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Archive for the ‘From-Associate Director’ Category

Good Bye and Many Thanks

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

These are my last few days as Associate Director of the NER. Leaving for my life’s next adventures, I feel that sense of sorrow in leaving your roots and rich relationships. I’ve thought about how the region and the Network have changed over the last ten years.

Our work has moved from taking place within our libraries to working throughout our environments.

  • Focusing on what’s on our shelves and what our libraries are borrowing, to being part of safety, patient education, and clinical teams.
  • Taking part in our institutions’ community engagement and community benefit initiatives: More members are doing health information outreach and being recognized for it
  • We’ve broadened our ideas of what our information tools and resources are and how these are produced, not just incorporating new technologies but being part of creating locally produced and locally meaningful information.

Sadly, we have seen libraries seep into phases of either doing the same with less or doing less with less. We’ve seen libraries move into less than ideal staffing, restrict their services, or close altogether.

But also with creative thinking we’ve seen libraries examine their roles and restructure. These are libraries that take the best of what they do and target their resources towards new areas of information services. There are great models for these in our region of all shapes and sizes.

I’ve spent a good part of my library career within the Regional Medical Library family. NLM and the National Networks’ programs and emphases have changed in response to not just how health sciences libraries have changed but how patients and providers get and use information. Working throughout our communities, building communities, responding to needs.

I look forward to hearing about the great things the Network continues doing for users and for all areas of health. I know I will stay in touch with many of you. I am grateful and lucky to have worked with such great people, both NER staff and the fine community of health information professionals throughout our network. Thank you all.


Focused Outreach Two Years In

Monday, July 16th, 2012

NER’s Focused Outreach initiative has had two cycles of focused outreach periods in which NER staff work in selected areas to promote NLM resources and provide training to health services agencies and other community based organizations. We are currently wrapping up our outreach period in our second cycle of outreach areas: 1) the Downeast Maine Health District, and 2) Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The Focused Outreach Model involves

  1. Connecting with community agencies that serve NLM target populations
  2. Conducting training and promotional activities and developing and developing partnerships with other agencies to carry out further training
  3. Assess the project’s work through a comprehensive evaluation plan using data collection, process assessments, and outcomes measurement

In the Downeast Maine Health District NER worked with both Healthy Maine Partnerships, Healthy Acadia and Washington County One Community. Healthy Maine Partnership coalitions are community health education agencies. NER also worked with the Maine State Library’s BTOP (Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program) teaching MedlinePlus at BTOP training sites. Outreach work was conducted to reach Passamaquoddy tribal communities and smaller community hospitals that have no library services.

In Holyoke, a train the trainer model was established with local chapters of the Health Occupations Students Association: college students taught high school students about finding good health information and using MedlinePlus. Training was also conducted with residents at Holyoke Housing Authority communities, Holyoke Public Schools science teachers, and adult education centers.

NER’s previous focused outreach cycle was conducted in the Western Maine Health District and Providence, Rhode Island. A comprehensive report is available: Focused Outreach Evaluation Report: Providence, RI and Western Maine Health District.

NER is putting together its report on the Downeast and Holyoke focused outreach sites. We have also begun the initial phases for a third focused outreach cycle in Northern Worcester County and Hartford, Connecticut.

As with other NER initiatives the success of Focused Outreach relies on developing meaningful collaborations and linkages. Throughout all project cycles, NER Network Members have been instrumental in collaborating and helping to create those meaningful connections.

Emergency Preparedness Updates

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

A few new developments in emergency preparedness…

Recent Service Continuity Class

NER recently offered the four session course on Developing Your Library’s Service Continuity Plan. Four libraries prepared a 10-Step Service Continuity Plan developed by the folks who brought you Emergency Preparedness & Response Toolkit (Dan Wilson). The course has been offered by NER since 2009. Since then more than a dozen libraries have developed their own service continuity plans.

Disaster Specialization

The Medical Library Association is developing a Disaster Preparedness Specialization for its members. Five new courses are being developed for the Disaster Information Specialization. The courses are being developed through a collaboration with the National Library of Medicine.

The focus for the DIS is to develop the capacity of librarians to provide disaster-related health information outreach. The plan would have DIS participants taking a specific number of classes to reach one of two levels: The first level of the specialization would be for those who desire a basic familiarity with disaster information resources. The second level is for those who wish to gain additional training.

Two courses are being launched at the MLA Conference in Seattle:

  1. U.S. Response to Disaster and Public Health Emergencies
    (taught by Mary Moore and Kimberly Loper) on
    Thursday, May 24, 2012, 8:00 a.m.–11:30 p.m.
  2. Information Roles in Disaster Management
    (taught by Robin Featherstone) that same afternoon from 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Contact Kathleen Combs at MLA for more details on these classes and the Disaster Information Specialization.

Consult your Emergency Preparedness Toolkit

Resources and reports are constantly being developed and refreshed at the Emergency Preparedness & Response Toolkit. Recent reports include summaries of The Earthquake Summit held in San Francisco earlier this year. And the NN/LM Hurricane Summit recently held in Miami.


Funding Announcement: Deadline Approaching

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Hello everyone,

We want to announce that we are re-establishing our time line for funded projects. Because of our new contract we are advancing the solicitation of funded projects. The time line is being changed so that project performance periods will coincide with our own fiscal year. The plan is to have funded projects being May 2012. In order to do that we are announcing the RFPs now.

As in the previous years our funded projects fall into

1. Express Outreach Awards
2. Health Information Outreach Subcontracts
3. Knowledge Management Pilot Sites Funding.

The full solicitations are available on our funding page. This year we are asking proposal submitters to notify NER of your intent to submit a proposal. This helps give us an idea of the proposals to expect and we can notify the COIs and organize the appropriate reviewing teams.

Express Outreach
is the broad category of awards for projects involving community outreach, professional development, and instructional design. Funding amounts are generally under $8,000.

• Multiple projects throughout the region will be funded.
• Proposals are due January 20, 2012.
• Approved projects will be contacted on or before March 1, 2012.
• Funded projects can begin their performance period May 1, 2012. Performance period should not exceed 12 months.

Health Information Outreach Subcontracts
assist Network members and other health-related agencies in providing information services and training to audiences not normally reached.

• $25,000 is available to fund one or more projects
• Proposals are due January 20, 2012.
• Approved projects will be contacted on or before February 24, 2012.
• Funded projects can begin their performance period May 1, 2012. Performance Period should not exceed 12 months.

Knowledge Management funding stimulates innovations in biomedical knowledge management and information services at the health care institution or health system level. Pilot sites will develop Knowledge Management practices tailored to their institutional needs. Please note the link to the Field Guide developed as a resource for KM implementation.

• $12,500 is available to fund one or more projects
• Proposals are due January 20, 2012.
• Approved projects will be contacted on or before February 24, 2012.
• Funded projects can begin their performance period May 1, 2012. Performance Period should not exceed 12 months.

This note was previously posted on our Funding Opportunities mailing list. Contact the NER with questions or your intent to submit a proposal.

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