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The blog of NNLM Greater Midwest Region
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Applications Open for Library Carpentry Workshops in Baltimore and Salt Lake City!

Mon, 2019-12-09 14:45

The NNLM Training Office (NTO) and Southeastern Atlantic Region (SEA) are pleased to host Library Carpentry workshops this spring and provide professional development funds to support travel to these exciting opportunities.

Library Carpentry focuses on building software and data skills within library and information-related communities. Their goal is to empower people in these roles to use software and data in their own work and to become advocates for and train others in efficient, effective and reproducible data and software practices.

The target audience is learners who have little to no prior computational experience. The instructors put a priority on creating a friendly environment to empower researchers and enable data-driven discovery. Even those with some experience will benefit, as the goal is to teach not only how to do analyses, but how to manage the process to make it as automated and reproducible as possible. Biomedical and health sciences librarians and LIS students are encouraged to participate.

In this two-day interactive, hands-on workshop you will learn core software and data skills, with lessons including:

Participants may apply to attend the workshop series in either:

  • Baltimore, Maryland – March 19-20, 2020 or
  • Salt Lake City, Utah – March 26-27, 2020

To broaden access to this exciting training, we invite applications to cover the costs of travel and attendance, up to $1,500 for Baltimore, and $1,200 for Salt Lake City. Travel costs will be reimbursed after travel occurs.


Your organization must be a NNLM Network Member. If your organization is not a Network Member, they can join for free!

You must be able to commit to traveling for the workshop dates:

  • University of Maryland, Baltimore – March 19-20, 2020
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City – March 26-27, 2020

You must be able to bring a laptop computer.

All participants must be prepared to observe The Carpentries Code of Conduct in workshops.

Applications to participate and receive funding are due Friday, January 10, 2020. Notice of acceptance to the Library Carpentry Workshop will be announced on or before January 31, 2020.

See full details and apply via the online application:

For questions, please contact the NTO at or NNLM SEA at

Categories: RML Blogs

2019 American Association of Health Sciences Libraries Data Scholarship Report

Mon, 2019-12-09 12:59

2019 American Association of Health Sciences Libraries Data Scholarship Report:
2019 Southeast Data Librarian Symposium, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

In October 2019 Lauren Robinson, Medicine Liaison Librarian at the University of Kentucky, was awarded the AAHSL/NNLM Data Scholarship. With this award, Lauren attended the 2019 Southeast Data Librarian Symposium hosted by Tulane University.

About the Conference

The Southeast Data Librarian Symposium (SEDLS) “is intended to provide a low-cost opportunity for librarians and other research data specialists to gather and explore developments in the field of data librarianship, including the management and sharing of research data” (SEDLS website). In addition, attendees have the opportunity to network and build partnerships with colleagues from all over the southeast.

At the 2019 Symposium, Lauren participated in hands-on activities on Python and the Open Science Framework (OSF), as well as, attended presentations and panels on data visualization, mapping, data services, and data management. The daily schedule was a nice mixture of presentations, panels, discussions, and active learning sessions.  Furthermore, Lauren hoped that attending the 2019 SEDLS would provide her the opportunity to meet and discuss with other professionals in the region were approaching and implementing data services at their institutions. SEDLS allowed her the opportunity to interact with institutions from across the southeast region. These interactions allowed her to think critical about the services she provides at her home institution and how she can implement improvements to those services.


  • Many institutions are still in the beginning stages of formulating and establishing data services. Some institutions have a dedicated data service librarian or team of librarians, but just as many libraries are currently seeking to develop or fill data positions.
  • Data visualization and data references services are often discussed together, but often require a variety of skill sets.
  • Developing cross-campus partnerships are instrumental. These partnerships may be with the Research Compliance Office, Graduate School, or other research support offices.

Future Goals

Over the next year, Lauren use much of what she learned about the Open Science Framework and from her colleagues across the southeast to inform her the research data trainings she will be providing at the University of Kentucky.  In addition, as a member of the University of Kentucky Libraries’ Research Data Services Committee she hopes to start a discussion on Amnesia, a data anonymization tool, and how the Open Science Framework could be incorporated in to data services and trainings at the University of Kentucky.

Overall, attending SEDLS provided an excellent opportunity to learn from colleagues in her region to better understand the landscape of data services across the southeast.

Lauren Robinson, Medicine Liaison Librarian
University of Kentucky, Medical Center Library
Lexington, KY

Categories: RML Blogs

Resolve to Stay Active: A Fitbit Kit for Your Community

Thu, 2019-12-05 16:39

January traditionally is the month for making new resolutions usually with a goal to lose those extra pounds packed on during the winter holidays. Now is the opportunity to help your community make that fitness health resolution and keep it. How? Apply by Friday, December 20th for a one-time award of Resolve to Stay Active Fitbit Kit.

