Skip all navigation and go to page content

In This Issue:



One Evaluation Plan for the Whole NNLM Program?

Yes! The Regional Medical Libraries have a history of collaborating on sponsoring events, on developing and teaching classes, and on improving staff technology skills. We’ve now taken this collaboration from the activity level to the organizational level. In December after months of discussion the National Network Steering Committee (NNSC), the strategic direction and priority setting body of the NNLM, agreed on three national goals. It also agreed on the data that should be collected to evaluate and describe the success of the program. Traditionally each region has developed its own evaluation plan. This is the first time that NNLM has developed one evaluation plan for the whole program.

NNLM Goals:

Goal 1: Connect NLM and NNLM resources to local and regional communities to increase awareness of, access to, and use of biomedical and health information

Goal 2: Build capacity in emerging trends, such as data management practices, services and tools, to support FAIR data guiding principles

Goal 3: Enhance health information access by further developing health sciences librarians’ professional skills and knowledge.

Read more »

MCR Voices Launched!

We at the NNLM MCR have been busy thinking of new ways to share the knowledge and expertise of our profession within the Region. Our latest venture is “MCR Voices,” a podcast series that will focus on individuals and issues within our geographic area. Our goal is to provide you with interesting information and opinions that will give you insight into the thoughts and programs of other librarians and their libraries.

Our first offering is a set of interviews with the six Partner Library Directors in our Region. You may recognize Claire Hamasu as the interviewer in these productions. So far, five of the interviews have been posted on the NNLM YouTube channel. The links for each interview follow. You can also refer them to the podcast page for more info:

Jim Bothmer:
Melissa DeSantis:
Emily McElroy:
Deborah Ward:
Jameson Watkins:

The final interviews with Lori Phillips and Jean Shipman will be posted by the end of April 2017.

We are very interested in your reaction to this series. If you learn something new, or hear something that gives you additional insight, please give us a “Thumbs Up” on the YouTube page. If you have questions or comments about the series, please contact Barb Jones at

New NNLM Members Directory

NNLM User Accounts

Go to or click on “Create new account” in the NNLM Login section at the bottom of every NNLM web page. To learn more about creating an account please click here.

Why create an NNLM User Account?

  1. You’ll need one to register for NNLM Classes and webinars.
  2. To edit your organization record.

If you have an NNLM Moodle account, you do not have to create a new account. Click on “Request new password” to update your account.

As part of the redesign of the NNLM web site, a new NNLM Members Directory has been implemented. The Members Directory provides basic information about each member institution. The directory can be searched using the “Filter Directory” box in the side-bar. Search options include: organization name, organization type, state, city, county. You can also filter by region. A regional subset of the Members Directory is also available: MidContinental Members Directory  The search options are the same for the National and regional directories, however the regional directory only includes members from the six states in the MCR.

One of the features of the new Members Directory is that each member organization can edit and update their organization information. To have access to edit the organization record, designated individuals need to create an NNLM User Account (See Box). Many members updated their organization records during the MCR member renewal drive in March. If your organization hasn’t updated your records yet, we encourage you do so. If you have questions or need assistance with the Members Directory or User Accounts, please contact Jim Honour or your state coordinator.

Look for monthly tips about the Members Directory and User Accounts in the RML News. We encourage you to contact use with any questions or concerns. Read more »

The Value of the Consumer Health Information Specialization

Jean Winkler
Valley View Hospital
Glenwood Springs, CO

The Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) designation from the Medical Library Association is a valuable tool. Not only is the certificate itself often examined by visitors to our hospital library, but the requirements for designation provide an avenue to further develop professional skills.

Specifically, during my recent CHIS renewal period, I participated in a Clinical Trials Moodle course. The content of this month-long class taught the nuances of clinical trials as well as how to effectively navigate the web site. This valuable resource is now regularly shared with our library customers. Additionally, the Moodle format was innovative and instructive. Read more »

Tech Tips: A Chat with an Embedded IT Specialist

As technology becomes an increasingly important part of library systems, librarians are tasked with learning new skillsets. Often working with new technology can be more than we are capable of and requires specialized assistance from IT. Unfortunately, many librarians report having some difficulties in communicating with their IT departments. In a previous article, Angela Spencer gave great tips for talking with IT from a librarian viewpoint. For a different perspective, I recently sat down with Liz McQueeny, Library Applications and Systems Specialist at the A. R. Dykes Library in The University of Kansas Medical Center. Liz has been successfully embedded in her library since 2011 and offered to give some insight on communications between librarians and IT. Read more »

Systematic Reviews – the Pittsburgh Class from two perspectives

Angela Spencer
St. Luke’s Hospital
St. Louis, MO

I work two part time jobs, one as a hospital librarian, and one as a medical librarian for a school of nursing not affiliated with the hospital. Recently I was able to take the Systematic Review class offered at the University of Pittsburgh. This is a synopsis of what I learned and how I hope to apply it to each job.

As a hospital librarian, a couple of residents approached me asking for help on systematic reviews, but I realized I didn’t have the time or resources to assist them properly. The class confirmed this but also let me know what is involved in conducting a systematic review. While I am unlikely to be asked to do a systematic review at the hospital, I can now educate residents and others about what an systematic review is and why it is important.  Learning the search process for a systematic review will help me find the best evidence for any user. The class will also allow me to differentiate between different types of reviews. My residency director is also hoping we can use systematic reviews as a starting point for quality improvement projects.

I recently started at the school of nursing and was approached to work on an integrative review. At the time, I didn’t know what an integrative review was. I did some preliminary searching, and asked a couple colleagues for their input. After taking the class, I now know what I could have done better (project management), and what I did right (getting screen shots of my search strategies). Read more »

What are you doing with Research/Data Services?

With the arrival of Patricia Brennan, R.N., Ph.D., as the new Director of the National Library of Medicine, the NNLM MCR is thrilled to see her excitement, enthusiasm, and emphasis on the importance data plays and will play in biomedical discovery and delivery of healthcare. This means that if your library is supporting research/data anywhere along the research lifecycle, the RML would like to know about it.

The NNLM is broadly defining research/data services librarians as those who provide a wide range of data centric training, consultation, or information access support for researchers at any point along the research lifecycle. Training might include teaching data visualization, metadata standards, or data related requirements from funders, such as NIH or NSF. Consultation services might include developing/maintaining a service framework for working with researchers to manage their data throughout the research lifecycle. It could include collaborating with researchers to find or create data, develop effective data management strategies, analyze or visualize data, or preserve/store data. Research/data services librarians might support biomedical big data or assist with access/training on specialty software packages for statistical, geospatial, qualitative data analysis, MyNCBI tools, etc. Read more »

Whooo Says

picture of owl

Dear Whooo,

I’ve been a librarian in a hospital system for several years now. At this point in my career I am anxious to move up in an organization and take on some new responsibilities. I know that the demographics of the librarian population are largely centered in the over 50 group, so it makes sense that with retirements there will be room to move up. How can I best prepare to move up in the organization and make the most of my career?


Visioning the Future
Read more »