Contract Summary and Objectives, 2014 - 2015

The mission of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all health care providers in the United States with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public's access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Lamar Soutter Library, as the National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region (NER) develops mission-responsive programs built upon the following principles:

  • A participatory approach to reformulating the Regional Advisory Council that reflects upon the dynamic forces in health care in order to develop programs and projects that enhances the roles of librarians to work towards changing the role and perceptions of the health information provider
  • An outreach approach that focuses resources on a geographic area and brings NLM resources to audiences and communities not previously reached
  • A theme-based funding structure for projects that employ innovative practices in outreach that address our thematic focused areas: Escience, Health Information Technology/Electronic Medical Record; Healthcare Workforce; Health Literacy; and Healthy Communities
  • Continuous monitoring, tracking, and evaluation of progress using the logic model and process map methodologies that help measure successful goals towards meeting outcomes
  • Flexible design of training opportunities that employ in-person and distance-based instructional sessions for librarians, health care professionals, and consumers.

Based on its national mission and local characteristics, the following objectives for 2014-2015 build upon the progress made in the previous years in Network and Outreach program areas.

Network Program Objectives:

  1. Ensure basic health information access for all unaffiliated health professionals and the public health workforce.
  2. Offer DOCLINE training & support to Network members. Coordinate the contribution, review, and maintenance of serial holdings data to DOCLINE. - Two online or distance based sessions.
  3. Participate in the NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan to act as a backup RML to the Mid Continental Region (MCR) in the event of an emergency. Implement the plan during emergencies as specified by MCR.
  4. Provide backup services for NLM customer service inquiries in the event of an emergency as directed by NLM.
  5. Develop and implement an educational program based on NLM resources as needed throughout the region. The program will be determined by the Focused Outreach Assessment, the Regional Advisory Committee, Community of Interests, and the Hospital Librarians Advisory Group.
  6. Integrate a variety of media including in-person relational meetings to communicate information on programs, policies, services, and resource updates to Network members, key stakeholders and leaders, and relevant organizations.
  7. Obtain feedback on needs, and preferences from constituents to improve access to clinical and consumer information.
  8. Participate in NLM and RML meetings such as monthly teleconferences and the RML Directors’ meetings; participate in testing alternative methods of communication and reporting. - Attend RML Directors’ meeting in person, May 16, Chicago
  9. Engage the Regional Advisory Council and its subgroups in advancing the development of NER programs according to NER Focus Areas. - One All RAC Meeting, one Resource Library Directors’ meeting, one Hospital Library Advisory Group meeting, one COI Leaders meeting, and one Academic Library Group meeting.
  10. Monitor and evaluate NER programs to assess their effectiveness in meeting NN/LM goals.
  11. Assist in the administration of NLM resource related surveys, tests, assessments on behalf of and as requested by NNO or other units.
  12. Support Network members’ efforts in negotiating and securing access to electronic resources by initiating regional group purchasing discussions and offering educational programs on e-licensing.
  13. Promote MedPrint, the National Library of Medicine’s Medical Serials Print Preservation Project: begin coordinating participation first with Resource Libraries in the preservation of core collections as identified by NLM. Participation will be assessed with the goal of agreements for preserving at least one copy of MedPrint titles.
  14. Promote NLM funding opportunities to Network members.
  15. Foster the development of new roles and opportunities for health information professionals by offering training opportunities in response to the changing forces in health care and funding innovative services that illustrate those new roles. Offer funding to members piloting new services in knowledge management, work within Communities of Interest to raise awareness of issues related to new roles: Health IT, Healthy Communities, Health Literacy, Innovative Services (formerly Knowledge Management), Health Care Workforce, and eScience.
  16. Continue identifying historical collections for inclusion in the Directory of History of Medicine Collections and build up the capacity within the region to digitize special collections.
  17. Provide instructional facility for NER and NTC related training.
  18. Participate in National Initiatives, Cross-regional collaborations that advance NN/LM mission and NLM resources in the areas of : Community Colleges, MedlinePlus Connect, Results,  and cross-regional K-12 collaboration.
  19. Increase the capacity of libraries in the New England Region to support implementation of the health insurance marketplace by distributing Affordable Care Act updates/resources to Network Members, offering educational opportunities, and providing opportunities for the six New England Region State Libraries to share best practices related to ACA outreach.

2014 - 2015 Outreach Programs Objectives:

The NER's annual educational program is based on the yearly assessment within the focused outreach areas, the Regional Advisory Committee, the Community of Interest groups, and the Hospital Library Advisory Group. Programs are put together on an as needed basis with special emphasis on the identified needs of these groups. The following is a description of the outreach and educational plans objectives.

