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News from the Northwest and Beyond
Updated: 3 hours 9 min ago

Consumer Health Minute: Vaccines

Tue, 2019-06-18 05:08

According to the CDC the number of measles cases in the first five months of 2019 has surpassed the total number of cases each year for the past 25 years. More than likely, your community has been affected even by just reading the news, social media, or knowing someone living in areas that have reported cases. Some of your patrons may be asking questions, stating opinions or perhaps wanting to know what can be done. However, your library system may be hesitant to address this topic as vaccines can be a very sensitive subject and difficult to address.

Two upcoming webinars are focusing on immunizations which may provide some helpful information for libraries, particularly public libraries. Both of these sessions are free and will be recorded for viewing later.

  • Tuesday, July 9, 2019, 11:00 – 11:45 a.m. PT (adjust to your time zone)
    FDLP webinar: “Measles, Immunizations, and Finding Accurate Health Information with MedlinePlus”
    Presenters:  Aimee Gogan and Andrew Plumer (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
    Register on the FDLP website
  • Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PT (adjust to your time zone)
    PNR Rendezvous webinar: “Libraries Connecting Communities to Vaccine Information & Resources”
    Presenter: Rachel G. Firebaugh, Pharm.D., MPH, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy
    Registration is encouraged but not required
Categories: RML Blogs

Seattle in January, ALA Midwinter

Mon, 2019-06-17 09:00

Today’s guest post is from Karen Schaefer, Director of Langlois Public Library in Oregon.  Langlois Public Library became a network member a little over a year ago when Karen learned about NNLM and began attending our classes. She applied for our PNR Professional Development award to attend ALA Midwinter.  In this post, Karen shares her passion to learn more about health literacy and health information to make a difference in the health of her community.

I have a great suggestion for any librarian, especially from a small library like mine, to take advantage of the courses and grant opportunities with whatever your region is, with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM).  I happen to be in Oregon, which is Region 6 (The Pacific Northwest Region) PNR.  Last fall, I wrote and received, funding from NNLM PNR for a Professional Development Award ($2,000!) to attend a pre-conference session “Implicit Bias, Health Disparities and Health Literacy: Intersections in Health Equity.  The session was quite amazing and I still remember, so clearly, the impact I felt from the video on Implicit Bias that day, which left me with both questions and answers.

The Professional Development Award paid for not just the pre-conference, but also the travel, housing, meals, and conference fees for the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle.  I had already loved Seattle from my old days of Regional Charity meetings I went to and then later on, my present to myself when I sold my Tucson Home Care business.  This trip added to my love of the city.  What was also interesting, is that our main hotel was a newbie – I mean, as in weeks old and we were the first large group for them to try out their stellar service and way beyond helpful staff.  I had decided to exercise the whole time I was there and went to the fitness center and walked to the Washington Conference Center, regardless of the weather.  I hate walking – but I loved it there – the damp, misty, rainy and even sunny days.  After the first day, I didn’t use their fitness area so much because I had built exercise into my actual day.  I would go back and forth from the hotel to the conference center many times throughout the day.  It wasn’t like this BIG hike, but did I say, I hate walking! So it was pretty huge for me. Of course I was also lugging bags of vendor items back with me each day. If I could describe the conference in one word, it would have to be amazing.  This was my first ALA function.  I have now been the library director for 5 1/2 years. Being a Library Director in a small town means, most probably, you are more apt to put money in almost every other area of your budget than for your own professional training.  So when my NNLM PNR coordinator, Carolyn, urged me to write the grant – I did just that.

I started working with NNLM PNR about a year and a half ago,  with the Stand Up for Health class for public library staff with Carolyn and Bobbi.  This course helped me find my place in the world of public libraries, by being able to combine my present work with my past experience of being in Human and Health Services in another life (as in pre-library).  After the course I received a CHIS 1 (Consumer Health Information Specialization 1) from MLA.  I then started registering for all the classes I could with NNLM.  Through an opportunity with the NNLM PNR, I was invited, along with other NNLM Stand Up for Health participants, to a program during the MLA Conference in Atlanta “The MLA Symposium: Health Information for Public Librarians”.  It was so great putting faces to the names of instructor’s and students of the NNLM classes I had been taking. It was a great opportunity for me, because although I had been a Library Director for 4 years, at that time, I had never been to any kind of library conference. I was a bit out of my element, and there was a small group of us invited. We were attending only the Public Library Symposium, but it was a sneak peek at what I would attend in Seattle nearly a year later.  I am very grateful to NNLM PNR for the funding to make this all possible for me!

