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Archive for the ‘Outreach’ Category

Happy Healthy Aging Month! Have some bookmarks!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Discover Wisdom for the Ages at might look like a simple website to the more internet-savvy of us, but it’s the simplicity of this resource that helps older individuals navigate the site to find the quality health information in the unfamiliar digital age.

The homepage features categories frequently accessed by seniors, including bones and joints, memory and mental health, and vision and hearing. Videos are prominently featured on topics ranging from knee replacements to COPD. The highly customizable website – you can change text size and contrast – makes information not only easy to find, but easy to see with aging sight.

NIH Senior Health even offers training toolkits to help librarians and caretakers teach older adults learn to use the Internet and search for answers online.

The GMR has an abundance of brochures squirreled away in our storage room, and since it’s National Healthy Aging Month, we thought we’d encourage our members to think about promoting this great resource to the elderly in your community. Please let us know if you’d like some “Wisdom for the Ages” brochures and we’ll be sure to send some along. You can email us at

All Awards Are Live!

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Hello, members! The GMR is currently offering eight different funding opportunities and are accepting applications for all awards.

Advisory groups have started reviewing the first group of applications that were submitted by the initial September 12th deadline (Emergency Preparedness Award, Express Outreach Award, Technology Improvement Award and Professional Development Award), but the GMR will continue to review subsequent submissions until all funding has been exhausted, so it’s not too late to apply! We have been receiving applications and still have funding left to distribute.


Advisory groups will begin reviewing initial applications for the Outreach Library Award on October 7th and the Native and Tribal Health Award, Community Outreach Award, and Digital Divide Award on October 14th. If you would like to have your application to receive first consideration, please complete and submit them by these deadlines.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about these awards or the application process. You can reach us via email at or give us a call at (319) 353-4479.

Thank you!

— Molly Olmstead


MLA Webinar Site Sponsorship

Monday, September 12th, 2016

The GMR is now accepting applications for site sponsorship for the MLA Webinar “Demystifying R” on October 5th.

To apply to serve as a registered site for this webinar, please fill out the application available on our website – we’ll be able to confirm your registration very soon after receiving this application. Please return your application via email ( by September 21st.


Demystifying R: An Introduction for Librarians
Date: Wednesday, October 5th, 1-2:30pm CST

Attendees will learn:

  • what the R programming language is and some of its key features
  • some key terminology and a basic understanding of how R works
  • some uses for that R may be a good solution for your data needs, including data processing and management, visualization, and statistical analysis
  • how R can be useful for working with research data, as well as with library data, including bibliometric data, library statistics, or budget data
  • where to find free resources for learning R

More information about the webinar and presenter is available here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the GMR Office (, (319) 353 – 4479) if you have any questions about the application or site sponsorship.

Nature Calls

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Today the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary, and as so many people have done over the past century, including the fictional Griswolds, my family of four took to the open road on a hot summer day traveling 2,000 miles from the Heartland of America to visit celestial mountains and lakes and forests out West. What did we find? Exactly that – mountains and lakes and forests. We also found so much more. As we paddled a kayak in the crystal clear Lake Crescent; hiked a 600-foot incline to view Glacier waterfalls; and strolled a misty beach hearing thunderous waves smack the Pacific coast, we discovered health – mental and physical.

However, I am reminded not to wait for a vacation to create peace of mind and strong bones and muscles. Physical activity should be incorporated into my daily life. When the Obama administration came into office, the First Lady made it her mission to fight childhood obesity. Let’s Move was Michelle Obama’s initiative to motivate children to eat well and exercise. The Get Active page has useful recommendations for the amount of beneficial activity and food intake for staying fit. The President, too, supported his wife’s program with his challenge to modify lifestyle behavior. View a list of suggested activities or take a fitness test at the President’s Challenge website.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine, too, has several resources to guide you to a healthier you. MedlinePlus – Exercise and Physical Fitness compiles facts, information and links to many useful sites such as Exercise Tips for Travelers at Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging and consumer health information for Joining a Gym from the Federal Trade Commission.

For more science-based information, look at HHS developed this website as part of the Healthy People 2020 [PDF] initiative. It provides resources for the purpose of helping users implement programs and applications to improve the Nation’s Health by 2020. Now I will stop writing so you will stop reading and we all can go for a walk.

kayakingSecond BeachCrossing a wood bridge






Darlene Kaskie is the Technology and Communications Librarian at the Greater Midwest Region for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.


