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Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship Program- webinar

Wed, 2018-10-10 04:13

The next PNR Rendezvous session will feature a current National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow, Shannon Sheridan. Shannon is currently in the optional second year of the program and is working at the Hahnemann Library at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Shannon will be giving an overview of the NLM Associate Fellowship Program as well as telling us about her own experience.

The NLM Associate Fellowship Program originally began as the NLM Internship Program in 1957 and have a brief hiatus, it was renamed the NLM Associate Fellowship Program in 1966. Fellows work at the National Library of Medicine which is located on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The first year program includes 2 phases, one with a curriculum focus through experts at NLM and then an opportunity to work on projects focused study, research, and evaluation of NLM resources and services. Many National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) staff have been fellows including Lisa Boyd, Jessi Van Der Volgen, and Kate Flewelling along with many of our colleagues across the country.

We encourage attendees to come with questions whether for their own knowledge or to pass on to future health science librarians. This is a fantastic experience and the application process is now open until January 25, 2019 for the 2019 – 2020 program year.

PNR Rendezvous webinar session: In the Shoes of a Fellow: The National Library of Medicine’s Associate Fellowship Program

Session summary: The National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship Program is a one-year postgraduate training fellowship at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Bethesda, Maryland, with an optional second year component. The program is designed to provide a broad foundation in health sciences information services, and to prepare librarians for future leadership roles in health sciences libraries and in health services research. In this PNR Rendezvous webinar, a current Associate Fellow will discuss the organization of the program, her experiences as an Associate Fellow, and some of the projects she and other fellows worked on.

When: Wednesday, October 17 starting at 1:00 PM Pacific Time, Noon Alaska Time, 2:00 PM MT

How to join: Registration is encouraged though not required. More information is available on our webpage

The session will be recorded.

Categories: RML Blogs

Announcing NNLM PNR funding support to attend ALA Midwinter preconference on Health Equity and Health Literacy

Thu, 2018-10-04 16:43

The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, the Public Library Association, and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region are pleased to host the preconference Implicit Bias, Health Disparities and Health Literacy: Intersections in Health Equity at ALA Midwinter in Seattle, WA on January 25, 2019 from 9am to noon at the Washington State Convention Center. 

This highly informative and interactive preconference will explore interventions and practices that contribute to reducing health disparities and promote health equity. Through insightful presentations, self-reflection and group discussions, participants will learn how libraries can deepen their work in health literacy to ensure a lasting impact for improving the health of their community. 

Thanks to support from the All of Us Research Program, librarians from NNLM PNR member organizations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington are eligible for a Professional Development Award to attend the preconference. If your organization is not currently a member, it’s easy to join!

Eligible costs for a Professional Development Award up to $2,000 include the preconference ticketed event for Implicit Bias, Health Disparities and Health Literacy: Intersections in Health Equity, plus registration for the ALA Midwinter meeting, plus transportation, meals and lodging costs. 

Awards will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis until Friday, January 4, 2019.  Submit your Professional Development Award application today!

Categories: RML Blogs

October is Health Literacy Month!

Tue, 2018-10-02 21:00

It’s October – Health Literacy month. We’ve still much work ahead to improve how we deliver actionable health information for the nine out of ten U.S. adults who struggle to understand it. We know health literacy is complex and multi-faceted. It involves demands by the healthcare system which often surpass people’s ability to comprehend and appropriately respond to those demands in order to support personal well-being. This month is a good reminder that low health literacy has real-world consequences, since it’s well documented that individuals with low health literacy suffer poorer health outcomes. And it is precisely this aspect – that low health literacy worsens health disparities among the most vulnerable populations – which makes addressing this persistent challenge so compelling.