Resolve to Stay Active: A Fitbit Kit supports public libraries or other community organizations which serve populations that are underrepresented in biomedical research in providing access to health technology and consumer health resources. While interest in health-related programs and services has increased, many libraries and other community organizations lack adequate funding to provide health-related materials. The Resolve to Stay Active Fitbit Kits will lower barriers to providing health-related programs and outreach in public libraries and other community organizations.

Any network member within the Greater Midwest Region (GMR) is eligible to apply. However, GMR member public libraries that serve populations underrepresented in biomedical research receive first consideration. Not an NNLM member? Not a problem. It’s easy to apply. Visit our Members page.

Awardees will receive one Program Kit containing:

  • Fitbit Inspire HR (quantity: 20)
  • Your Data, Your Devices, Your Apps: Use Technology for Your Health handouts (quantity: 100)
  • MedlinePlus bookmarks (quantity: 100)
  • NNLM All of Us trifold brochures (quantity: 100)
  • Book: Promoting Individual and Community Health at the Library, ISBN: 978-0838916278

Need program ideas for helping your community start and stay active?

Collage of book cover images: This Heart of Mine, Heart, and Beautiful Affliction

  • Create an outdoor story walk.
  • Sponsor a library yoga class.
  • Select an NNLM Reading Club Heart Health book. Then encourage your readers to discuss the book while taking a brisk walk.
  • Install a stationary bicycle or treadmill with a USB connection to listen to an audible book.
  • Work with a local sponsor to install a blood pressure machine.
  • Ask a community health clinic to give mini-med talks about preventing heart disease, cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

We can’t wait to receive your award-winning ideas. Supplies are limited. Apply now!

Fitbit is the official wearable device of the NIH All of Us Research Program.

To learn more about the All of Us Research Program, visit

Categories: RML Blogs

NIH to Host Informational Webinar on the Draft NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing and Supplemental Draft Guidance

Tue, 2019-12-03 16:02

NIH will be hosting an informational public webinar on the Draft NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing and Supplemental Draft Guidance on Monday, December 16, 2019, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET. The purpose of this webinar is to provide information on the draft policy and answer any clarifying questions about the public comment process. Public comments will NOT be accepted via the webinar but must instead be sent through the link provided below.

Instructions for Accessing Webinar:

  • To view the webinar presentation, please click here
  • To call-in to the webinar:
    • U.S. and Canadian participants can dial: 866-844-9416 and enter passcode: 4009108
  • For international participants, please refer to the table of toll-free numbers found here.


Participants may also send questions in advance of the webinar to


Comments on the draft policy and draft supplemental guidance can be made electronically here through Friday, January 10, 2020

Categories: RML Blogs

The Poetry of Preparedness

Wed, 2019-11-27 15:41

Disaster_typesIt is not often that I get to summon forth the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns, but last month’s preconference continuing education classes at the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MLA) Annual conference brought his words to mind, often stated as, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. Not only can we apply this phrase to disaster preparedness and response, but also to learning about disaster preparedness and response.

Through the combined efforts of the Midwest Chapter MLA continuing education planning team, Kathy Koch and Angie Tucker; and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Disaster Information Management Resource Center (DIMRC); we were able to offer training at the 2019 Midwest MLA conference to help participants meet the additional, non-required continuing education courses of the MLA Disaster Information Specialization certificate. The classes included “A Seat at the Table: Working with the Disaster Workforce” and “Disaster Health Information Resources: The Basics” in a one-stop shop kind of day.

Nine participants, including four public librarians, took advantage of this opportunity not only for the training, but to gain continuing education credit toward the MLA Disaster Information Specialization certificate. Combined with the required six online FEMA courses, participants simply needed to add two more CE hours to apply for their certificate. Three participants were on the GMR Emergency Preparedness working group, and another was a non-librarian participant.

What sort of emergencies had our attendees experienced? Tornadoes and floods were the top two in the Midwest. Also of concern were ice storms, fires, and even a hurricane or two–admittedly not while living in the Greater Midwest.

What plans went awry? Despite the best intentions, more than one participant commented that they had trouble finding the time to take the classes, but this one-day, seven-CE offering solved that problem. Another participant shared that these classes helped to shift their understanding of their role in disaster management: “Before the training, I assumed our responsibility as information specialists was to focus on preserving information.  I now have a better understanding of my role in disaster management and I am better prepared to lead my organization in coordinating, disseminating, and recording information to meet our community needs.”

Finally, this truly sums up what the training is all about: “I hope that I never have to use these resources, but if I do, I will be well prepared!”

In addition to the Midwest Chapter MLA continuing education planning team, Kathy Koch and Angie Tucker, the GMR thanks Dr. Darrell Williams, Administrator of the Division of Emergency Management in the Department of Military Affairs in Wisconsin for his enlightening presentation; Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Technical Information Specialist at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Disaster Information Management Resource Center (DIMRC) for her never-ending guidance and expertise; and Michele Stricker, New Jersey Deputy State Librarian, Lifelong Learning, for her detailed presentation and her assistance with planning..