Categories: RML Blogs

Libraries Connecting You to Coverage

Wed, 2019-06-12 06:41

The next PNR Rendezvous webinar session will be focusing on the Public Library Association (PLA) health insurance education initiative. Libraries Connecting You to Coverage, is part of a national partnership made possible by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Community Catalyst.  This webinar will help public library staff better understand the importance of health insurance literacy, how to promote accurate health information and resources, and how to develop partnerships to advocate for a healthy community. In addition, two librarians will also provide their perspectives and tell us about their involvement with this PLA initiative.

When: Wednesday, June 19 at 1:00 p.m. PT | 12:00 p.m. Alaska | 2:00 p.m. MT


  • Leighann Wood, Program Manager, Public Library Association
  • Marina Rose, Adult Services Librarian, Caldwell Public Library (ID)
  • Anne Bramblett, Assistant Director of Public Services, Austin Public Library (TX)

Registration is encouraged but not required. Information to join the session is provided on the webinar session webpage.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the live session but it will also be recorded and posted for viewing soon in a few days.

In addition, our October 16 PNR Rendezvous session is titled, “Health Insurance Literacy and How Librarians can Help” with Emily Vardell, Assistant Professor at the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University. Registration is open for you to sign up.

Categories: RML Blogs

9 Part Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Webinar Series with Jessica Pettitt

Mon, 2019-06-10 12:50

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?

Please join us for the “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Nine Conversations that Matter to Health Sciences Librarians with Jessica Pettitt” webinar series which is provided through a collaboration of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL), the Medical Library Association (MLA), and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM).

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 note, you do not have to be a health sciences librarian to attend as much of the information is applicable in many environments . All sessions are free. Attending the live sessions is encouraged but they will be recorded.

Save the DATES!

First session is June 19, “Diversity & Social Justice: A Starting Place”:
Unlike other online diversity training, this course introduces the concepts that you can utilize in your own life immediately. Regardless of each your identities and lived experiences, the concept of how we coexist, interact, and impact one another is imperative to build better teams, better connections, and deeper relationships.Spend an hour, reflecting on how you fit into the conversation of diversity. Coming to terms with our own unique positive and negative bias as well as how that intersects with our responsibility of perception and sense of entitlement to validation is the foundation of social justice work. Our experiences, choices, and impact, both intentional and unintentional, matter. This is the starting place.

Check the website for more information about future webinars in the series

  • August 21 : Unconscious Bias: Perceptions of Self & Others
  • October 16 : Being a Better Ally to All
  • November 13 : Working Across Difference: Making Better Connections
  • January 22, 2020 : That’s Not Funny! Or is it?
  • March 18, 2020 : Knowing what you don’t know: Medical Micro-aggressions
  • May 13, 2020 : I am … Safe Zones: Sticks and Stones LGBTQA 101
  • July 15, 2020 : I am … Safe Zone: Gender This!
  • August 12, 2020 : I am … Safe Zone: Messages I Learned.

Save the TIME: 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

All Webinars will be broadcast at the above time. Each webinar is 60 minutes.

Registration is encouraged. All sessions will be recorded and made available on the website.

We hope you can join us!

Categories: RML Blogs

Announcing a New Round of NNLM PNR All of Us Health Literacy Outreach Awards!

Sun, 2019-06-09 21:00

Make a difference in your community by applying for one of our NNLM PNR All of Us Health Literacy Outreach Awards! We’re pleased to offer 5 Health Literacy Outreach Awards, each up to $19,000. The goals of the Awards are to foster awareness of the NIH All of Us Research Program and promote health literacy through:

  • programs, education and outreach focused on addressing community health needs;
  • supporting access to population-specific, evidence-based health information; and
  • offering digital health literacy skills development.

Creative approaches to meeting the health literacy needs of your community are encouraged.  Consider focusing on any topics that support the aims of NIH All of Us Research Program, such as how biology, environment and lifestyle influence health.

