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News from the Northwest and Beyond
Updated: 1 hour 6 min ago

Citizen Science Month (and Beyond!) at Your Library: Ideas, Tips, and Resources from SciStarter and STAR Net

Tue, 2019-11-12 17:17

Join our friends from SciStarter and STAR Net to learn how your library can participate in Citizen Science Month (April 2020). They will present a free webinar this Thursday, November 14, 2019 from Noon – 1:00 pm PST.

Citizen science can open up a world of free STEAM learning opportunities for library patrons. From identifying butterflies to measuring light pollution, citizen science offers unique ways to engage every patron and allow them to contribute to the greater scientific community. With welcoming environments and equitable access to resources, libraries can serve as a central hub for citizen science in their communities! The STAR Library Network (STAR Net) is excited to showcase impactful STEAM learning opportunities that put a focus on the Earth, such as citizen science, in 2020. With support from the National Library of Medicine and based on feedback from the Citizen Science Association’s “Citizen Science Day” working group, SciStarter and Arizona State University are pleased to announce “Citizen Science Month” (April 2020)! Tune in to this webinar to discover how you can access many free resources to help introduce, shape, or support citizen science in your library.

Learn more and Register at:


Categories: RML Blogs

Consumer Health Minute: Family Health History

Tue, 2019-11-12 06:00

In 2004 the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services with the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, launched the public health campaign, The U.S. Surgeon General’s Family Health History Initiative. This initiative highlighted the importance of knowing our family health history and its impact on our health. Knowing that many families gather during Thanksgiving, this initiative provides My Family Health Portrait, a free online tool to assist in these efforts. Today, this information now resides on the Family Health History webpage of the CDC where additional information can be found.

How can your library or organization encourage your community to learn more about their family health history?

family health history tools:

Knowing your family health history can help in family planning, early detection, and preventative steps. Taking the time to talk with family about their health may not be easy and it is important to respect privacy. These tools will provide guidance.

NNLM Book Club:

  • Apply for a free kit which includes your book choice from the list of selected titles focusing on family health history, a discussion guide, MedlinePlus magazines, book marks and brochures.

Libraries Transform toolkit:

NNLM has partnered with Libraries Transform to create a health literacy toolkit. Poster and bookmark templates, social media graphics, programming ideas and more are included in the free toolkit. Several because statements support family health history including:

  • Because Your Family Health History Matters
  • Because Your DNA Doesn’t Have to be Your Destiny
  • Because Rare Diseases Are More Common Than You Think

Check with your NNLM Regional Medical Library  as some offer the posters and bookmarks for free.

National Health Observance toolkit:

NNLM provides toolkits to help libraries and organizations to increase awareness and provide information on a number of health and wellness topics to their communities. November includes National Family Health History Month with social media messages, programming ideas, and more.

Categories: RML Blogs

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

Fri, 2019-11-08 15:08

On November 6th, 2019, NIH 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

Announcing the November 2019 NNLM Reading Club Book Selections

Thu, 2019-10-31 21:00


Knowing your family’s health history paints a picture of potential health problems from one generation to the next. This knowledge is a powerful tool for early detection or prevention of diseases you may be at risk for. Want to learn how to find and share your family health history with your doctor? Let National Family Health History Day on Thanksgiving Day help get the conversation started this holiday season and throughout the year.

For November 2019, the NNLM Reading Club announces three new NNLM Reading club books. Visit Book Selections and Health Resources for Family Health History to download book discussion guides, promotional materials and corresponding family health history information… or to apply for a free NNLM Reading Club Book Kit!


Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month: Katja Wolfe

Mon, 2019-10-28 07:00

In honor of National Medical Librarians Month in October, we are featuring librarians in the PNR region who are medical/health sciences librarians as well as those who provide health information to their communities.  We are fortunate to have Katja Wolfe, from the Soldotna Public Library, be our guest blogger for the last post in this series.

Where do I work? Soldotna Public Library, Soldotna, Alaska. Katja Wolfe

I am a public librarian at a busy rural library on the beautiful Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska. While I am not a medical librarian, I have had an interest in health-related reference services and programming ever since I started working at the library. That’s partly because I was a researcher for a chronic disease management organization before I became a librarian, and I never lost my desire to help people lead better and happier lives. I also work in a town that is home to the largest hospital on the Kenai Peninsula (separated from the library only by a parking lot and a couple of trees), and it is one of my library’s aims to have relevant and accurate information and resources available for its patients and the community at large at all times.

I am not telling you anything you don’t already know when I say that health literacy skills are crucial to making sense of the large amount of health information available in print and on the internet. The patrons we encounter on a daily basis may simply be looking for information on healthy living or find themselves unexpectedly in need of information about a serious health issue. It is my job, and that of my coworkers, to help them find information that is accurate, timely, and easy to understand.