Four Awards Currently Open & Application Training

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

The Professional Development Award and the Emergency Preparedness Award are now available. The application deadline for all four of our current awards is September 12th, 2016. The GMR is currently accepting applications for four awards and training is available to help you apply. Bobbi Newman will lead two training sessions that are specifically tailored to our current awards.


Please Register for this class by filling out this form.

Writing Successful Award Applications
Friday, August 26, 11am CT
Thursday, September 1, 1pm CT

Connection Information
     1. Go to:
     2. At the login screen, choose “Enter as a Guest” and type in your name

     3. Call-in information will be available in the room.

Even iPhone gamers can learn from NLM Resources

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

I spent far too many hours in my high school Chemistry class playing Bejeweled on my laptop (sorry Ms. Schultz!), so when I started reading up on NLM’s resources for K-12 students, I was immediately interested when I saw that iPhone and online games are included on this list.

Up until now, the closest thing I’ve played to a health sciences iPhone game is Amateur Surgeon 3, which lets you make surgical incisions with a pizza cutter, so I think it’s safe to say it has absolutely zero educational value. Thankfully, the NLM’s selection of iOS games covers a lot more bases when it comes to educational content.

There’s Bohr Thru, which is a Bejeweled-style matching game for junior and high school students with objectives to collect the correct subatomic particles to create the first 18 elements on the periodic table. Players are even challenged to build Bohr models during bonus rounds – something that was extremely challenging for me due to my previous life as a Chemistry class slacker. After completing a level, the loading page includes more information about the atoms and elements to read while you wait.


Now that’s more like it. This game successfully reminded me what subatomic particles are. (from

For younger kids, there’s an online game called ToxMystery, where you accompany a cute cat named Toxie around a house to look for dangerous and hazardous chemicals. You’re even expected to identify the chemicals that can be found around the house – for instance, that Mercury can leak from a broken thermostat. The game teaches the students how to identify household toxins and gives them easy-to-understand information about why exactly they’re dangerous. It’s definitely an effective game for curious kiddos and cat lovers alike.


As a child I would have been super invested in the game just based on Toxie alone. (from

To learn more about what NLM can offer for K-12 students – from a much more reliable source than someone who just spent a good chunk of work time playing mobile games – plan to tune in to the joint GMR and SCR webinar about NLM K-12 resources.

Connection Information
Webinar Title: Education Connection: Connecting Health and Science in the Classroom
Date: Thursday, August 25, 2:00pm CST
To Join the Meeting:

  1. Go to:
  2. At the login screen, choose “Enter as a Guest” and type in your name
  3. Call-in information will be available in the room.
  4. Please use *6 to mute or un-mute your phone.

For a complete topic summary, presenter bio, and information about CE credit, check out this blog post from last week.

Molly Olmstead ( promises she won’t play so many iPhone games tomorrow.

More Outreach Awards (!) and Application Training

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Alright folks, the GMR Outreach Awards are rolling in – we’ll continue to post them on our website as they approved by the NNCO. The Express Outreach Award and Technology Improvement Award are both live and we’re accepting applications until September 12th. The Professional Development Award is next on our radar and will be posted soon.

If you’re looking for some guidance for how to fill out these applications, look no further. Our Community Outreach Librarian, Bobbi Newman, will lead a training session tailored specifically for our current awards.

Writing Successful Award Applications
Friday, August 26, 11:00 AM CT
Thursday, September 1, 1:00 PM CT

Each course will last about 90 minutes, but that’s including plenty of time at the end for questions. Bobbi will explain what we’re looking for in outreach applications and give some tips to help you apply for these awards.

Please click here to register for the course and give Bobbi an idea of what you’d like to learn.

Connection Information
        1. Go to:
       2. At the login screen, choose “Enter as a Guest” and type in your name
       3. Call-in information will be available in the room.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the current outreach awards, about Bobbi’s course, or just about live in general. Shoot us an email at or ring us at (319) 353 – 4479.

Upcoming Webinar: NLM Resources for K-12 Students

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Please join the NN/LM Greater Midwest Region and South Central Region for a collaborative webinar on Thursday, August 25th at 2:00pm CST. The webinar will cover NLM Resources for K-12 students.
Webinar Title: Education Connection: Connecting Health and Science in the Classroom
When?: Thursday, August 25, 2:00pm CST

To Join the Meeting:

  1. Go to:
  2. At the login screen, choose “Enter as a Guest” and type in your name
  3. Call-in information will be available in the room.
  4. Please use *6 to mute or un-mute your phone.