Eligible applicants must be from institutions that are members of the NNLM PNR; if you don’t have a membership, membership is free and open to institutions interested in improving equitable access to health information.  To apply for membership, submit an online membership application.  Encouraged to apply are applicants who have not previously received NNLM funding or have only received funding once before.

Interested in applying? Please note the following deadlines:

  • Letter of Intent providing a brief description of the proposed project, must be submitted no later than Wednesday, July 10. Please send your Letter of Intent to: and include Health Literacy Outreach Award in the subject line.
  • Submission deadline for your completed application is Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 3:00 Pacific Time. Please send your completed application to and include Health Literacy Outreach Award in the subject line.

For more information about this award and for tips on writing your proposal check out our NNLM PNR Funding Opportunities page and our Proposal Writing Toolkit respectively.  Questions? Please drop us a line ( ). We welcome all questions and input.

We look forward to funding your good ideas!

Categories: RML Blogs

Data Flash: Introducing the NNLM PNR’s Research & Data Engagement Award!

Thu, 2019-06-06 18:18

Growing plants.

The NNLM PNR is happy to announce the Research & Data Engagement Award.  The primary purpose of the Research & Data Engagement Award is to support projects and build partnerships that demonstrate engagement in research data services through the sharing of expertise and resources.

Eligible applicants must be from institutions that are members of the NNLM PNR; if you don’t have a membership, membership is free and open to institutions interested in improving equitable access to health information.  To apply for membership, submit an online membership application.  Encouraged to apply are applicants who have not previously received NNLM funding or have only received funding once before.

Some ideas of potential projects range from an interdisciplinary collaboration to implement clinical data management services to developing knowledge and skills of librarians, students, researchers, clinicians, or public health workforce about best practices for organizing, managing, visualizing, and sharing data.  Up to two awards valued at up to $19,000 will be awarded this year for the funding period beginning May 1st, 2019 and ending April 30th, 2020.

For those interested in this exciting award, applicants should inform NNLM PNR of their intent to apply by submitting a Letter of Intent, including the type of award and a brief description of the proposed project, by Thursday, July 11th, 2019 to Potential applicants should also submit their completed applications by Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 as an email attachment to  For more information about this award and for tips on writing your proposal check out our NNLM PNR Funding Opportunities page and our Proposal Writing Toolkit respectively.

Good luck and we look forward to your exciting applications!!!

Categories: RML Blogs

Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month with the NNLM Reading Club

Thu, 2019-05-30 13:24

Book jacket covers for This is How it Always Is, Little and Lion, and Mama's Boy

The NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Network is pleased to announce its three book selections in support of LGBTQ Pride Month, celebrated each June.

To learn more about each of these titles, download book discussion guides, promotional materials and corresponding LGBTQ health information or to apply for a free NNLM Reading Club Book kit, visit the NNLM Reading Club Selection Guide: LGBTQ Pride Month.

LGBTQ Pride Month is celebrated each year to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City’s Greenwich Village which, in June 1969, protested against the discrimination and oppression suffered by LGBQT individuals. The Stonewall riots marked the beginning of the LGBQT movement for equality. PRIDE month is a celebration of accomplishments to date, a remembrance of those who sacrificed their life for LQBQT equality and a call for continued commitment to the cause.






Categories: RML Blogs

Consumer Health Minute: BHIC blog

Mon, 2019-05-20 09:00

What is the BHIC blog? Bringing Health Information to the Community (BHIC) blog is hosted by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine with contributors from multiple NNLM regions. The goal is to send out health information directly to community members who may not otherwise have access to timely and useful information. Almost all of the information included in the BHIC blog is freely available. Various libraries, community organizations, educational institutions will find the information relevant and useful in these postings which include:

  • announcements of upcoming classes and webinars
  • funding and enrichment opportunities
  • resources including websites, toolkits, guides, reports, infographics, etc.
  • information about specific health conditions, highlighted national health observances

Consider subscribing to the blog and receive its email digest. Don’t worry, the BHIC blog does not post daily so you won’t get flooded with email notifications. You can also just check the blog when you want to check the newest postings or search the archive. To receive notifications of new postings please contact the BHIC editor, Robyn Woods at

Categories: RML Blogs

Data Flash: Can Librarians Hack it for Health? Yes!!!

Tue, 2019-05-14 19:13

Opened book with code in the background

Can librarians hack it in a hackathon?  The answer to that question is a resounding yes!!!  As a former hackathon librarian participant, I can confidently give you my word that librarians are an asset to any hackathon team.