Enter the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. I was very excited to discover that there is a professional development resource for public librarians like me to learn about health reference, and I have freely shared this resource with my fellow coworkers.  I have taken four courses and several webinars offered by the NNLM, all of them related to providing quality health reference services to patrons of all ages and all abilities. The first two courses I took, Health on the Range and Stand up for Health, helped me learn how to assess community health needs and focus on issues particular to rural areas such as the Kenai Peninsula. Part of the latter course helped me assess and improve our health and wellness collection. I also attended Beyond an Apple a Day, taught by Carolyn Martin, this past spring at our state library conference. The half-day training introduced Alaska librarians to resources such as MedlinePlus, available through the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Finally, I completed Wellness in the Library Workplace this April, which gave me a lot of great ideas to prevent burnout and make the workplace less stressful. And, if you didn’t already know, being a public librarian can get pretty stressful and overwhelming. This year, I applied for and received the MLA Consumer Health Information Specialist (CHIS) Level I certification at no cost thanks to the NNLM. I am looking forward to continuing my education and work toward Level II.  Soldotna Public Library

In July 2019, I was invited to attend the Libraries as Partners in Health seminar at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. What an amazing opportunity. The seminar included a review of available health reference resources, a tour of the campus (including a tour of the National Library of Medicine), a lively discussion about health-related programming, and an opportunity to meet and network with peers in my region of the U.S. I am grateful that I was able to attend this meeting.

All of this to say that I really appreciate the resources and support that are available to public libraries like mine. It has greatly improved the way we provide consumer health reference at my library.

Categories: RML Blogs

Survey Says?! Are You Providing Consumer Health Information? Let us hear from you!

Thu, 2019-10-24 11:34

The NNLM Community Engagement Center is organizing a community of  Practice for library staff who are providing consumer health information, programs and services as well as for others who are doing similar work.

We invite you to participate in a short, three question needs assessment survey in order to help us structure the community of practice so that it truly meets your needs and provides you with authentic benefits to support your work. Please take a moment to participate. Responses are requested by November 8, 2019. We hope to hear from you!

Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month: Sue Groshong

Mon, 2019-10-21 04:00

We continue our National Medical Librarians Month series with a profile of Sue Groshong, a librarian at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, WA.

photo of Sue Groshong, standing in front of a bookshelf

Sue Groshong, librarian, Seattle Children’s Hospital Library & Information Commons

I met Sue Groshong at the Seattle Children’s Hospital Library & Information Commons on a sunny fall morning to talk with her about her experience as a hospital librarian. Sue is one of three librarians at the Seattle Children’s Hospital Library & Information Commons, a library that primarily serves medical staff, researchers, and other hospital employees. Sue has worked at Seattle Children’s 21 years and has held various roles within the library during her tenure. She’s currently responsible for library systems, interlibrary loan, cataloging, and is the library’s liaison to the hospital’s Clinical Effectiveness Program.

I asked Sue one of my favorite questions to ask librarians, “How did you become a librarian?” Sue has always been an avid patron of the public library, and in high school, became interested in genealogy. While in college, she worked in library technical services, and had an internship at the National Archives in Seattle. Later, she worked in a bookstore, and being a book person, applied for a staff position at the library at Seattle Children’s Hospital. While in the position at Seattle Children’s, Sue went to school for her library degree.

Sue shared with me some interesting and meaningful projects that she’s worked on. A few years ago, one of the hospital’s music therapists found a Reginaphone in a closet. The Reginaphone, made in 1902, had been used in the 1970s in the neurology department. The Reginaphone was played while children had EEG tests. The music therapist came to the library to learn more about the Reginaphone. With the help of interlibrary loan, Sue was able to locate information held in libraries and archives. The music therapist used this information to get the Reginaphone running, and digitally recorded the music. In addition to many memorable experiences at the library, Sue’s work makes an impact on clinical care. Sue and her coworkers complete do literature searches for teams across the hospital who are developing clinical pathways and care standards. Sue uses Ovid Medline, Embase, Cochrane, Trip, CINAHL, and other databases to gather the literature that informs the hospital’s standards. The standards created directly impact and improve the clinical care, spaces, and policies of the hospital. The day we met, Sue was working on a literature search on pneumonia.

I asked Sue about her favorite databases and resources. She recommends the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Evidence-Based Practice Database as an excellent resource for new nurses or nurses who are new to doing research. The database provides evidence-based point of care resources, and is available via Ovid through subscription. She also highly recommends MedlinePlus for professional and personal use.

Sue clearly enjoys her work as hospital librarian, and after talking with her, I have a richer understanding of her day-to-day work as hospital librarian.

Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month: Toan Lam-Sullivan

Sun, 2019-10-13 21:00

Throughout October, National Medical Librarians Month and also Health Literacy Month, NNLM is featuring Pacific Northwest Librarians and highlighting their commitment to health literacy. This week we shine a spotlight on Toan Lam-Sullivan. Toan is the Bilingual Regional Librarian at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon. Multnomah County Library has 20 locations throughout the Portland metro area.

What made you interested in a library career?  When I attended elementary school in Saigon, Vietnam, I frequently visited the tiny school library. However, the books were only available for reading while at the library. After I arrived in Portland, Oregon, as a teenager, my high school teacher took our class on a school field trip to the Central Library. The place was so beautiful, and every floor was filled with books. We were even allowed to borrow books and return them in three weeks. I was completely awestruck and fell in love right there.

While attending Grant High School, my friends and I frequently visited the nearby Hollywood Library. We loved reading about airplanes and sport cars in the library’s collection. We’d read and compare which planes and cars were the fastest and most powerful. One day, while at the Hollywood Library, I made a wish about how wonderful it would be if I was a librarian so that I could read books all day long. Several years later, while attending college, a friend informed me that the Multnomah County Library was hiring; I applied and was hired as a library page at the Hollywood Library, my favorite hangout place with friends!

Five years later, I was promoted to a Bilingual Vietnamese Library Assistant at the Holgate Library. The Holgate administrator talked with me about library school and encouraged me to attend. I applied, was accepted into the Master of Library Science Program and two years later, was promoted to the Bilingual Vietnamese Youth Librarian and currently work as a Bilingual Chinese Regional Librarian.

My love of reading and serendipity led me to become a librarian. I am very grateful to be a librarian and I just want to continue reaching out to patrons, letting them know about our many wonderful library services and resources.

Please briefly describe a favorite health-related library program, activity or service offered by your library. How has the public responded to this program, activity or service? We invited Tai Chi instructors to teach and demonstrate Tai Chi Fan Dance and Tai Chi 24 Form at our Holgate, Midland and Woodstock libraries. Each of these workshops lasted four weeks. After the two Tai Chi workshops ended, patrons continued to request them. However, the cost for inviting instructors over the long term was unsustainable. To make it more sustainable and meet the needs of the community, we asked administration if we could offer a staff-facilitated Tai Chi club. The request was approved.

The purpose of the Tai Chi club is to attract folks who are interested in and want to practice Tai Chi together. Even though there was no formal instructor, a dedicated group came every Wednesday.  Library staff set up the room, laptop and projector and participants shared Tai Chi video clips, which we all followed together to learn and practice Tai Chi movements.

Recently, two Tai Chi instructors, one of whom has been practicing Tai Chi for over 30 years, heard about the club. They’ve been volunteering their time at the Library and generously showing everyone Tai Chi.

Why does health literacy matter to you? As a youngster, I experienced a debilitating illness. I was bedridden and unable to perform many simple, essential tasks. I am very fortunate and grateful because I fully recovered. However, this experience impacted me deeply. I learned to take better self- care and I try to stay as healthy as possible. According to what I understand, health literacy encompasses information on health and wellness, and the ability to make decisions based on what we know. Health literacy matters to an individual and is equally important to a community.

As recent recipients of a Health Literacy Outreach award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, we’ve been focusing on our Asian communities. Through our award, we are inviting health instructors to the Library and offering health-related programs. We’re also showing members of our Asian communities how to use MedlinePlus and other health and wellness databases. So far, we have been receiving many positive comments from patrons.

Categories: RML Blogs

Consumer Health Minute: Health Insurance Literacy

Tue, 2019-10-08 04:48

It is almost that time of year. Yes, it is time to sign up or renew our health insurance. Many of us have been receiving notices at work regarding the time to review our health insurance and other work benefits. Often we feel unsure of the information we are reviewing. We have an idea of what a deductible or copayment is but we might be uncertain of the difference between a HMO and a PPO.  Not understanding insurance can be costly whether it prevents consumers from using it or from not understanding its coverage.

We are offering a free webinar to help prepare libraries to assist their patrons with health insurance information as they sign up for a plan whether through work, private, or through the federal government. Your library may be one of the many who have received a mini grant from the Public Library Association (PLA) to help prepare them to provide information to their communities during the Healthcare Marketplace Open Enrollment which is from November 1 – December 15 for 2020. This webinar will help librarians address the unmet information needs that leave many unable to make appropriate health insurance choices. For those with lower levels of health insurance literacy, the ability to procure appropriate levels of health insurance coverage may be limited, which can have dire effects on individuals’ health statuses. Addressing this critical information need, Emily Vardell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University.

