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Virtual Health Programming in Public Libraries Award

Description of Award

The mission of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) is to advance the progress of medicine, improve public health by providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information, and improve individuals' access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health. The NNLM is vital in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) outreach efforts to health professionals and the public to increase awareness of, facilitate access to, and provide training in the use of NLM's web-based information resources.

Awards to NNLM MAR members help us achieve two National Network Performance Measures:

  • Engage Network members in carrying out the mission of NNLM.
  • Maintain a robust outreach and education program reaching the region’s communities and responsive to their needs.

This project also helps achieve the All of Us Community Engagement goals to:

  • Engage public libraries in health literacy initiatives that raise awareness of and interest in All of Us across the United States, including hosting the All of Us Journey. Engagement can be accomplished directly (e.g., subawards to public libraries) or indirectly (e.g., hosting the Journey, funding Community Based Organizations and Area Health Education Centers to work in libraries, Wash & Learn partnerships, and working through local, state, and national library organizations, etc.).
  • Prioritize those activities with public libraries and NNLM members that involve other All of Us consortium member organizations.
  • Support All of Us regional campaigns and All of Us engagement goals by providing funding, training, and connections to public libraries in those regions to support health literacy initiatives and awareness of All of Us.
  • Support engagement with underrepresented biomedical research (UBR) populations through libraries within each region.

The purpose of the Health Programming in Public Libraries Award is to fund virtual health programs for public library patrons that incorporate MedlinePlus and information about the All of Us Research Program. Projects are encouraged which include:

  • Virtual programming that can be promoted to public library patrons
  • A focus on underserved health communities and underrepresented populations

Projects must include a public library, state library, or library association as a partner or applicant.
Virtual programming is central to this award. Possible allowable related costs include: social media campaigns, digital library collections (ebooks/eaudio), speaker fees, closed captioning and digital platform subscriptions.

Efforts will be made to fund programs throughout the region and that have the potential to reach populations Underserved by Research.

NNLM MAR staff will work with funded programs to integrate relevant health information and NIH All of Us Research Program content into programs.

Up to $20,000 of funding per award is available for 8 or more projects within the region.

  • ·Network member organizations in the Middle Atlantic Region (Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) are eligible to apply. Membership is free, and open to any organization that provides or promotes health information. If your institution is not a NNLM Member, submit an application for Membership at least 2 weeks prior to the funding deadline. Membership is not automatic. A Member record is required to successfully submit an application.
  • Awards are cost-reimbursable and are issued to the institution and not an individual.

Potential Projects: 

Projects may include the following (other creative ideas are encouraged):

  • Adaption of one or more health “Programs in a Box” for a virtual public library audience.
  • A program series on your area of expertise
  • Host a virtual citizen science program
  • Fitness or movement
  • Nutrition and healthy eating
  • Author talk (health or wellness title)
  • Mental wellness including mindfulness, meditation, or stress relief
  • Virtual health fair

Resources to assist applicants in writing proposals:


Examples of previously funded projects

Program Ideas and Guides

4 Steps to an Evaluation Plan

Community Tool Box

MAR staff are available for consultation and training on applicable National Library of Medicine resources and potential projects. Complete the NNLM MAR Award Interest Form, and someone will respond within three business days.


Funding Period: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 to Friday, April 30, 2021
Up to $20,000
Number of Awards Available: 
Minimum of 8


Application Deadline: 
Monday, November 16, 2020 - 12:00pm
Continuous while funds are available.
Application Instructions: 

Applications will only be accepted via the NNLM Online Applications System. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the Outreach application template before entering information into the online system.

When the RML is accepting applications, you can scroll to the bottom of the browser window to access the online application. You must be logged in with your NNLM account to begin the submission process.

Required Attachments:

  • Budget spreadsheet
  • Curriculum vitae/resumes of key personnel
  • Letter of commitment from institutional leadership that includes acknowledgement of award requirements. This should be from someone authorized to sign a contract on behalf of the institution.
  • Letters of commitment from partnering institution(s)/organization(s). If applicant is not a public library/library association, please include a letter from at least one public library/library association.
  • If technology is being purchased, include letter of commitment from the person in charge of supporting technology for the applicant’s institution.
  • Sample materials from existing health program, if available,

Note: Additional attachments beyond the requested items will not be reviewed.