From April 12th-14th, 2019, I, a health sciences librarian, flew out to Spokane, WA from Seattle, WA to participate in the 2nd Annual Med Hackathon at Washington State University’s (WSU) Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine (ESFCOM).  ESFCOM’s 2nd Annual Med Hackathon was a community health hackathon that drew people from all kinds of disciplines from computer engineering to medical librarianship!

The WSU Med Hackathon was a three-day event whose theme this year was tackling behavioral health challenges in rural Washington state with the intent of destigmatizing mental illness.  On the first day/night, we listened to a couple of keynote speakers talk about the need for mental health services especially in Washington State and we ended our night with participants pitching their problems and respective solutions to behavioral health challenges.  I was going to pitch my idea about creating a mobile app that would deliver cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy (CBT and DBT) to mental health patients, but I heard someone else pitching a similar idea to mine.  As a result, I ended up meeting up with this mental health counselor to discuss and develop our overlapping idea even more at the networking event later that evening.  Our initial team of two organically grew into a dynamic team of five people; my team had computer engineers, a mental health counselor, a graphic designer, and a health sciences librarian, me!

The beauty of the WSU Med Hackathon is the skill diversity that it encourages and promotes with each participating hackathon team!  As someone who knows very little about computer programming compared to a computer engineer, I was able to really leverage my research skills and health sciences background in order to make a meaningful team contribution.  Although, I was not able to contribute directly to the computer programming of the CBT/DBT mobile app, our team’s final and competitive product, or to the visual design of the app itself, I was able to contribute in other meaningful ways.  For example, in addition to doing all of the product and patent research for my team’s app, I was also able to provide feedback about the overall usability and design of our team’s mobile app.  As well, I was able to really apply my instructional and presentation skills by co-authoring a presentation script and co-presenting a 3-minute product pitch, which ultimately determined my team’s fate in this hackathon.

My team worked all day Saturday and into the early morning Sunday on our product.  On Sunday, we pitched for three minutes our final product, the CBT/DBT mobile app, to the three hackathon judges.  Mid-day, the hackathon winners were announced; it was announced that my team, Project Hope, had won third place for our CBT/DBT mobile app at WSU’s 2nd Annual Med Hackathon.  Our third place finishing is proof that librarians as an integral part of a team or in any collaboration is an invaluable asset!

Categories: RML Blogs

NLM and NNLM at the Medical Library Association 2019 conference

Fri, 2019-04-26 14:07

Are you heading to Chicago to attend the annual Medical Library Association conference? If so, know that NLM and NNLM will be there too. Add us to your schedule.

Exhibit Hall: Stop by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) exhibit booth (#208) which open Saturday, 5-7:30), Sunday noon-5:30, and Monday 10-5. Experts will be on hand to answer questions, take feedback, and discuss the latest NLM news.  Check the NLM Technical Bulletin to view the list of selected NLM products, the times those representatives will be at the booth, and links to any recent news. Don’t see the product that you are interested in or a time that works for you? Please stop by the booth anytime to be connected with someone who can help. Unlike past conferences, this year’s exhibit will place more emphasis on talking to YOU, our users, trainers and promoters of NLM products rather than theater presentations.

NLM Update: Tuesday, May 7  from 11:00  – 11:55  a.m. in the Grand Ballroom CDEF (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Docline Users Group: Sunday, May 5 from 12:00  – 12:55 p.m. in the Randolph 1AB (East Tower, Concourse/Bronze Level)

PubMed Update: Sunday, May 5 from 1:00  – 1:55 p.m. in the Randolph 1AB (East Tower, Concourse/Bronze Level)

Elevating Health Equity: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Monday, May 6 from 2:00  – 3:25 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom B (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

In addition NNLM has employment opportunities where you can schedule a time to meet with respective representatives:

  • NNLM Pacific Northwest Region: Outreach Coordinator, email Associate Director Cathy Burroughs ( to meet at MLA
  • NNLM Middle Atlantic Region: Academic Coordinator, email Executive Director Kate Flewelling ( to meet at MLA

Of course, many NNLM staff will be presenting CE, papers, posters, and sessions as well as attending various business meetings, and we’ll also be at the NLM exhibit booth. We hope to see you there!