PNR Rendezvous session: “Health Insurance Literacy and How Librarians Can Help”

When: Wednesday, October 16 at 12:00 p.m Alaska | 1:00 p.m. PT | 2:00 p.m. MT (please adjust to your time zone)

How to attend: Registration is encouraged and to learn how to join is on the PNR Rendezvous webpage. The session will be recorded but attending live will allow for questions.

In addition the NNLM supports the PLA insurance enrollment project through the promotion of their posters highlighting the the Healthcare Marketplace enrollment. You may order these directly from the Community Engagement Network webpage.  Questions? Contact the NNLM GMR office at

health insurance PLA posters

Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month: Sara Mannheimer

Mon, 2019-10-07 08:05

In honor of National Medical Librarians Month in October, we are featuring librarians in the PNR region who are medical/health sciences librarians as well as those who provide health information to their communities.  This week of October 7th, 2019 we are featuring Montana State University’s Sara Mannheimer who is a Data Librarian.  Welcome Sara, to the PNR Dragonfly blog!


  • Name: Sara Mannheimer
  • Position: Data Librarian
  • Working organization: Montana State University
  • Education history
    • BA in Literature from Bard College
    • MS in Information Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Personal Background
    • Sara takes ballet and modern dance classes and she performed in a local dance showcase last month. Sara also play piano and guitar (but she only performs for her partner and her cat!).  Sara was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, where she worked as a sea kayak guide in Alaska and the US Virgin Islands in her 20’s, and she still loves being outside—bike commuting, backpacking, camping, and cross-country skiing. Sara is also an enthusiastic extrovert and a believer in the power of community, so spending time with friends is one of her biggest sources of joy.


Q1: It’s an honor to have you with us on the Dragonfly Blog -welcome Sara! My first question is related to the theme of medical librarianship as October is National Medical Librarians month.  So, what inspired you to work with medical data?

Thank you! It’s a pleasure to be featured! My work with data began in graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill, where I studied archives and records management. I got into the world of data archiving through an independent study developing a digital preservation policy for Dryad Digital Repository. During the project, I had invaluable mentorship from Ayoung Yoon (who is now on the iSchool faculty at IUPUI) and Jane Greenberg (now on the iSchool faculty at Drexel). Ayoung was a PhD student at the time, and she collaborated with me on a poster that we presented at the ASIS&T annual meeting. Jane instilled in me a love for metadata and encouraged me to apply to be the Senior Curator at Dryad after I finished my master’s degree. Jane and Ayoung also mentored me by co-authoring a paper describing our digital preservation policy development process. Building on the work I did at Dryad, I decided to move to a tenure track faculty position as Data Librarian at Montana State University (MSU). At MSU, I help with data management planning, coordinate data science workshops, build data-related tools, and conduct research exploring data curation and data ethics.

Working with NNLM-PNR has been a great entrance into medical data. For example, NNLM-PNR just funded a project that will allow me and my colleagues Jason Clark and Jim Espeland to work with a research center on campus to make their restricted health sciences data available to community partners.

Q2:  Tell me, how did you get into data science?

I’m still getting into it! I began my learning process through a couple of Data Carpentries workshops—one at the Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) Summit in 2015, and one at the National Data Integrity Conference in 2017, and then I trained to be a certified Carpentries instructor last year. But most of the data science instruction in the library is the result of collaborations across campus. I’m partnering with Allison Theobold, a graduate student in the statistics program who teaches workshops as part of her dissertation project. She and her advisor, Stacey Hancock, have helped create a thriving R workshop series in the library that includes introductory and intermediate R concepts, as well as sessions on data wrangling and data visualization. This year, we’ve extended the partnership to include graduate students from MSU’s Statistical Consulting and Research Services in order to continue to sustain the workshops. These statistics graduate students have strong coding skills, and they are amazing teachers for their peers.

In addition to teaching practical coding skills, I have an interest in big data ethics, and I have done some writing and thinking about the ramifications of data science using social media data. And I have also begun to pursue projects that support “collections as data”—that is, computational analysis for digital collections. This work includes initiatives like making the text of our digital archival collections available for download, and mentoring students to create digital scholarship projects using archival collections. This interactive map created by former MSU student Dillon Monday is a good example of a collections as data project.

Q3:  In your time as Montana State University’s Data Librarian, what has been your most favorite project to date?

I think my favorite project is actually the first grant I was awarded from NNLM-PNR in 2017! The project took an evidence-based approach to creating a data management planning toolkit aimed at health sciences researchers. After identifying a need to improve the data management planning resources that the library provides to the campus community, I proposed a grant to analyze data management plans from grant proposals at MSU, and then to interview principal investigators about their data management practices.

