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Feature Slides

  • Discovering TOXNET®

    Discover TOXNET and other NLM environmental health databases through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises in thirteen independent modules. The independent modules cover TOXLINE, ChemIDplus, TRI, TOXMAP, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, IRIS, and more.

    Discovering TOXNET®

    Discovering TOXNET® Picture
  • PubMed® for Librarians

    PubMed for Librarians is a series of 90 minute classes. Each segment is meant to be a stand-alone module. Each segment is eligible for 1.5 MLA Continuing Education hours. CE credit is not available for viewing the recording.

    PubMed® for Librarians

    PubMed® for Librarians Picture

Try the new Q&A Feature in Google Slides for Engagement

Have you tried Google Slides? I don’t use it on a regular basis, but I just learned about a new feature called Q & A. Q&A is designed to let audience members ask questions during a presentation (anonymously, if they prefer).

What’s so novel about that you ask? Students use their smartphone or other smart device to submit questions to the instructor at any point. OK, but what else can Q & A do? As questions are submitted via a shared URL, students “like” questions that they what to know the answer to. The instructor sees, in real-time, which questions are most important to the audience.

What are some ways to use the Q & A feature in Google Slides?

  • Can be used for in-person and online sessions
  • Fosters inclusion for remote participants
  • Students can ask questions when they come to mind
  • Gauge knowledge; Who knows what in the “room”?
  • Use instead of traditional chat box as a way to moderate chat
  • Meets users where they are, their smart-devices
  • Audience size doesn’t inhibit participation

Here’s a short video by Richard Byrne on how to use the tool. 

2014 TRI Data added to TOXMAP

Industries and businesses in the United States use tens of thousands of chemicals to make the products we depend on, such as pharmaceuticals, computers, paints, clothing, and automobiles. Although the majority of toxic chemicals are managed by industrial facilities to minimize releases of chemicals into the environment, releases do still occur.

It is your right to know what toxic chemicals are being used in your community, how they are managed, whether they are being released into the environment, the quantities of these releases, and whether such quantities are increasing or decreasing over time.

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is an EPA program that tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. This information is submitted by thousands of U.S. facilities on over 650 chemicals and chemical categories under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA).

Citizen Science is an official U.S. government website designed to accelerate innovation through public participation with the use of crowd sourcing and citizen science across the government. The site provides a portal to three key assets for federal practitioners:

  1. A searchable catalog of federally supported citizen science projects
  2. A toolkit to assist with designing and maintaining projects
  3. A gateway to a federal community of practice to share best practices


Read more about the

You can follow the site on Twitter@FedCitSci

NLM Awards Cooperative Agreements for 2016-2021

The University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the Cooperative Agreement by the National Library of Medicine to serve as the National Training Office (NTO) for the 2016-2021 contract period, beginning May 1, 2016.

On April 1, 2016, the National Library of Medicine awarded five-year cooperative agreements to eight institutions to serve as Regional Medical Libraries (RMLs) and five National Coordinating Offices in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM). The agreements begin May 1, 2016. The Network consists of the eight RMLs, five National Coordinating Offices, nearly 112 resource libraries (primarily at medical schools), over 2,200 local health science libraries (primarily at hospitals), and more than 1,300 public libraries and community-based organizations.

We are pleased to continue to serve the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in the coming five years. For more information and the full list of awards, see the full announcement.

What We’re Reading – Instructional Design

book pileThe month of March means “spring break” for many academic institutions. And that may mean a break from instruction, but we wanted to give you a short “reading list” in case you are looking for something to occupy any extra time you might have!Here are three titles which the NTC staff have been reading and using in our training recently. In fact, if you’ve been in PubMed for Trainers within the past several months, you may have heard us mention at least one of them.

    1. The Accidental Instructional Designer: Learning Design for the Digital Age by Cammy Bean. Here’s a blurb from the back cover: “We’ve all been taught to think that training is always the solution and that just about anyone can figure out how to do it. And as technology-based learning continues to slip into the mainstream, managers will continue to tap heads to turn regular people, who know the content or show some talent at creating a PowerPoint deck, into instructional designers and trainers. This means that we’ll see accidents – in the form of accidental instructional designers – happening more and more.”
    2. Telling Ain’t Training by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps. Here’s a brief summary from This book is an entertaining and practical guide for every trainer and performance improvement professional as it tackles the three universal and persistent questions of the profession―how do learners learn, why do learners learn, and how do you ensure that learning sticks. Playful illustrations demonstrate the solid research that back up the authors’ contentions and help readers separate learning myth from fact to dispel beliefs and practices that often harm the instructional process.
    3.  The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training by Karl M. Kapp. Here’s what one reviewer said: “Kapp argues convincingly that gamification is not just about adding points, levels and badges to an eLearning program, but about fundamentally rethinking learning design. He has put together a brilliant primer for learning professionals on how to gamify learning, packed with useful advice and examples (Anders Gronstedt, president, Gronstedt Group via

Hope there is something here that sparks your interest. Happy reading!