Categories: RML Blogs

April PNR Rendezvous: Learning Data Visualization

Wed, 2019-04-10 04:23

Data is everywhere and trying to make sense of it can be overwhelming and complex but also revealing. Data visualization helps to communicate more clearly the significance of the information. How to do that? Come and attend the April session of the PNR Rendezvous to learn some tips and tricks from staff from the University of Washington Health Sciences Library and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s National Evaluation Office.

Below are the details of when and how to join the webinar.

Date: Wednesday, April 17

Time: 1-2PM (Pacific) | 12-1PM (Alaska) | 2-3PM (Mountain) | 3-4PM (Central) | 4-5PM (Eastern) | 11AM-12PM (Hawaii)

Presentation: Tips and Tricks for Learning Data Visualization

Data visualization in the health sciences can help reveal insights and trends that might otherwise go unnoticed. A clear visualization can convey more information than an endless spreadsheet. However, learning new tools can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time tackling a subject. Data visualization tools, in particular, can have high learning curves and it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the resources and tutorials available. This PNR Rendezvous session will discuss tips and tricks for learning data visualization. The tools we will be focusing on are Tableau and ArcGIS.

How to join the session: Registration is encouraged but not required. Complete information to log on is available on our PNR Rendezvous web page

We encourage you to join the live session but it will be recorded for viewing within a week.

Categories: RML Blogs

RDM in the Big Apple!

Mon, 2019-04-08 15:53

We are very excited and pleased to share this guest post by Kathryn Vela, the Washington State University’s (WSU) Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s (ESFCOM) Health Sciences Librarian.  Kathryn was selected through a competitive application for professional development funding from the National Training Office (NTO), to participate in a mentoring opportunity having completed the NNLM online training course RDM 101: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians.  Welcome Kathryn!

As a health sciences librarian with an interest in data, I was extremely excited to be part of the first cohort of the online course “Research Data ManagementA picture of Kathryn Vela in NYC. for Biomedical and Health Science Librarians” in early 2018. It was a delightfully educational experience, and as an unexpected bonus, I was eligible to apply for funding from the NTO to continue my research data management (RDM) education. I submitted a proposal for and received funding to visit the NYU Health Sciences Library and learn from their data services team. I wasn’t the only one with this idea; three other librarians from my cohort were also interested in an NYU site visit, and so we coordinated to plan the trip together.

The site visit was a two-day event, with a third day spent at a symposium at Columbia University. Much of this time was spent discussing how the NYU HSL data services have developed over the last few years, including the Data Catalog Collaboration Project. We (i.e. the visiting librarians) also shared how we were engaging in data services at our own institutions. These conversations gave us the opportunity to learn from some data experts, ask questions, and share ideas.

We also had the chance to sit in on two different classes provided by the NYU librarians. One class was part of a larger research course and provided an overview of basic RDM practices, and the other was about creating data visualizations in Excel. Since I would like to provide more data-related instruction, this was incredibly beneficial and gave me a lot of ideas to incorporate into my own work.

The symposium at Columbia University was called “Promoting Credibility, Reproducibility and Integrity” and featured a number of enlightening panel discussions on topics like transparency in scientific journals and bias in research. I enjoyed the opportunity to attend thisA picture of the New York City skyline.symposium while I was in New York because it gave me some interesting insights into the inner workings of academic research.

Overall, it was a whirlwind trip, but I definitely came back with a brain bursting full of new knowledge and ideas to try at my institution. Since most of my RDM learning has taken place online, it was nice to have the opportunity to talk to other like-minded people face to face, and to see RDM expertise in action. The NYU data librarians were welcoming and informative, and I greatly appreciate their support for this site visit.

Categories: RML Blogs

Data Flash: The Impact of the NIH-NLM-NNLM in U.S. Communities

Mon, 2019-04-08 10:53

A picture of the physical building of the National Library of Medicine.

April 7th-13th, 2019 is National Library Week. The American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Week theme is simple, but compelling: how libraries equate to building strong communities.

In honor of National Library Week, the NNLM PNR’s Dragonfly will go back in time and explore the origins of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine.

The NLM, located on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, was founded in the year 1836 as the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office, the medical literature repository of the U.S. Army Surgeon General. It is the world’s largest biomedical library and has been searched billion of times by millions of people around the world. NLM also founded and funds the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM).