The research I conducted (with fantastic student research assistant Wangmo Tenzing) showed that most investigators practice internal data management in order to prevent data loss, to facilitate sharing within the research team, and to seamlessly continue their research during personnel turnover. However, it also showed that investigators still have room to grow in understanding specialized concepts like metadata and policies for reuse. I used the research results to inform a data management planning toolkit that includes guidance on facilitating findable, reusable, accessible, and reusable data—for example, using metadata standards, assigning licenses to their data, and publishing in data repositories. If you want to read more, I’ve published a talk  and a paper about the project.

Q4:  Are you working on anything new and exciting that you would like to share with us?

I’m getting my PhD right now from Humboldt University in Berlin (with advisor Vivien Petras), and my dissertation is a comparative study of qualitative secondary analysis and social media research. I’m still early in the process, but I’m loving the opportunity to take a deep dive into the topic of qualitative and social media data sharing.

Q5:  To date, what is your favorite data tool?

I’m really enjoying becoming more literate in R. We use RStudio Cloud in our workshops, and it simplifies the setup process for learners. I’m also keeping an eye on the development of Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI), an annotation tool for qualitative research that’s being developed at the Qualitative Data Repository.

Q6:  If you could give one piece of advice/words of wisdom to anyone interested in medical librarianship/data science what would that be?

Collaborate. Our library and academic communities are vibrant and varied, and I’ve done my most impactful work when partnering with colleagues and students. Data librarianship overlaps and connects with many fields, and it’s impossible to have expertise in everything. Working with collaborators allows me to extend my own knowledge, develop better ideas, and provide stronger data services on campus.

Categories: RML Blogs

A New PubMed is Coming Soon

Wed, 2019-10-02 04:00

A new PubMed, with an updated interface and infrastructure, is coming soon! We’ll continue to receive information and announcements from NLM in the coming months.

In the new PubMed, you’ll continue to have access to your favorite features, and you’ll have access to exciting new features. The new and improved features include; improved navigation, a cite feature, highlighted keywords in search results, enhanced synonymy, enhanced American / British English language mapping, improved sensors for citation searching, improved best match filtering, and more. The new PubMed interface is responsive, for an improved mobile experience. Searching best practices in PubMed are the same best practices for searching in the new PubMed.

You can test the new interface and many new features in PubMed Labs.

Screenshot of PubMed Labs, including the searchbox

The webinar “A New PubMed: Updates for Information Professionals” was offered in September and filled quickly. If you were not able to attend, you can view the recording. Additionally, NNLM is offering a reprise of the webinar “The New PubMed” on November 20th as part of the “NNLM Resource Picks” series, with no cap on the number of attendees. (Download and share the promotional flyer).

More information will be coming soon from NLM. To keep current:


Questions or feedback? Go to PubMed Labs and click the “feedback” link.

Categories: RML Blogs

NLM Requests your Input on Evolving the National Network of Libraries of Medicine

Tue, 2019-10-01 19:07

Request for Information (RFI): Evolving the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (UG4)

Notice Number: NOT-LM-19-005

Key Dates

Release Date: October 1, 2019
Response Date: December 02, 2019

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Library of Medicine (NLM)


The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) seeks new ideas to help improve access to health information and help inform the design of the NNLM request for applications for the 2021-2026 project period. The NNLM is managed by the National Library of Medicine.

This Request for Information (RFI) offers health sciences and public libraries, health professionals, public health workers, community organizations, and the public the opportunity to provide information about how the NNLM can best provide U.S. health professionals with better access to biomedical information and improve the public’s access to trusted health information. A fact sheet summarizing the NNLM program is available.


The NNLM is a key partner in helping NLM achieve the vision outlined in the NLM Strategic Plan 2017-2027 “to reach more people in more ways through enhanced dissemination and engagement pathways.” In addition, NLM seeks to enhance its research, development, training, and information services to make more biomedical data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), to invent the tools and services to turn data and information into knowledge and insight, and to develop the workforce for this work. Implementing this vision will require new partnerships and ways to engage with stakeholders in the public and private sectors, including researchers, librarians, health professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators, underserved communities, and the public.

Through its products and services, NLM supports researchers, health care providers, librarians, and members of the public who seek current and trusted biomedical information and data. NLM’s many databases, tools, and services, including PubMedMedlinePlusClinicalTrials.govHazardous Substances Data BankGenetics Home Referencedatabase of Genotypes and PhenotypesUnified Medical Language Systemcover health, genetics, drugs, chemicals, and many other topics. Effective community engagement is critical to assuring the NLM resources reach its wide range of audiences — from librarians to researchers and clinicians, from teenagers to their parents and seniors, from policymakers to the public. Engagement encompasses promoting awareness of available information resources, developing an understanding of users’ information needs, facilitating access and ensuring the ability to use information resources. NLM will continue to leverage the 7,500+ member organizations of the NNLM, which act as trusted ambassadors between NLM and the communities they serve. NLM also partners with the NNLM to enable a new generation of data-ready librarians and informationists to transform libraries into hubs for data literacy.