Health Literacy Month highlights the importance of doing our part to make health information understandable and actionable. We can do much to promote health literacy within our communities, from offering choices of health information resources that are easy-to-read, available in other languages, or are offered in an audio or visual format, to hosting health programming that responds to community health needs. Such programs create a non-threatening way to learn about a health concern or perhaps learn new skills to help improve personal health and well-being. Inserting a health module into adult basic education or ESOL classes is another viable approach that is typically well-received by participants. NNLM’s current funding opportunities which are open through October 24, 2018, offer public libraries, or those health libraries or organizations with a public library partnership, the support needed to test a health literacy approach within the community.

To show your support for health literacy, NNLM and ALA continue to partner through the Libraries Transform Health Literacy public awareness campaign by offering a free Health Literacy Toolkit. The Toolkit, which requires signing up for a free account, features a selection of health literacy posters, bookmarks and program ideas. To help amplify this message, NNLM PNR is now making the Libraries Transform Health Literacy posters available free to its members. The posters offer thought-provoking “Because” statements; for example, “Because Libraries are Partners in a Healthy Community.” And indeed, we are.  Order your poster(s) today!

Categories: RML Blogs

Data Flash: Who doesn’t love going to the fair?

Fri, 2018-09-28 05:45

In this case, a free, online DATA FAIR!  Next week, October 1 through 5, ICPSR (the international data consortium/data archive/data education and research organization) will be holding the 2018 ICPSR Data Fair .  The number of offerings is impressive, and there’s enough variety that there’s something for everyone—diversity and inclusion, training, sharing, tools, and more.  You register for each session individually (but don’t forget the Tweetchats!).   Best of all, no costs for registration or travel!

And, if online learning and participation is appealing, you might also consider involving your library or organization in International Open Access Week, October 22-28.  You can share a blog post about your open access “successes, challenges and ideas”, and see what others are doing around the world.

Last but not least, let us know if you come across other opportunities like this that our Pacific Northwest colleagues might be interested in–we’re always happy to spread the word!

Categories: RML Blogs

“Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles” Guest Essay

Tue, 2018-09-25 21:01

One of the more popular courses we at the NNLM offer is called “Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles“.  This nation-wide course “explains the role big data plays in clinical patient outcomes, explains current/potential roles in which librarians are supporting big data initiatives, and illustrates the fundamentals of big data from a systems perspective”.  The assignments in the course build over the nine weeks until the participants can use them as the basis for a final essay.  The essays are really wonderful thought-pieces both about how librarians can enter the big data world, and about how the participants themselves see that world differently after having taken the course.

And then we in the NNLM regions post the essays from those in our regions who wrote them!  In our most recent offering there were no participants from the Pacific Northwest Region, but Luz Crespo from the Southeastern Atlantic region has graciously allowed us to post her final essay here.   Enjoy!

“Big Data and the Role for Health Science Librarians” by Luz Crespo

As health science librarians get involved with big data, they develop the skills that can assist end-users. Librarians who learn about the processes of big data can evaluate how data originate, how the amount of data is constantly being produced for larger capacities, and generally how it works. It is interesting to learn that data can be accessed from various resources. Librarians learning about big data can comprehend how the information is accessed, obtained, accumulated and the formats that initiate this process. For example, clinicians may insert a wide variety of data that may include patient demographics, which then can be accessed in the patient’s electronic health record (the digital format versus paper documentation). Health professionals are able to access the patient information quickly and find health diagnoses and health documentation; such as the patient’s medical history, current conditions, and lab results to determine the patient’s quality of care.

Where I work, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) is the system that is used within the facility. Though I do not have access to this software, I am confident that as technology continues to improve,  medical librarians who are knowledgeable with these types of software can achieve the skills to communicate, connect and educate healthcare professionals that need assistance within the healthcare system. The EHR is used strictly for healthcare professionals.. Earlier in this course, it was interesting to learn that the Metro Health System was one of the first to utilize the EHR. I’m not sure how medical librarians would have access to the EHR since the HIPAA policy is established to protect the patient information.