The historical formation of the NNLM goes back to 1965 when it was called the Regional Medical Library (RML) Program and consisted of 11 regional medical libraries. The RML Program was the manifestation of the 1965 Medical Library Assistance Act, which authorized the NLM to provide grant funding to improve the condition and potential of American medical libraries; among the many grants that came from the Medical Library Assistance Act, a grant for the development of a national systems of regional medical libraries was given to the NLM.

It wasn’t until 1990, that the RML Program became what is known as the NNLM.  The current overarching mission of the NNLM is to “provide all U.S. health professional with equal access to biomedical information” and to “improve the public’s access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health”.

Last year in 2018, the NNLM and the Public Library Association (PLA) forged a new partnership that increased public library workers’ knowledge and skills related to consumer health services, called the “Promoting Healthy Communities Initiative”.  In 2017, the NNLM was honored to be selected as a community partner of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s All of Us Research Program which has a mission to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs enabling individualized prevention, treatment and care. All of Us will partner with one million or more people across the United States to provide the most diverse biomedical data resource in history. All of Us will make this resource available to all researchers, helping them to gain better insights into the biological, environmental, and behavioral factors that—separately and combined—influence health.

PLA has now joined forces with NNLM to promote NIH’s All of Us Research Program. and work together with public libraries to increase “health literacy, address health research inequities, and strengthen community partnerships with health advocates and providers.”

The NNLM is proud of the PLA partnership, a strong reminder of how libraries build strong communities of health through such collaborations and outreach. Happy National Library Week everyone!!! Enjoy being a part of your community and effectively, your medical/health sciences/public library!

Categories: RML Blogs

Consumer Health Minute: Celebrate National DNA Day

Tue, 2019-04-02 02:09

Congress approved the first National DNA Day in April 2003 to celebrate both the completion of the Human Genome Project and the anniversary of the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) continues to celebrating DNA Day annually on April 25. The goal of National DNA Day is to offer students, teachers and the public an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the latest advances in genomic research and explore how those advances might impact their lives.

Libraries can provide information to the public, to local schools and visiting homeschoolers about DNA Day activities and events provided by the National Human Genome Research Institute. Visitors to the website will be able to:

  • find events in your area and across the country
  • download the activity starter kit to plan an event at your library
  • view activities to do in your library, schools, or for patrons to do at home

One of the featured activities is titled, “Everything You Need to Know About Getting DNA Out of Strawberries“. This low cost activity uses common materials and the strawberries can be either fresh or frozen. Complete instructions are provided in both English and Spanish. Prefer not to host the activity? Just provide copies of the instructions for patrons to take home and try. Either way it provides a fun interactive opportunity for the public to learn more about genetics.

Categories: RML Blogs

Women’s History Month – The Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the “Yellow Wallpaper”

Mon, 2019-03-25 06:42

In observation of Women’s History Month, each week of March the Dragonfly will feature a National Library of Medicine exhibit that highlights the history of women in health, science, and society. This week highlights a significant feminist publication and its author in “The Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the ‘Yellow Wall-Paper’

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born in 1860 and was a writer, lecturer, and feminist who fought for women’s rights in society and in the home. She wrote prolifically on the subject of women’s issues especially focusing on the inequality of women by challenging the reasoning and basis for women’s restricted role in society. She wrote Women and Economics which not only called for changes in marriage and family but also stated that women could not be truly independent if they were dependent on their spouses or other male family members. Soon after the birth of her daughter, Gilman experienced depression and received treatment from well known physician, Silas Weir Mitchel. He prescribed a treatment of rest which often included isolation from friends and family, a special diet, and massage and electrotherapy.  As one of many medical and scientific experts who debated “the woman question,” he defended the notion of significant differences between the sexes and argued that an epidemic of neurasthenia, or nervous exhaustion, was rife among women who attempted to exceed their natural limits. Gilman felt the treatment made her worsened her health later wrote a semi-autobiographical short story, The Yellow Wall-Paper,  as an indictment of the medical profession and the social conventions that restricted women’s professional and creative opportunities.