The Medical Library Assistance Act of 1965 (MLAA, P.L. 89-291) established the NNLM to assist the development of medical libraries’ services and to facilitate the dissemination and use of information related to health sciences. Over time, a growing emphasis has been placed on increasing the impact of the NNLM through partnerships with NLM and member organizations, including health sciences, hospital, academic, and public libraries, as well as health professionals, data organizations, and community-based organizations. The NNLM is coordinated by the NLM Office of Engagement and Training, working through the National Network Steering Committee. See The Nation’s Health Information Network: History of the Regional Medical Library Program, 1965-1985, and an historical overview of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, 1985-2015 for more information.

The NNLM provides convenient access to biomedical and health information resources for U.S. health professionals, researchers, educators, and the public. As a core component of NLM outreach, the NNLM seeks to reduce health disparities and improve health information literacy, by providing funding, professional development, and learning opportunities for NNLM members.

The NNLM comprises eight Regional Medical Libraries funded via 5-year competitive cooperative agreements. The Regional Medical Libraries engage with 7,500+ members (for a map and more information about each region and its members/partners, see NNLM Regions). Five national offices provide professional services to support the NNLM in achieving its national initiatives, as well as serve regional needs: the NNLM DOCLINE Coordination Office, the NNLM Web Services Office, the NNLM Training Office, the NNLM Evaluation Office, and the NNLM Public Health Coordination Office. The current structure has enabled the NNLM to launch several national initiatives, including a focus on data science and a series of new or enhanced partnerships with the NIH All of Us Research Program, the NLM HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Program (ACIOP), and public libraries and public library associations. From the first two partnerships, new NNLM centers have been created: the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Network, the All of Us Training & Education Center, and the NNLM ACIOP Coordinating Center.

Information Requested

NLM seeks input from current and potential user communities to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the NNLM. We’re interested in your responses to the following topics and other suggestions.

Priorities, Strategies, Partnerships
  1. Priorities NNLM should address. Consider themes related to the NLM Strategic Plan 2017-2027.
  2. Strategies to reach new and existing audiences more effectively, especially minority and underserved populations.
  3. Effective ways to partner with libraries, health organizations, and community organizations to reach health professionals, researchers, and the public.
  4. The top three health information outreach priorities for your organization in the next five years.
  5. Important new partnership opportunities for the NNLM.
Outreach Programs, Engagement, and Training
  1. New outreach roles and outreach opportunities and barriers for the NNLM.
  2. NNLM programs, activities, or other components that are of less significance and/or might be considered for elimination.
  3. Strategies to support staff at NNLM member organizations in their knowledge and ability to support NLM products and services.
  4. Types of NNLM engagement activities to promote NLM’s wide array of offerings to all audiences.
  5. Contribution of resource sharing to the NNLM’s mission to promote access to biomedical and or health information.
Membership, NNLM Structure, Service Coordination
  1. Responsibilities and benefits of NNLM membership.
  2. Types of organizations that could be potential members for the NNLM.
  3. Structure of the NNLM steering committee, which currently consists of leaders of the Regional Medical Libraries, national offices, NNLM centers, and NLM.
  4. The geographical configuration of the NNLM. A tool and map are available to help you develop and submit suggestions.
  5. Services of the NNLM that could be coordinated nationally. Services that are best coordinated at a local or regional level.
How to Submit a Response

All responses to this RFI must be submitted to by December 2, 2019. Please limit your comments to no more than 3 pages.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. Please do not include any personally identifiable or other information that you do not wish to make public. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in responses. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements. This RFI is for informational and planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for use of that information.

The data collected and maintained in the eRA system are covered under NIH Privacy Act Systems of Record Notice (SORN) 09-25-0225.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Mike Davidson
Office of Engagement and Training, National Library of Medicine

Categories: RML Blogs

Explore Health Literacy with the NNLM Reading Club

Mon, 2019-09-30 21:00

Because it can be challenging to find a compatible health provider, choose health insurance coverage, or understand medical terms, organizations have been observing October as Health Literacy Month since 1999. It is a time to bring attention to the importance of making health information easy to understand and making the health care system easier to navigate. But you do not have to wait until October. Any time is a good time to become a more informed health consumer.

When it comes to your health, you are your own best advocate. The NNLM Reading Club has selected three books to help you become more knowledgeable and informed:

  • Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health by Sandro Galea
  • An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal
  • How to be a Patient by Sana Goldberg, RN

To learn more about each of these titles and to download book discussion guides, promotional materials and corresponding health  information resources, or to apply for a free NNLM Reading Club Book kit, visit the Book Selections and Health Resources: Health Information.