Dr. Brennan’s presentation on the BD2K engages individuals to comprehend that data sciences, providing the tools and training, can allow individuals the awareness to communicate and learn the techniques that permits them to better serve others in locating information, which can make a difference, for example, for, researchers who are needing assistance in this area. I agree with Tara Douglas-Williams on the importance of nurses actively contributing in big data initiatives across various health care systems. She expressed how Dr. Brennan is an advocate in assisting librarians in building data science relationships. There is an old saying, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” (Aristotle, from The Nicomachean Ethics). This illustrates that as information professionals or librarians it is important to adapt and learn the skills that provide the tools that can assist others with their life-long learning.

In my opinion, health sciences librarians that fulfill the goal to gain knowledge and gather the information that is needed to support researchers and healthcare professionals can succeed in meeting the needs of the end-users and surrounding community. Overall, learning about big data  allowed me to see the big picture and how it can benefit me as a new librarian, and how I can share what I have learned with others.

Categories: RML Blogs

Building Trust in Biomedical Research- upcoming PNR Rendezvous

Mon, 2018-09-17 11:11

Understanding research isn’t always easy and often there is a disconnect between the research being done and how that applies to healthcare and to us as individuals. For some, trust in biomedical research can be tenuous but it is critically important that we, the public, know the science and become informed.

Join us for our next PNR Rendezvous webinar to learn what one regional organization is doing as they work towards building public trust in biomedical research.

When: Wednesday September 19, 1:00pm PT, noon Alaska, 2:00pm MT

PNR Rendezvous session title: Community Conversations that Build Trust in Biomedical Research

Session Summary: Public trust in biomedical research is critical to ensure public support and translation into medical advances. The mission of Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) is to promote the public’s trust in biomedical research and its ethical conduct. NWABR’s informal science education and professional development programs address falling public trust in biomedical research. During this webinar, you will learn about NWABR’s cornerstone public outreach program, the Community Conversation Series. Community Conversations, located in Seattle & Spokane, WA and Portland, OR, tackle issues in biomedical research and their relationship with ethics and society. They are a model for public learning and discussion that encourage directional rather than binary thinking and seek to build trust. Community Conversations can be replicated or modified to suit your organization’s programming and goals.
The presenters will also provide an overview of their student and professional programs that support the “S” and “T” in STEM.
At the conclusion of this webinar  you will have some new ideas about how you might more deeply engage your stakeholders in STEM.

How to join: Registration is encouraged though not required.  Complete information on how to join the webinar is on the session web page 

The session will be recorded and posted on the website.

Categories: RML Blogs

STDs on the Rise

Mon, 2018-09-10 15:29

Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported the dramatic increase of sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S.  In fact, for the fourth year in a row the numbers have continued to rise. Among the rise, specific sexually transmitted diseases include:

  • gonorrhea has been diagnosed in 555,608 cases in preliminary 2017 data (an increase of 67%  from 2013)
  • syphilis has been diagnosed in 30,644 cases (an increase of 76% from 2013)
  • chlamydia was reported with more than 1.7 million cases in 2017

These three diseases can be treated with antibiotics but gonorrhea has become antibiotic resistant over the years with only one antibiotic remaining effective, ceftriaxone. Many cases go undiagnosed or untreated which can lead to even more cases, infertility, stillbirths, and an increase in HIV.

Though a number of factors contribute to this increase of STDs , stigma can be a big factor. Sexual issues, especially sexual diseases, often carry the added issues of embarrassment, stigma, and privacy concerns. This is especially true in smaller towns and rural areas where social networks and fewer healthcare options can make confidentiality difficult. An NPR story highlights the difficulty public health officials face in Clackamas County Oregon.

Libraries, especially public libraries, can start the conversation by providing information on social media, brochures, and web links. If available, collaborating with local health professionals and public health, and community agencies can provide additional support.

Here are some freely available and authoritative resources you or your patrons may find helpful as they seek treatment and additional information regarding STDs.