Literature of Prescription NLM exhibit

Originally submitted to the Atlantic Monthly, it was immediately rejected. It was published more than a year after it was written, in The New England Magazine, in January 1892. While some 19th-century readers did appreciate the message hidden in The Yellow Wall-Paper, the story also resonated with many in the women’s movement of the 1970s. Since their rediscovery of the tale, the text has been republished many times, continuing to intrigue readers. Thanks to Charlotte Perkins Gilman, progress towards women’s health and independence was made even after her death in 1935.

The online exhibition features a range of resources for educators and students, including lesson plans developed by classroom teachers for middle and high school courses, a higher education module developed by a scholar working in the discipline for undergraduate and graduate students and instructors, educational online activities, and additional resources.

The Literature of Prescription is also a traveling exhibit which your library or organization may wish to host. Learn more about booking the exhibit on its Book An Exhibition web page.

Categories: RML Blogs

Announcing New NNLM All of Us Funding Opportunities

Wed, 2019-03-20 18:20

image of a coinUnder cooperative agreement with the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), and in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) All of Us Research Program, the NNLM PNR is pleased to request proposals for a new round of funding opportunities. The awards are designed to support  outreach projects to support health literacy and community engagement about the NIH All of Us Research Program. Preference will be given to proposals submitted by public libraries, or to organizations with plans to collaborate with a public library partner.

NNLM PNR member organizations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington are eligible to apply.   If your organization is not currently a member, it’s easy to join!

If you intend to submit an application for either award, we need a Letter of Intent no later than Wednesday, April 3, that provides a brief summary of the project you will propose and the type of award you will apply for.  Please send  your Letter of Intent to and include the type of award in the subject line.  The deadline for submitting your completed application for either award is May 1, 2019 at 3:00 Pacific Time.

Keep reading to find brief descriptions and links to detailed information about these funding opportunities.

NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Award

2 or more awards, each up to $100,000

Goals of the award include:

  • To improve consumer access to high quality health information.
  • To support health literacy education and outreach.
  • To raise the public’s awareness of the All of Us Research Program.
  • To improve understanding and importance of participation in clinical trials, including the All of Us Research Program.

NNLM All of Us Health Literacy Outreach Award

2 or more awards, each up to $19,000

Goals of the award include:

  • To increase awareness of the NIH All of Us Research Program.
  • To increase health literacy education and outreach.

For tips about programming ideas and resources you may want to incorporate in your proposed project for either of the 2 above awards, watch this recording featuring Michele Spatz, NNLM PNR All of Us Engagement Coordinator.

We want to fund good ideas and hope to see proposals from all states of the NNLM PNR!

If you have a question, please drop us a line ( We welcome all questions and input.

Categories: RML Blogs

Women’s History Month – Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives

Mon, 2019-03-18 06:05

In observation of Women’s History Month, each week of March the Dragonfly will feature a National Library of Medicine exhibit that highlights the history of women in health, science, and society. This week highlights domestic violence as a significant health issue through, “Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives“.

What is domestic violence? The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines it: “Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.” Domestic violence affects individuals who are married, single, young and old. It does not discriminate according to religion, culture, race, sexual orientation, or gender. Nor do educational or socioeconomic levels matter.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in the U.S. about 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, domestic violence accounts for 15% of the total violent crimes, and over 20,000 phone calls are place on domestic violence hotlines each day. Victims experience a number of physical, mental and heath affects including high rates of depression and suicidal behavior and only 34% receiving medical care who are injured by intimate partners.

Confronting Violence NLM exhibit


Through the exhibit, Confronting Violence: Saving Women’s Lives, the National Library of Medicine highlights the role of nurses in identifying domestic violence as a significant health issue when other medical professions and society did not. Beginning in the late 1970s, nurses were in the forefront as they pushed the larger medical community to identify victims, adequately respond to their needs, and work towards the prevention of domestic violence. Through both their research and practice, nurses saw firsthand the epidemic of violence in women’s lives and were able to create and implement some of the first hospital protocols for treating women who were battered. By the 1990s, all the major medical organizations recognized domestic violence as a significant health issue. Yet, despite these changes the work of ending domestic violence still continues. As organizations and as individuals we must continue to work to support and empower victims of domestic violence and improve women’s lives.

Information about this exhibit is also available through a recorded presentation  at NLM when the exhibit first opened.

Confronting Violence is also a traveling exhibit which your library or organization may wish to host. Learn more about booking the exhibit on its Book an Exhibition web page. A 18 minute recording about program/activity ideas when hosting this exhibit is available to view.