For those of you who wish to learn more about emergency preparedness and response, please see the resources shared on the GMR Preparedness and Response Guide.


Categories: RML Blogs

Common Ground: Community, Courts, Kids, and Education Conference

Wed, 2019-11-20 12:48

“I had the privilege of attending the Common Ground: Community, Courts, Kids, and Education conference on November 7, 2019. The speaker for the day was Dr. Leonard Sax, a physician and psychologist focused on issues around child development and parent/child dynamics. He shared many tools with the attendees to help them better connect with the students. However, what I most connected with was learning about some of the research that has been conducted into how children develop and the tools and characteristics that need to be developed within them in order for them to grow into successful and healthy adults. It turns out that self-control is a strong indicator of these positive attributes. It was fascinating, especially when thinking about our current culture and how we seem to be pushing towards faster everything and more instantaneous feedback”.

–Amanda McKay, Effingham Public Library, Director

Conference Crowd

Adam Roloff, with SIU School of Medicine attended to represent and promote the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the Greater Midwest Region. “I was so happy that I could be there! Dr. Sax was a phenomenal speaker and I was telling the library director here about him and she suggested that I should find out his contact information and maybe we could see about getting a grant for him to come and speak here at SIU next year. So I’d call that a success!”

–Adam Roloff


Categories: RML Blogs

Questionable versus Reliable? Navigating the Biomedical Scholarly Publishing Landscape – at Midwest MLA

Tue, 2019-11-12 10:33

The Midwest Chapter of MLA is grateful to the GMR for providing an expert speaker grant to support one of the educational options for the Midwest MLA 2019 conference. The conference, which was held in early October, took place in Milwaukee, WI. The expert speaker grant enabled the Professional Practice committee to offer the class “Questionable versus Reliable? Navigating the Biomedical Scholarly Publishing Landscape. This course provided attendees with basic knowledge to assist in evaluating biomedical search results and helped participants explore the many facets of today’s publishing landscape.

Our expert speakers and course instructors were Carolann Lee Curry and Anna Krampl. Both work at the Mercer University School of Medicine’s Skelton Medical Library. Carolann is a reference, outreach, and assessment librarian and Anna is the Head of Public Services. Both Carolann and Anna are also active in the Georgia Health Sciences Library Association (GHSLA) and are members of the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association (SC/MLA).

Evaluations of the course were very positive. Those who attended the course were particularly excited about the time spent working through examples and visiting actual journal websites. One participant noted “I learned much more than I expected about how to provide guidance to patrons about individual publication and publishers. Another added “I am so grateful to have someone knowledgeable talking us through the many shades of gray”.

Support from the GMR is invaluable in helping us to make opportunities like this available to our members.

-Guest post by Angie Tucker

Categories: RML Blogs

NIH Requests Public Comment on a Draft Policy for Data Management and Sharing and Supplemental Draft Guidance

Fri, 2019-11-08 16:55

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a Draft NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing and supplemental draft guidance for public comment.  The purpose of this draft policy and supplemental draft guidance is to promote effective and efficient data management and sharing that furthers NIH’s commitment to making the results and accomplishments of the research it funds and conducts available to the public. Complete information about the draft Policy and draft supplemental guidance can be found on the NIH OSP website.

Stakeholder feedback is essential to ensure that any future policy maximizes responsible data sharing, minimizes burden on researchers, and protects the privacy of research participants.  Stakeholders are invited to comment on any aspect of the draft policy, the supplemental draft guidance, or any other considerations relevant to NIH’s data management and sharing policy efforts that NIH should consider.

To facilitate commenting, NIH has established a web portal that can be accessed here. To ensure consideration, comments must be received no later than January 10, 2020.

For additional details about NIH’s thinking on this issue, please see Dr. Carrie Wolinetz’ latest Under the Poliscope blog: NIH’s DRAFT Data Management and Sharing Policy: We Need to Hear From You!

NIH will also be hosting a webinar on the draft policy in the near future.  Please stay tuned for details.

Questions may be sent to

Categories: RML Blogs

UC Libraries and IT@UC Partner to Bring Renowned NLM Data Scientist to Campus

Tue, 2019-11-05 16:18

By Melissa Previtera and Don Jason

On September 17th and 18th, Dr. Lisa Federer, Data and Open Science Librarian for the National Library of Medicine (NLM), visited the University of Cincinnati as part of the Data and Computational Science Series (DCS2).

During her visit, Dr. Federer shared her expertise in the field of biomedical research data and data visualization through a lecture, a hands-on workshop, and meetings with various data and informatics leaders.