Categories: RML Blogs

September is National Preparedness Month

Tue, 2018-08-28 03:00

September is National Preparedness Month and provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. This NPM will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.

National Preparedness Month logo

Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornadeos. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas. has provided weekly themes throughout the month of September including the National Day of Action on September 15. Videos, social media, graphics are all provided to help you and your communities to be better prepared in advance.

Here are this year’s weekly themes:

  • Week 1: Sept 1-8           Make and Practice Your Plan
  • Week 2: Sept 9-15         Learn Life Saving Skills
  • Week 3: Sept 16-22       Check Your Insurance Coverage
  • Week 4: Sept 23-29       Save For an Emergency

In addition, provides information for youth to know that they too can play an important role before and during a disaster and MedlinePlus has you covered for both preparation and recovery.

Categories: RML Blogs

Data Flash: Hospital or academic or data-interested librarian? 2 opportunities for data-related training, free!

Mon, 2018-08-27 08:30

Whether you’re in a hospital or academic or research center or other data-related setting, take a look at these two amazing training opportunities—there’s something for everyone!  And they’re free!

1) “Clinical Information, Librarians and the NLM: From Health Data Standards to Better Health

When we did our regional data needs assessment last year, many of you who are hospital librarians said that you wanted to be able to “speak IT”; in other words, to know more about data standards such as UMLS, SNOMED CT, and more.

Well, here’s your chance!  This interactive webinar series consists of five 30-minute Thursday sessions (each at 9 AM Pacific Time).   It “focuses on the roles and products of the National Library of Medicine related to applied medical informatics, particularly as applied to electronic health records systems and clinical research. The series is specially designed for health sciences librarians and other health information specialists seeking to serve more active roles in their health IT team and better support researchers”.  You’ll learn about not only UMLS and SNOMED CT, but also RxNorm, LOINC, Common Data Elements and the Value Set Authority Center.

Want to dazzle your IT team?  Take this class!

2) Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians

If research data management is more your focus, perhaps for those of you in academic or research center settings, this training could be for you.   It can be tough to “pick up” the skills needed to be a support for researchers, and so an intensive guided course with amazing teachers and assigned mentors is a wonderful chance to immerse yourself and kick start your involvement.

“Health sciences librarians are invited to apply for the online course, “Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians”, offered by the NNLM Training Office (NTO). The course is a free, 7-week online class with engaging lessons,  practical activities and a final project. The course runs October 15 – December 14, 2018.  The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to data issues and policies in support of developing and implementing or enhancing research data management training and services at your institution. This material is essential for decision-making and implementation of these programs, particularly instructional and reference services. Course topics include an overview of data management, choosing appropriate metadata descriptors or taxonomies for a dataset, addressing privacy and security issues with data, and creating data management plans.”

Applications are due September 20, 2018.  Note that a letter of commitment from your library is part of the application!

Additional details and the online application are available here, and for questions, please contact the NNLM’s National Teaching Office at .

Of course, we here in the Regional Medical Library are also standing by and always happy to help!

Categories: RML Blogs

Happy Birthday National Park Service!

Fri, 2018-08-24 05:00

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Act and thus created the National Park Service. The parks system includes over 400 areas which includes national parks, monuments, military parks, battlefields, historical parks, historical sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and even the White House. Every year, millions of people visit the these areas and last year’s top 10 most visited national parks included 2 in the PNR region: Olympic National Park and Glacier National Park. 

Both these and other designated areas that are part of the National Park Service, which strives to preserve the beauty and wonder of our beautiful country so we and others may continue to experience the wonder of nature whether the landscapes or the wildlife. Many who visit come away with a greater appreciation of the need to protect the environment and awed by the breathtaking views.

Taking a hike through the natural areas is both healthy physically and mentally. But visiting these park systems can also include history lessons such as the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park which has a unit in both Skagway, AK and Seattle, WA.