Categories: RML Blogs

Consumer Health Minute: Health Literacy Month

Thu, 2019-09-19 10:48

October is just around the corner which also happens to be Health Literacy Month. Health literacy is so important when it comes to our health. We need to be able to understand how and when to take medication, talk with our healthcare providers, understand test results, navigate our way through the healthcare system, and know how to find relevant and quality health information. Our patrons and communities also need to increase their health literacy. How can you help?

The American Library Association and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine have partnered through the Libraries Transform public awareness campaign and have created a Health Literacy Toolkit for free. All you have to do is create a free account and you can have access to the toolkit where you can access program ideas, download templates for posters and bookmarks, and social media graphics.

MedlinePlus includes a health topic web page focusing on health literacy. Information here will lead you to a variety of resources to provide more understanding of health literacy and tools to provide to your patrons to use to understand medical terminology, how to communicate with their physician, and much more.

Helen Osborne has been a health literacy champion for many years and has created a website devoted to health literacy. She has written a Health Literacy Handbook: The Event Planning Guide for Health Literacy Advocates.  You can request a PDF of this handbook as you plan events around health literacy.

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM’s RD3 Website: RDM 101 Course Material Available for Non-Course Registrants

Thu, 2019-09-12 11:57

RD3 Website Intro

The NNLM’s research data management (RDM) course entitled, “RDM 101” kicked off this past Monday, September 9th, 2019 with a full class; interest in this particular RDM course was so high that it even gave rise to a course waitlist!

RDM 101 is an excellent and comprehensive course on RDM basics.  It covers topics that are relevant to the supporting RDM librarian, who needs to help anyone in research that needs a hand with managing and organizing data.  More specifically, it covers these key data science topics:

  • Data organization
    (i.e. data collection, data documentation like file naming etc., data types, metadata format and standards for metadata content like controlled vocabularies, and data management plan (DMPs) design);
  • Data storage and security
    (i.e. short-term backup and long-term storage options, encryption, password protection etc.);
  • Data access and sharing, and reuse
    (i.e. copyright and intellectual property issues, data use agreements, data sharing funder requirements, licenses for data usage etc.) and;
  • Data preservation
    (i.e. various data repositories – subject specific, general, and institutional – and data journals).

For the busy librarian who may not have the time commitment that is required and involved to participate in this RDM 101 course, or for the librarian who couldn’t get into the Moodle course, there is hope!!!  All of the RDM 101 course material except active links to the course readings and assignments/pretest/posttest material is up and running on the NNLM’s RD3 website.

The NNLM’s RD3 website is the answer to your data science questions.  It is an excellent and comprehensive website about data science and includes a page under “Training” for RDM training from the RDM 101 course.  It is organized by week and there are 5 weeks in total.

Something to look forward to in the next coming weeks is RDM 102’s course material will be posted on the NNLM’s RD3 website too!  Soooo, stay tuned!!!

Categories: RML Blogs

Regarding Upcoming PubMed Webinars

Tue, 2019-09-03 05:41

There has been overwhelming interest in the new PubMed, and regrettably all of the upcoming “A New PubMed: Highlights for Information Professionals” webinars are filled to capacity. However, NLM wants to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn about the new PubMed, and to get their questions answered.

If you were not able to register for any of the sessions of “A New PubMed: Highlights for Information Professionals,” we recommend you start by watching “NCBI Minute: An Updated PubMed is on its Way!”  This short video was recorded earlier this month, and contains most of the information that will be presented in the upcoming webinars.

The recordings for each of the sessions of “A New PubMed: Highlights for Information Professionals” will be posted shortly after they occur on the class webpage. Additionally, a compiled Q&A, addressing the most frequently asked questions from the five webinars, will also be posted.

If you have any questions about the new PubMed, either now or after watching one of the recordings, you can always contact the PubMed team via NLM Customer Service.

The PubMed team is eager to answer questions and address concerns about the new PubMed; feel free to contact them any time.

Categories: RML Blogs

Explore Healthy Aging with the NNLM Reading Club

Fri, 2019-08-30 12:38

The NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Network is pleased to announce its three book selections in support of Healthy Aging.

Book Covers for Women Rowing North, Elderhood and The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old


Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher

Elderhood by Louise Aronson

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old by Hendrik Groen

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, all baby boomers will be older than age 65 by 2030. This will expand the size of the older population so that 1 in every 5 persons will be a senior. How can you successfully navigate the advancing years? Practice healthy aging:

  • Be physically active
  • Make smart food choices
  • Get regular health screenings
  • Participate in activities you enjoy

During September – or any month – help get the conversation started in support of healthy aging. Choose one of the three NNLM Reading club books, download the discussion guide, and share health information and programming … or apply for a free NNLM Reading Club Book Kit!

