see how research data services could be scalable. It was also useful to see how they have integrated data services through the entire campus and include the humanities departments, not just STEM as is often a typical focus for RDM services.

The last day of the trip we attended “A University Symposium: Promoting Credibility, Reproducibility and Integrity in Research” at Columbia University. I greatly enjoyed hearing about the perspectives of the journal editors on the other side of the practice that I prepare researchers for during the session on “Journal Editor Perspectives on Rigor and Transparency”.  I also enjoyed the opening talk on “Recognizing Influences and Biases in Research” by Dr. Brian Nosek, which was engaging and interactive, and which helped us learn how our brain processes what we see and how difficult it can be to overcome what our brains are telling us.

The research data related training opportunities that have been provided by the NNLM National Training Office have been invaluable in my education and training as a data librarian, and in developing the research data management services at my library. I highly encourage anyone interested in further training to investigate the RDM courses and opportunities offered by the NNLM. My thanks to them for this continued education grant, and to our hosts at the NYU Health Sciences Library for a great trip!


For more about data science or other upcoming events, please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.

Categories: RML Blogs

Resource Round-Up: New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon

Mon, 2019-04-22 14:31
 Poster boards with art produced by New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon attendees.

Art produced by New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon attendees.

As part of NNLM NER’s ongoing commitment to supporting the integration and expansion of graphic medicine in the outreach work of our partners, NER hosted the very well received New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon on April 10.

If you couldn’t attend or want a refresher on some of the resources presented, check out the links below to get caught up.  And thank you to all of our presenters for contributing to a successful and educational day.

Vermont’s own Rachel Lindsay started the day off by walking attendees through the process of creating her book Rx and the thought that went into all of the design choices from panel placement and lettering to character design. Listen to Rachel discuss her book at an event earlier in the month at Harvard.

Brittany Netherton and Matthew Noe (Matthew’s slides) shared their experiences creating and maintaining graphic medicine collections at their institutions and opened the session up to discussion.  Check out the links below for useful resources they shared:

A. David Lewis talked about creating a graphic medicine course, lessons learned, best practices and possible barriers. And he streamed it live, too. Check out the recording here.  He also makes his course presentations available on Youtube.  Check out the first presentation and find others on his Youtube channel.

To see what attendees had to say, check out the #NEGraphicMedCon tag on twitter or the round-up post by Jerry Kauppila from NNLM PSR.

If you weren’t able to attend, but are interested in giving feedback on ways NNLM NER can support graphic medicine, you can fill out the three question survey here:

Categories: RML Blogs

Tips to Co-Host/Run an Edit-a-thon

Mon, 2019-04-22 12:55

May 6th is fast approaching for MLA and the Spring NLM edit-a-thon.  We hope you’ve been keeping an eye on our WikiProject page <>, as we’ve been adding more training materials and event details! Our topic this spring is Health Disparities.  

If you can’t make it in person, consider hosting an edit-a-thon at your institution.  Training videos and guides with tips and steps to host your own edit-a-thon are available.

Why run an edit-a-thon? Listed below are just a few reasons
  1. It helps build the encyclopedia
  2. It builds relationships in the community
  3. It provides access to topic experts, and to offline source materials
  4. It encourages editors to learn from each other, and to learn by doing
  5. It entices people to become new Wikipedians
  6. It helps new Wikipedians contribute their knowledge and expertise
  7. Increase information literacy and access
  8. It gives you a reason to have a part
  9. It makes you feel good – you are helping make the world a better place
  10. It’s fun!

We have curated a list of resources for hosting your own edit-a-thon:

If you are hosting your own, we’d love to hear from you! If you plan on using the Outreach Dashboard to track participation, please be sure to link to the CiteNLM campaign.

We hope to see you in person or online #CiteNLM2019 on May 6 for the Spring NLM edit-a-thon!

Categories: RML Blogs

Register for the 2019 New England Science Boot Camp!

Wed, 2019-04-10 16:31

Join us for the 11th Anniversary of the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians, to be held on June 5-7, 2019 at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire.

Science Boot Camp is an immersive experience that provides librarians with the opportunity to network with peers and learn about topics in physical sciences, health sciences, life sciences, and technology.

The themes for this year’s SBC science sessions are:

  • Assistive Technologies
  • Social Justice in Science
  • Remote Sensing

 To register, and to see more information about Science Boot Camp visit the NE Science Boot Camp page at:


This year, we will be awarding scholarships for current library school students, early-career science librarians, and library staff. The application form link is: Science Boot Camp Scholarship Application Form.

The link can also be found on the Science Boot Camp web site in a drop down menu from the registration page.

Categories: RML Blogs

April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

Mon, 2019-04-08 10:25










The blog post that follows was written by Saba Shahid, Chief Smiling Officer of The Art Cart. In May of 2018 The Art Cart received a Community Engagement Grant Award from the NNLM NER to create an online training program to about how use art as therapy for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder impacting dopamine producing neurons in the brain. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include rigidity of limbs, tremors, gait and balance problems, micrographia, and loss of fine and gross motor control. More than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s Disease and approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year.