  1. Collaborate with and extend NLM and NN/LM services and instructional support to practicing health professionals, specifically targeting underrepresented health practitioners and students. Audiences: Health professionals: Physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, public health workers, pharmacists, Healthcare support: medical assistants, community health workers, allied health educators, Health Education: Community colleges, training academies, AHEC’s, Colleges and universities with medical and nursing programs, HealthIT: Regional Extension Centers and other entities working in HealthIT initiatives, and Resources: PubMed, TOXNET, MedlinePlus, MedlinePlus Connect,, Evidence Based Practice in Public Health Website, NER will continue working with professional health associations, public health agencies, community health centers, and librarians throughout the region to identify new audiences for services. Special emphasis will be placed in reaching populations that are underrepresented in the workforce or serve economically disadvantaged areas in both urban and rural communities. A localized approach to conducting outreach will provide a systemic method for entering into a community in a focused outreach approach to reach, as completely as possible, the entire realm of health and human service organizations, libraries, public health agencies, and other community based organizations. New audiences and new interests expand the scope of traditional outreach to include those groups affiliated with or working towards building the HealthIT infrastructure. These groups may be found in the health care setting where they are working in various stages of Electronic Health Record implementation. NER will work with state and regional primary care associations and other organizations that provide education and training to primary care staff. Larger community health centers will be contacted individually to discuss their staff educational programs and discuss opportunities for presenting resources at in-service sessions. Offer subcontracts and awards for health information outreach to providers and consumers, Fund access to licensed resources to public health departments, Conduct training sessions across all program areas (8 in-person, 12 web-based and as requested)
  2. Collaborate with Regional Extension Centers and other entities working in HealthIT initiatives. As a NER Community of Interest (COI), the Health IT group will seek ways to assist in the realization of Health IT objectives as set forth by the U.S. DHHS ONC for HealthIT. Major areas are: New England Regional Extension Centers NER will act as a resource to regional librarians, offer guidance, and best practice information to expedite and enhance widespread adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Health Information Exchanges: through the Community of Interest Structure, NER members will learn from the health information exchange (HIE) programs. Health science librarians within the region will learn about each state’s progress in making health information exchange and interoperability of EHRs. Community College Consortia: a component of the health IT Workforce Program will be to create health information technology education and training programs at community colleges, or expand existing programs at those institutions. The COI-HealthIT group will link with community colleges within New England in realization of program objectives. Transition roles for health science librarians as future trainers will also be explored. Opportunities for promotion of NLM resources, demonstrations, and in-class training of NLM information support resources will be explored with the community colleges.
  3. Collaborate with and extend NLM and NN/LM services and instructional support to health care professionals and community based agencies that serve special populations or focus on special topics related to consumer health information. Audiences: Network members, health professionals, public health workers, information professionals, educators(K-12), community, faith-based, volunteer, and other types of organizations, including those serving minorities, special and underserved populations, health advocacy and self-help groups. Resources: MedlinePlus, NIHSeniorHealth, ToxTown, Tox Mystery, LactMed,, and other NLM resources relevant to consumer-based information. NER will identify and develop contacts with new partners to improve access to National Library of Medicine consumer health resources and help local organizations increase their effectiveness in supporting the health needs of the public. Training will be offered distance based and in-person. Instructional support will highlight the benefits of National Library of Medicine health information resources for consumer health. MedlinePlus will be the primary resource for instruction. Instruction will also highlight as well as Specialized Information Services resources like: ClinicalTrials and Results, Genetics Home Reference, ToxTown, ToxMystery, TOXMAP, HazMap, Household Products Database, LactMed, Dietary Labels Supplements Database, Drug Information Portal, DailyMed, MyMedicationList. Funding will be awarded based on the merits of a proposal submitted to NER and reviewed by the respective Community of Interest.
  4. Provide consultation to Network members, K-12 schools, community colleges, as well as community-based, faith-based and other organizations representative of special populations on preparing proposals for projects to compete for NLM and NN/LM funding. Network members and community based organizations seeking opportunities to conduct outreach will be supported through assistance in project planning, proposal preparation and writing, and project evaluation. Individual libraries and organizations will be offered raining, site visits to discuss successful outreach projects, and consultations throughout the planning and development process. NER will offer the Grant and Proposal Writing course.
  5. Promote the role of libraries in community engagement aspects of CTSA (Clinical Translational Science Awards) with those institutions receiving or seeking the award. A web session will convene librarians at academic health centers with CTSA programs and will highlight the work of those libraries actively engaged in their institutions’ CTSA initiatives.
  6. Exhibit or promote NLM resources at national, regional and local conferences, meetings, and health fairs: Three national exhibits: American Academy of Physicians Assistants, Boston, MA, May 25-28, 2014, American College of Rheumatology, Boston, MA, November 16-18, 2014, American College of Physicians, Boston, MA, April 29-May2, 2015. 2 Regional, 4 state, and 2 local health fairs are budgeted. The local health fairs will take place within Focused Outreach areas.
  7. Via subcontract funding with the Lamar Soutter Library, support ongoing initiatives in eScience, such as the eScience Portal, and other developmental activities as educational and collaborative resources for librarians throughout the region. The eScience program consists of various modes of learning about eScience principles, working concepts, and skills. The yearly Symposium and Boot Camp offer opportunities for in-person formal methods.
  8. Provide technology-related learning opportunities that showcase the application of technology resources in information access and management. Web based sessions planned for the upcoming year include: Creating infographics/histograms with results data from PubMed, Electronic tools to support journal clubs.
  9. Increase the capacity of libraries in the New England Region to support implementation of the health insurance marketplace by distributing Affordable Care Act updates/resources to Network Members, offering educational opportunities, and providing opportunities for the six New England Region State Libraries to share best practices related to ACA outreach. Audiences: Network Members; New England Region State Libraries (Massachusetts Library System, Connecticut State Library, Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services, Maine State Library, Vermont State Library, New Hampshire State Library). Resources: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Health Insurance Marketplace, OCLC WebJunction eHealth Collaboration, MedlinePlus Health Insurance Health Topic, NER Affordable Care Act website, NER blog announcements forwarded to regional listserv. NER will continue to serve as a clearinghouse/current awareness service for the latest news about the Affordable Care Act to be distributed to our Network and contacts at the State Libraries. The Healthy Communities COI (Community of Interest) will collaborate with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s Regional Office to offer training on the Affordable Care Act. NER will host bi-annual teleconferences for the State Libraries in New England to share updates and approaches to support public libraries support for the ACA.