The Lamar Soutter Library of the University of Massachusetts Medical School began its third NN/LM contract for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region in May. In response to ongoing information needs of diverse populations, NER has developed the following major initiatives:

Focused Outreach

Focused outreach brings the resources of the NN/LM upon a community in order to conduct a systematic approach of identifying health agencies, pursue contacts, and develop relationships with key leaders. The goal is to assess health information use patterns, promote resources, and conduct training for health and human service agency staff. Focused outreach will provide sustained outreach to a selected community identified as medically underserved, facing health care access issues, or economically disadvantaged. The project also provides for the opportunity to evaluate the health information intervention in terms of the impact of the resources upon attendees and their use of NLM resources.

Knowledge Management

NER is implementing a plan to stimulate innovations in biomedical knowledge management and information services at the hospital level. Based on prior work in developing a Template for a Healthcare Knowledge Services Center, NER is making funding and consultation available for members to develop enhanced information services based on knowledge management principles. A cohort of pilot sites will develop and implement pilot projects. A Knowledge Management Field Guide is in development as a resource guide for Members.

Public Health Information Access

The Public Health Information Access project has provided access to relevant information resources to state public health departments across fourteen states. The project has intertwined information access, information management, article delivery, and instruction to raise the level of information resources available to public health departments. Spanning monographs and journals, over 100 full-text titles are available via department intranets. Resource Libraries are an important element of this project as they provide instruction and article delivery service.

Communities of Interest

The idea of Communities of Interest is to have information providers reflect and respond to changes and trends affecting health care. Communities of Interest will be engaged in the ongoing discussion of how emerging trends in health care impact the library and health information setting and how libraries should prepare for and respond to these themes. Communities of Interest will be organized around five focus areas: Healthy Communities, Health Literacy, Healthcare Workforce, HealthIT, and eScience.


The eScience program consists of various modes of learning about eScience principles, working concepts, and skills. The eScience initiative will help stimulate librarians and information professionals involved in the application of eScience practices. Activities such as the yearly Symposium and Boot Camp offer opportunities for in-person formal learning modes. An eScience Portal for New England Librarians has been developed to foster learning and collaboration in eScience.