Want to visit the exhibit? It will be at Pullman Regional Hospital library in Pullman, WA February 3 – March 14, 2020.

Categories: RML Blogs

Data Flash: Healthy Paradigm Shifts – Hacking Behavioral Health’s Future

Fri, 2019-03-15 16:06

Computer code and an open book

What is a healthcare hackathon? Generally speaking, a healthcare hackathon is a social event that focuses on building small and innovative technology projects that aim to resolve healthcare challenges. “Hackathon” is a portmanteau of the words “hack” and “marathon,” which in turn translates into some kind of race against the clock to solve challenges.

MIT Hacking Medicine founded in 2011, is made up of MIT students and community members with the goal of innovating the healthcare community and driving new medical innovations. The MIT group meet this goal by carrying out innovative events like healthcare hackathons; amazingly, they host more than 80 healthcare hackathons a year. MIT Hacking Medicine even has a free handbook that serves as a resource for anyone interested in hosting similar kinds of healthcare hackathons in their respective communities.

Here in the Pacific Northwest Region, Washington State University’s (WSU) Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine (ESFCOM) Hackathon is very much inspired by the MIT Hacking Medicine model of healthcare hackathons, with a few interesting modifications. Their first hackathon in 2018 tackled the theme of addressing rural health challenges in Washington State, with prizes awarded to the top three hackathon teams at the event. Building off that success, WSU will be hosting another healthcare hackathon from April 12th – 14th, with the overarching theme of innovating solutions that will tackle behavioral health challenges, a pressing issue in Washington State today.

WSU welcomes patients, students, faculty, developers, caregivers, and more to attend their second healthcare hackathon. What makes the WSU ESFCOM healthcare hackathon unique from other healthcare hackathons is the research and reference presence of academic librarians who provide research services to the hackathon participants throughout the event.

Applications to participate in the ESFCOM Hackathon are due by April 5th, 2019. For more information about this exciting Washington State event, please contact WSU’s College Technology Incubator Officer Andrew Richards.

Categories: RML Blogs

Consumer Health Minute: National Health Observances

Thu, 2019-03-14 09:00

One way to easily incorporate health programming and health information at your library is highlighting national health observances. A number of resources are freely available and 2 of those are highlighted here.

Recently the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) put together resources for public libraries that align with National Health Observances throughout the calendar year. Though it is mid March, libraries can still incorporate images and resources in social media and online content but can consider using next year as well. Upcoming NNLM classes and webinars are also listed that relate to the monthly observance which library staff can attend to learn more the featured health topic. Many webinars are recorded for viewing when more convenient. Stay tuned for future national health observances content. provides toolkits for National Health Observances. Tips for your patrons are provided as are ways for libraries and organizations to raise awareness regarding a particular health condition or topic.

Categories: RML Blogs

March PNR Rendezvous- Climate Change and Health

Wed, 2019-03-13 04:12

One topic of conversation that is often considered more neutral is the weather. However, that has changed over the years as the focus sometimes centers of extreme weather or talks of hotter summers, more storms, melting glaciers, etc. These conversations are now sometimes turning into heated debates and we may not always understand the science of climate change and how that affects our lives. The next PNR Rendezvous webinar session will be focusing on climate change and how it is not only affecting those in Alaska but also those in other parts of the country.

Our speaker will be Michael Brubaker, Director of Community Environment and Health, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, who has been working in the Alaska Tribal Health System for over twenty years. His areas of focus include health impact assessments, climate change, environmental health and achieving safe, healthy sustainable communities.

Below are the details of when and how to join the webinar.

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time: 1-2PM (Pacific) | 12-1PM (Alaska) | 2-3PM (Mountain) | 3-4PM (Central) | 4-5PM (Eastern) | 11AM-12PM (Hawaii)

Presentation: Climate Change and Community Health in Rural Alaska

This session provides an overview of climate change in rural Alaska, the impacts on the environment and observed health effects. The presentation includes specific community examples, and also explores some examples of adaptations that are being applied in Alaska through the tribal health system. Effects of climate change on health in general will also be addressed.

How to join the session: Registration is encouraged but not required. Complete information to log on is available on our PNR Rendezvous web page

We encourage you to join the live session but it will be recorded for viewing within a week.

Categories: RML Blogs