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month! Every April organizations from around the world spread awareness about Parkinson’s Disease through advocacy, events, and special projects. The Art Cart is an organization based out of Worcester, MA that is doing just that.

As part of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, The Art Cart will be releasing the second edition of the Let’s Combat Micrographiaä interactive workbook. This workbook has been developed to improve micrographia or small handwriting in people living with Parkinson’s disease. Through a special collaboration with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, a branch of the National Institute of Health, there is an additional Virtual Workshop series that will be available later this month to allow those with Parkinson’s and professionals treating people with Parkinson’s to learn how to improve this symptom. UMASS Medical School’s Lamar Souttier Library will have a copy of the second edition book available later this month.

Through Facebook, The Art Cart (@smilethroughart) is promoting awareness about Parkinson’s disease through their Smile Through Artä Workshops. They’re encouraging self-reflection and remembering how to live better with symptoms instead of feeling burdened by them. Participant, Tim MacMillian says, “I am stronger than Parkinson’s as Parkinson’s has taught me to always be strong, never give up, and to face the disease head on.” His wife, Deb MacMillian, says, “To be a caregiver means to be supportive, patient, and encouraging.” Hear their stories and many others by visiting The Art Cart’s Facebook page and website.

To learn more about The Art Cart please visit

Categories: RML Blogs

Protected: Librarians Supporting Nurses: Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut

Thu, 2019-04-04 16:25

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Categories: RML Blogs

Focused Outreach in Quiet Corner, CT

Mon, 2019-04-01 13:59


In each year of our five-year cooperative agreement with the National Library of Medicine, the New England region provides a special kind of outreach, called “Focused Outreach” to specified, medically-underserved areas in New England.  Bangor, Maine was identified as this year’s urban, focused outreach area and Quiet Corner, Connecticut was identified as the rural, focused outreach area. The purpose of the focused outreach is to identify and become acquainted with new community, health-related organizations and to address the health information needs these organizations identify as most important in their community.

The Education and Outreach Coordinators use a semi-structured interviewing method to conduct key informant interviews with the organizations they would like to glean information from. The interview questions are related to how community members get their health information and what are the most pressing health issues in their community. The next step is to implement a tailored approach to address the needs identified using the framework of the NNLM NER and its resources. Together the NER and those who participated in the interviews create a plan that often involves community “train the trainer” outreach education and projects, directed to health care and public health professionals, librarians,  and consumers.

My colleague Sarah Levin-Lederer and I have recently been involved in a successful focused outreach project in Quiet Corner, Connecticut.  Quiet Corner is also known as Northeastern Connecticut and it encompasses Windham County, eastern sections of Tolland County, and the Northern portion of New London County. Quiet Corner is more rural than southern or central Connecticut.

Map of Connecticut showing the Northeastern Connecticut. The region in blue and the Windham region in yellow. Both regions make up “Quiet Corner.”

July through August of 2018 Sarah and I conducted 12 key informant interviews. The needs the interviewees conveyed related to lack of resources for effectively treating those with mental health and substance use disorder challenges. Another need identified was the lack of reliable transportation for patients to get to health and dental appointments. Lastly, food insecurity and lack of resources to educate the community about best practices for healthy eating were identified.

With the help of the interviewers Sarah and I implemented 2 community events to address the needs identified. Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) graciously hosted both of these community events. On February 22nd we held a Resource Sharing Day for those supporting patrons, clients, patients and students. In the morning, Gerry Thorington, LISW, from the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services presented strategies for providing the best possible service to a challenging population often suffering from mental health or substance use disorder health issues. We learned dialogue and participated in hands-on practice for active and reflective listening, validating emotions and achieving a win/win situation for all parties involved. Next, Sarah and I presented a brief overview of NLM’s consumer health website MedlinePlus as well as an introduction to the NLM and the NNLM. In the afternoon, each organization participating in Resource Sharing Day provided an overview of their services the resources they offer to the community. This exercise was eye-opening as many participants learned about resources they could draw on from their colleagues right in their own community.

The second event, Strategies to Alleviate Food Insecurity: Nutrition and Food Education from Cooking Matters, Connecticut was held on 3.29.19. Cooking Matters is a national program that works to ensure low income families have access to nutrition education, smart grocery shopping strategies along with hands-on food preparation techniques and recipes to eat healthy on a limited budget. Seventeen participants participated in this event learning about the MyPlate model for healthy eating, reading nutrition labels, and how to calculate the amount of sugar and fat are in our food based on the information provided on the nutrition label. We also put on our aprons and made our own lunch using some of the quick, nutritious and economical, chef-developed recipes Cooking Matters provides. We worked in groups preparing our lunch of Hummus, Fall Vegetable Salad, Yogurt Parfaits and Fruit Sodas. We all learned a lot about nutrition and enjoyed this “hands-on” opportunity to prepare some healthy and delicious food provided by this event.

If you are interested in making some of the Cooking Matters recipes, download the free Cooking Matters app for both IOS and Android devices.

Categories: RML Blogs