Every year the librarians in Kalispel, MT area take a hike through Glacier National Park. This year, they offered an invitation to attendees of the Pacific Northwest Library Association conference. They graciously offered to plan a gentler hike to allow those less experienced hikers to tag along. The Avalanche Lake Trail provided amazing views along the way and at the trail’s end, sparkling Avalanche Lake. It was a great opportunity to become better acquainted with colleagues scattered in the region while getting outdoors. For many, it was a first time visit to Glacier.

Happy Birthday NPS! We hope you can continue to do what you were initially established to do…

“The service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments, and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Categories: RML Blogs

Back to School Readiness- College Health

Mon, 2018-08-20 05:00

Many young adults are preparing to enter college. It is an exciting time where they can meet new friends and gain new experiences. For many, it is a step towards becoming independent and learning life skills. However, most are probably not thinking about their health. Providing some information resources with tips is one way to prepare students.

Both the CDC and MedlinePlus offer information and links to topics such as:

  • Eating health in the dining hall
  • Preventing sexual assault
  • Depression
  • Managing stress
  • Sexual health
  • College health services

Alcohol and other substances are sometimes a first experience in college. Many students are ill equipped to handle the peer pressure or just may not realize the risks involved. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have information especially for parents and students to review. The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides Easy-to-Read Drug Facts covering some of the more common drugs used, information about the effects of drugs and more. Parents and students should take the time to talk about these issues. Talking may not prevent all poor choices but it is a step towards a healthier and safer college experience.

Categories: RML Blogs

Upcoming Webinar on Clinical and Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing

Thu, 2018-08-09 11:48

DNA helix

Many of your patrons may have an interest or even have had a clinical genetic test or done a direct to consumer genetic test. The next PNR Rendezvous session is an opportunity to learn more about both clinical and consumer genetic tests regarding health.

When: Wednesday, August 15 starting at Noon, Alaska Time, 1:00pm PT, 2:00pm MT

Session title: Genetic Testing in the Era of Genomic Sequencing

Summary: This presentation will include information on current genetic testing and genetic counseling practices, with a focus on the implementation of new sequencing technologies into clinical medicine. Implications and ethical considerations for both clinical and direct to consumer genetic tests will be discussed. 

Presenter: Laura Amendola, MS CGC, Licensed Genetic Counselor, Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Medical Genetics at the University of Washington

How to join: Registration is encouraged but not required

The session is worth 1 Medical Library Association CE for attending live or the watching the recording (up to 6 months from the live session).

We hope you can attend!

Categories: RML Blogs

Data Flash: “Storage Wars”

Wed, 2018-07-11 05:00

You may have seen the feature on the front page of our website, “Where in the World are the PNR Coordinators?” But, we don’t always report back on our travels!  So, here is a quick view of a conference I attended on behalf of the NNLM-PNR, that took place in Bozeman, MT last month, called “Open Repositories 2018”.  What is an open repository?  I like this definition from the “Repositories Support Project”:

“A digital repository is a mechanism for managing and storing digital content. Repositories can be subject or institutional in their focus. Putting content into an institutional repository enables staff and institutions to manage and preserve it, and therefore derive maximum value from it… Repositories use open standards to ensure that the content they contain is accessible in that it can be searched and retrieved for later use.”

I don’t work with repositories directly, so this conference was basically like drinking water from a fire hose.  The attendees were a mix of librarians/library staff and people from the IT side of running repositories, meaning that my comprehension of a given session could range from about 5% (for the very techie ones) to 100%.  And that was fine—I got a great introduction to the issues involved in starting and running repositories, and learned about some new trends, some areas of conflict and some growing pains (hence the title of this post).  For example, take a look at this presentation by Peter Sefton.  I pretty much understand the whole section above the picture of the boat, and then an average of about 65% of what’s below it; that feels worth it to me!   It was an international conference, so the perspective on how repositories are handled was global.   I would never otherwise have heard of Australian Sefton’s work, or been able to attend a session on the Digital Repository of Ireland.   I even got to spend a full day attending two workshops on Wikidata and Wikipedia editing (did I mention that the NNLM’s next Online Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon is November 7 this year?).