Categories: RML Blogs

DataFlash: Stephen Few’s “The Data Loom” – A Book Review

Tue, 2019-08-27 16:26

Books with reading glasses

Stephen Few is no amateur when it comes to data analysis and data visualization; as the author of more than half a dozen books on data analysis and data visualization, this Pacific Northwest resident has become a trusted expert on the topic.

In Few’s newest book which was released this past May 2019 entitled “The Data Loom”, he does not disappoint his growing data fans.  In a time where dressing up data stories with cheap tricks (i.e. useless and misleading data visualizations to suit your own objectives) has become popular, Few reminds us of the importance of truthful data storytelling and truthful data presentations.  Few teaches us how to think critically and scientifically when it comes to thinking about our data and data presentation.  In fact, Few asserts that we don’t really live in the “Information Age” but more of the “Data Age” where data only is valuable to us after we make sense of it – i.e. through data sensemaking.

In Chapter 3 entitled “Think Scientifically”, Few reflects on the greater purpose of data sensemaking (63):

“Too often, data sensemaking focuses solely on collecting and reporting facts. However, facts are only useful if they lead to an understanding that enables decisions and actions that produce a better world.  Not every question involves causal relationships, but the most important questions do.”

Through being able to think critically and scientifically, we are in a better position to really understand and use data in a truthful and valuable way that will ultimately affect our ability to make good decisions.  Few’s knowledge of critical and scientific thinking comes shining through with many of his inspirational quotes and book references from great thinkers.  Masterfully, Stephen Few succinctly sums up a huge body of essential statistical, philosophical, and scientific works into a matter of 122 pages.  “The Data Loom” by Stephen Few is an amazingly concise work on thinking about data and a very worthwhile read!!!

Additional Reading by Stephen Few:

Show Me the Numbers

Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring

Categories: RML Blogs

Consumer Health Minute: Collection Management

Thu, 2019-08-22 12:53

Back in the day, before the Internet, the majority of our resources were in print. Our patrons would enter the library to peruse our collections for information they needed or approached the reference desk to ask the librarian for assistance who would then often direct the patron to a reference tome or an item on the shelf.

Now days, it is rarer for us to turn to the printed format and many times, what we need is often found online. Publishers of consumer health reference books are also moving their content online and it is becoming more difficult to find authoritative consumer health information in books.

Many library staff have stated that their patrons want print, in other words, books. In our NNLM classes and conference sessions we often recommend specific online resources as the best resources for providing quality health information for patrons. As information providers, we need to acknowledge that certain online information is more current and more reliable.  And of course, online content can be printed.

Recently, Francesca Goldsmith, expert librarian and author, presented, “Collection Management for Healthy Communities”, on the NNLM webinar series, Kernel of Knowledge. The 1 hour session was recorded and Goldsmith provides library staff with the rationale and support in choosing appropriate online and print health related resources for your communities, as well as addressing  the issue of print books versus online resources. Goldsmith will help you feel more confident in building your library’s health collection.

Categories: RML Blogs

Call for Requests to host National Library of Medicine exhibit, “Politics of Yellow Fever in Alexander Hamilton’s America”

Tue, 2019-08-20 06:18

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has a wonderful program of traveling exhibits that focus on history, literature, health issues and professions. They consist of banners but there is online content as well. The banners allow for programming and collaborating with organizations in your community such as a school, a health clinic, an academic institution, or community organization.

The NLM Exhibition Program has an opportunity to host one of their newer exhibits, “Politics of Yellow Fever in Alexander Hamilton’s America”.

NLM traveling exhibit "Politics of Yellow Fever"

This six-banner traveling exhibition explores how party politics shaped the response to the yellow fever epidemic in 1793 Philadelphia where Philadelphians confronted yellow fever in the absence of an effective cure or consensus about the origins of the disease.  Medical professionals, early political parties, and private citizens seized on the epidemic to advance their respective agendas. As a result, Philadelphia’s sick and dying received medical care informed as much by politics as by the best available science.  Politics of Yellow Fever tells the story of how Philadelphia’s sick, anxious residents responded to yellow fever using an uneasy blend of science and politics.

If you would like to host “Politics of Yellow Fever in Alexander Hamilton’s America”, please complete a Call for Requests Response Form and submit your completed form to: by September 23, 2019 at 8:59 p.m., PT.

For more information on Exhibitions Connect and Call for Requests, please visit the Exhibitions Connect web page.

Consider subscribing to the MAKING-EXHIBITION-CONNECTIONS  listserv for future official announcements.

Categories: RML Blogs