Topic Summary
This one-hour webinar will provide participates with an overview of our most popular NLM K-12 resources. We offer many different platforms to engage students on topics such as genetics, environmental health, and chemistry. Most of our resources cater to middle and high school students, and consist of iOS games, animations, lesson plans, and websites.   We will provide you with a “behind the scenes” look at our processes for the development of these resources, including our partnerships with teachers, students, and subject matter experts to assure we develop meaningful products.

About the Presenter
Karen Matzkin, a contractor with ICF International, is a K-12 Outreach Specialist in the Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS), National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Ms. Matzkin is responsible for the product development and outreach efforts of the K-12 team, which involves development of science education materials, websites and outreach. She holds a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland.

Continuing Education (CE) Credit
One hour of MLA CE credit is available for attendees, but no advance registration is required. Further information will be provided during the webinar.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the GMR Office with questions or concerns regarding this webinar. You can email us at or call us at (319) 535-4479. We hope to see you on the 25th!

— Molly Olmstead

NN/LM and Health Professional Shortage Areas

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

I’d guess that many of our members are familiar with the term “underserved areas” in relation to a health professional shortage area (HPSA, the federal government loves acronyms). This term is used to describe a geographic area or population group that meets the criteria for having a shortage of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers.

But, it’s not just for communities out in the middle of nowhere! You may be surprised by how many HPSAs are in urban areas.

Why do these areas matter to the GMR office? I’m sure most of you have the mission of the NN/LM memorized – but for those who don’t, remember that the mission of the program is to provide all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improve the public’s access to information. Like many federal programs, there is an emphasis on services to underserved and underrepresented populations.

Also, a particular aim (Aim 7, for those of you who are counting) of our office is to:

“…implement outreach and education programs that reach health professionals in the Region with a focus on underserved health communities and health professionals that work in these medically challenging communities so that easy access to NLM resources can be obtained.”

We’ll be counting on creating partnerships with your communities to make this happen! The Health Resources and Services Administration (another acronym, HRSA) provides a great tool for identifying HPSAs in your local area. Give it a try and use this as a tool for generating some ideas for outreach in your communities:

-Liz Kiscaden
Associate Director, NN/LM Greater Midwest Region



Getting a Head Start on Emergency Preparedness

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

DIMRCHappy New Year! Well, not exactly, but just like New Year’s, we have the opportunity to make resolutions. This one is easy to keep! Here’s an opportunity to get a head start on emergency preparedness for you library and your community. Next month is National Preparedness Month, and we have a full 31 days to plan and prepare for  sharing emergency preparedness and response resources with our patrons. Thanks to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), this is an easy resolution to keep. The NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) is a great resource for disaster health information.

Have you thought of extending your information reach into your community? On Thursday, August 11, 2016, at 1:30 ET, DIMRC will present a Disaster Information Specialist Webinar, Collaborations between Libraries and Disaster Organizations. To tune in to this webinar, see the instructions on how to login: This is one of the monthly webinars, held generally on the second Thursday of the month, and hosted by DIMRC. The Medical Library Association (MLA) offers one hour continuing education credit for attending/viewing these webinars. See the DIMRC page for instructions on how to obtain CE.

Perhaps you need to take a closer look the characteristics of your community before coming up with a collaborative disaster plan. On Wednesday, August 17, 2016, NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) will be presenting: Mapping Your Community’s Health, an online session hosted by our sister region, PSR. “Speakers will talk about the Community Health Maps blog for Information on low cost mapping tools for community-based organizations. Also covered will be a case study on mapping curb ramp accessibility for an assisted living facility as an example of community maps.” This webinar will he held 2-3 PM CT. To register:

Where’s the best place to find FREE quality disaster information resources? In addition to PubMed® and MedlinePlus® (see:, NLM supplements these two great databases with Disaster Lit® the Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health. “Documents include expert guidelines, research reports, conference proceedings, training classes, fact sheets, websites, databases, and similar materials selected from over 700 organizations for a professional audience.”

The GMR provides emergency preparedness resources on our website at the following URL: If you are interested in the MLA Disaster Information Specialization, visit For more NN/LM training opportunities, see:

Jacqueline Leskovec

Jacqueline Leskovec, MLIS, MA, RN
Network Librarian
National Network of Libraries of Medicine
Greater Midwest Region
Hardin Library for the Health Sciences
University of Iowa
Skype: jacqueline.leskovec