Dr. Federer’s lecture “If You Share it, Will They Come? Quantifying and Characterizing Reuse of Biomedical Research Data” encouraged individuals to think about how they are not only sharing and reusing data but how patterns of reuse can influence curation and preservation. She presented her talk in the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Profession’s Stanley J. Lucas, MD Board Room. Dr. Federer hosted a luncheon at the same venue. During the luncheon, she answered questions about her lecture and had in-depth conversations with UC faculty and researchers.

Lisa Federer engaged with participant learning

After the luncheon, Dr. Federer taught a hands-on workshop titled “Endless Forms Most Beautiful: Creating Customized Data Visualization with ggplot2 in R.” The workshop was held in the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library’s Dr. Stanley B. Troup Learning Space. The workshop addressed the importance of clear communication, effective visualizations, and accessibility for colorblind individuals. Dr. Richard Johansen, Data Visualization Specialist, and Mark Chalmers, Science Librarian, served as teaching assistants for the workshop.

During Dr. Federer’s time in Cincinnati, she served as the keynote speaker for the Cincinnati Area Health Sciences Library Association’s (CAHSLA) annual meeting and served as a guest speaker at the UC Libraries Faculty Meeting. She presented a talk titled “Beyond the Data Management Plan: Expanding Roles for Librarians” to both audiences. This talk gave a synopsis of emerging data science competencies for the library workforce. The talk provided a roadmap of trainings, webinars and classes librarians could complete in order to gain these professional skills.

Dr. Federer’s visit was a huge success – bringing together attendees from a variety of academic disciplines and research interests. The DCS2 planning committee hopes Dr. Federer’s visit starts conversations, expands professional networks and is the catalyst for future collaborations.

Don Jason, Health Informationist, served as site coordinator for Dr. Federer’s visit. He received logistical support from Melissa Previtera, HSL/ Winkler Center Term Librarian, Assami Semde, HSL Circulation Desk Coordinator, and Lori Harris, Interim Director of the Health Sciences Library.

The DCS2 planning committee would like to thank Dr. Federer for sharing her extensive knowledge and skills with the UC community. The committee would also like to thank UC Libraries’ Research & Data Services, the UC Digital Scholarship Center, and the UC Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science, for meeting with Dr. Federer during her visit. Finally, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the Office of the Provost for funding the DCS2.

The DCS2 is a collaboration between UC Libraries and IT@UC. The series provides the UC research community with innovative workshops and distinguished speakers on advanced research data topics. Please visit the DCS2 Website to register for upcoming lectures and training sessions.
The NNLM is grateful for the outreach and engagement work of our NNLM members. If you have a program or project to share, please email us at

Categories: RML Blogs

New Project Funded to Explore Public Health and Public Library Partnerships

Wed, 2019-10-30 14:39

The GMR is excited to announce that the Institute for Public Health Practice at the University of Iowa College of Public Health has been awarded funding for its project: Information Collaboration: Bringing Public Health Organizations and Public Libraries Together.

This project will provide resources and educational opportunities that highlight the benefits of collaboration between public health organizations and public libraries. The project will begin with a thorough assessment to fully understand the needs, interests, barriers, and opportunities for collaboration between public libraries and public health. The assessment will consist of four stages:

  1.     Establishing an Advisory Board
  2.     Conducting a Scoping Review
  3.     Collecting both Quantitative and Qualitative Data
  4.     Analyzing the Results

The results of the analysis will assist in the collection of existing materials and tools that can feed the development of practical toolkits to support both public health and public library organizations in developing partnerships.

Categories: RML Blogs

Michigan Health Sciences Libraries Association Conference: Navigating into Public Health Resources

Mon, 2019-10-28 12:34

The Michigan Health Sciences Libraries Association (MHSLA) received a GMR Expert Speaker Award for our annual conference in Lansing, Michigan, October 2-4, 2019. Thanks to the award, we were able to bring Cecilia Vernes to the conference, where she offered a Continuing Education course, True North: Navigating your way to Freely Available Public Health Resources. Ms. Vernes is the Education Coordinator for the NNLM National Public Health Coordination Office at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Lamar Soutter Library. Her course at the MHSLA conference was attended by academic health sciences librarians, hospital librarians, and non-librarians who are interested in or have roles relating to public health. Ms. Vernes discussed NLM resources such as Toxnet, PHPartners, and PubMed, as well as other freely available online public health resources such as GreenFILE. She also walked us through the process she uses to find and appraise public health literature and offered a case study from her own recent work on PFAS in drinking water (unfortunately especially relevant to Michigan residents).

MHSLA is grateful to GMR for the Expert Speaker Award, which helped us to bring an out-of-state CE instructor to our relatively small regional conference. Course attendees walked away with an improved sense of how to find less accessible resources, literature, and documents related to public health issues.

Categories: RML Blogs