And, one great thing about open conferences and all things open is that you can often gather the content for yourself after the conference even if you didn’t attend it.  Here are some options if you want more information about what happened at this conference:

YouTube stream of everything held in the main session space (including the Digital Repository of Ireland presentation)

Notes from sessions

The program

— Social media: Twitter= @OR2018MT, Instagram= @openrepositories18

I leave you with three photos from the experience.  One is of me with my poster highlighting three of the National Library of Medicine’s eight data sharing repositories:, PubChem and GenBank.  And the other two are from my visit to the Museum of the Rockies, which features the most amazing dinosaur exhibit I’ve ever seen, and a thing I love—a historic house which was moved to the museum site, furnished appropriately to the period in which it was built, and staffed by costumed and knowledgeable living history interpreters.

Categories: RML Blogs

Multnomah County Library Community Health Outreach Award

Mon, 2018-07-09 17:42

The Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon received a Community Health Outreach Award from the NNLM PNR to pilot the use of health information kiosks, aimed at people who are experiencing houselessness in Multnomah County. Here is a report of their project from Steph Miller, Programming Librarian — Technology and Workforce Development.

Increasing Access to Credible Health Information for Public Library Patrons Experiencing Houselessness

People who are experiencing houselessness come to public libraries to find information and to use the internet. According to local studies in Multnomah County, Oregon, 57 percent of the population experiencing houselessness also self-identify as having a “disabling condition,” defined as a mental health condition, substance abuse, developmental disability, HIV/AIDS, or another chronic health condition. Experiencing homelessness can make finding health information and communicating with healthcare providers difficult.

With the goal of facilitating access to authoritative health information resources and communication between patients and providers, Multnomah County Library installed health information iPad kiosks at two locations in and near downtown Portland, with the input and support of the Multnomah County Health Department. The library made these kiosks available to library patrons from September 2017 to April 2018. They highlighted a curated list of authoritative online health resources and the online health portal, MyChart, which is a tool through which patients can engage with healthcare providers, view lab results, and more. Project leads also trained key staff at each library, who then supported their colleagues as they helped patrons. Soon after the iPad kiosk was installed in Central Library’s Community Room, where many patrons frequently stay for long periods of time, a colleague shared this feedback and experience:

“This is a great idea! It was totally easy to help a patron today because of the iPad. He just wanted info on a certain medication but he said that he wasn’t very computer literate. I just set him up on the iPad, found the medication on MedlinePlus, and he sat down and read all of the info.”

The measurable result of these efforts during these seven months was that the webpage portal had 840 pageviews. One of the original objectives of the project was to engage influencers amongst people experiencing houselessness, however, this proved difficult, as people without homes need to prioritize finding a home, food and paying jobs and may not have time or access to support this project over a period of time.

This project helped underscore the difficulty of a dynamic public library system committing time and attention (and physical space!) to specific projects with a specific focus like this one, over an extended period of time, in the midst of the many other initiatives, priorities and changes.

Categories: RML Blogs

NIH News in Health

Mon, 2018-07-02 17:08

The July 2018 issue of NIH News in Health is now available. In this issue, information about preparing for menopause and acne are highlighted.

In addition, readers will learn about:

  • the new National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health app, HerbList
  • diet and hearing loss
  • a program for those 60 and older to quit smoking

Anyone can subscribe and access NIH News in Health. The information contained in this monthly publication is for anyone but especially the public with practical news and tips that are based on NIH (National Institutes of Health) research. Individuals can subscribe to receive this monthly newsletter in email and offices, clinics, community centers and libraries in the U.S. may receive print copies for their patients, clients, and patrons for free.

It’s a great way to provide health information for your community from an authoritative source.

Categories: RML Blogs