Budget Guidelines

Proposals must include the budget spreadsheet for the costs in each category. Include a narrative justification for budget items, explaining the purpose of each item in the project.

The budget estimate should be categorized by the following, as they apply:

  • Personnel
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Travel
  • Consultant Costs (hourly rate)
  • Other
  • Direct Costs
  • Indirect Costs (IDC) or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs apply at your institution’s non-research rate (or, if your institution has no negotiated rate, a 10% Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) can be applied if you wish to claim it)
  • Total cost of project

Funding restrictions:

Food (with few exceptions), promotional items and furniture are not allowable expenses. Promotional items include, but are not limited to: clothing and commemorative items such as pens, mugs/cups, folders/folios, lanyards, and conference bags that are sometimes provided to visitors, employees, grantees, or conference attendees. Refer to the HHS Policy on the Use of Appropriated Funds for Promotional Items.

The University of Pittsburgh will provide a sub-contract agreement for all approved projects. All subcontracts are cost reimbursement. Line item invoices must be submitted for reimbursement of expenditures. Institutions submit invoices monthly, based on satisfactory progress.

Note: prior to hiring consultants, submit the following information to MAR:

  • Name of Consultant
  • Description of Work
  • Hourly Rate
  • Total Amount/Not to Exceed Amount
  • Period of Performance

Evaluation of Proposal

Review and Selection of Proposals:

Reviewers made up of NNLM MAR staff and potentially Network members will review and score applications based on the scoring criteria and criteria line items here:

NIH-designated U.S. health disparity populations: Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities (see https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/about/overview/).

Note: at the discretion of the MAR Executive Director, previous awardees that did not comply with award requirements may not be funded regardless of score.

Additional Information

508 Compliance: 

Web-based resources developed for the project should strive to ensure accessibility to the greatest possible number of people by adhering to standards described in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Reporting Requirements: 
  • Subaward applicants should consult the NNLM MAR office for guidance in developing their evaluation plans.
  • NNLM Baseline Survey and NNLM Follow-up Survey for awards that include a library staff capacity building component.
  • Use the NNLM All of Us Event Participant Survey at each event offered as part of the project whenever it is feasible.
  • Activity Report: Basic information on activities will be entered into the reporting spreadsheet as soon as scheduled. Complete with event information like number of attendees and highlights no later than the 5th day of the following month. Final Report: Complete a final report in the NNLM Data Reporting System. A final report of project activities, outcomes, and evaluation findings must be submitted within 30 calendar days upon completion of the award.
  • Technology Survey: To be completed if technology purchase was included in any award.
  • The project leader shall provide copies of all materials produced, press releases, advertisements, photographs and articles for newsletters related to the project. In accepting the award, the project leader gives permission for use of such materials by the NLM and NNLM.
  • Applications should acknowledge agreement to comply with these requirements if funded.

For projects needing different or additional evaluation methods, the NNLM Evaluation Office provides templates and evaluation planning worksheets on the 4 Steps to an Evaluation Plan web page to help develop evaluation plans for your project.

NIH Public Access Policy: 

Recipients of NNLM funding are required to deposit any peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance for publication in PubMed Central in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Data Sharing and Development of Training Materials: 

In order to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and information associated with the MAR Cooperative Agreement Award, all awardees are required to share any data or training material resulting from funding. This information must be submitted to the following collection sites as applicable:

In addition, recipients of funding are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Consult with NNLM MAR prior to developing materials.

Publication and Copyrighting: 

Per Section 8.2.1. - Right in Data (Publication and Copyrighting) of the NIH Grants Policy Statement, the NIH must be given a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license for the Federal government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use any materials developed as a result of funding and to authorize others to do so for Federal purposes, i.e. the ongoing development of the Network of the National Library of Medicine. Data developed by a subawardees/consortium participants and consultants are also subject to this policy.

NIH Acknowledgement: 

Any resources developed with project funds must include an acknowledgment of NIH grant support and a disclaimer stating the following:
Developed resources reported in this [publication, press release, internet site] are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012342 with the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Need Assistance: 

To request assistance with the online application form, contact us at nnlmmar@pitt.edu.

MAR staff are available for consultation and training on applicable National Library of Medicine resources and potential projects. Complete the NNLM MAR Award Interest Form, and someone will respond within three business days.