Photo credit:

We’re Hiring!

University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
Training Development Specialist Position Announcement
The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library invites applications for a Training Development Specialist for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office (NTO). The Training Development Specialist is responsible for developing, teaching and supporting classes in a variety of formats on NLM resources throughout the United States. This is a career-line (non-tenure track) faculty appointment, reporting to the Assistant Director of the NTO.

Application Instructions:

To apply, please go to the University’s Career page. Look for the position titled “Training Development Specialist.”  Apply online at

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate based upon race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, status as a person with a disability, genetic information, or Protected Veteran status. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities. To inquire about the University’s nondiscrimination or affirmative action policies or to request disability accommodation, please contact: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 S. Presidents Circle, Rm 135, (801) 581-8365.

The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds, and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students.

The University of Utah HSC values candidates who are committed to fostering and furthering the culture of compassion, collaboration, innovation, accountability, diversity, integrity, quality, and trust that is integral to the mission of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.

How to Refine a Google Search by File Type & Domain

While we may not want our patrons to use Google for certain searches, there is a way to tell Google to only look in a specific domain, such as:

You can also tell Google that you’re looking for a particular file type. For example, if you’re looking for PowerPoint slides on a topic, you can tell Google to look for slides. For example: Systematic Reviews filetype: ppt

Watch the 2 minute video by Richard Byrne, a former high school social studies teacher. Richard spends an incredible amount of time researching tech tools so you don’t have to.

How Many Attendees are Enough?

stockfresh_5559584_reaching-for-a-star_sizeS-203x300Note: The NTC wishes to thank Karen Vargas and the NN/LM OERC for permission to repost this blog from . It seemed especially relevant to what we as the NTC are about and do, as well as to the OERC.

I enjoyed reading an article in Public Libraries titled “The Grass Is Always Greener” by Melanie A. Lyttle and Shawn D. Walsh.  They discuss the complexities of deciding whether a program was “well attended” or “nobody came.”  Sometimes a program that seems well attended in one situation is the same as a poorly attended program in another.

I can think of a lot of times I’ve experienced this exact situation. When I was a branch manager at a public library, the program manager at the main library would ask if she could send authors to speak at our branch library.  When I said, “maybe you should send them somewhere else – we only had ten people come to the last one,” she replied “ten is a lot – ten is more than we get anywhere else.”

When I worked at the NN/LM South Central Region, in some parts of the region 30 people could be expected to attend training sessions.  In other parts of the region, we considered 6 people a successfully attended program.  These differences often corresponded to urban vs. rural, or the travel distance needed to get to the training, or whether the librarians were largely solo librarians or worked in multi-librarian organizations, or whether their institutions supported taking time off for training.  Other considerations include whether the trainers had already built an audience over time that would regularly attend the programs. Or on the other hand, whether the trainers had saturated their market and there were very few new people to learn about the topic.

So how can you decide what a good target participation level should be, or maybe more importantly, how can you explain your participation targets to your funder or parent organization?

Tying your participation level to your intermediate and long-term intended outcomes is one way to do that.  Let me give you an example of a program in Houston that was funded by the NN/LM South Central Region. The Greater Houston AHEC received funding many years ago to do an in-depth training project with a small number of seniors in the most underserved areas of Houston.  The goals were to teach these seniors how to use computers, how to get on the Internet, how to use email, and then how to use MedlinePlus and NIHSeniorHealth to look up health information.  They planned for the seniors to take 2-3 classes a week, and each class lasted several hours. It was a big commitment, but they intended for these seniors to really know how to use the Internet at the end of the series.  There were so few seniors who saw the need to learn to use computers that they had to persuade about 10 people from each location to sign up.  However, the classes were so good and the seniors so enthusiastic, that after a couple of weeks, the other seniors wanted to take classes too.  This led to a phase 2 project which included funding for a permanent computer and coffee area in a senior center where students could practice their Internet skills. There is now a third phase of the program called M-SEARCH which teaches seniors to use mobile devices to look up their health information.

At the beginning, Greater Houston AHEC may not have envisioned these specific outcomes.  However, if they were trying to convince a funder that 10 person classes were a reasonable use of the funder’s money, it might be good to show that small in-depth classes could lead to a long-term outcome like “seniors in even the poorest neighborhoods in Houston will be able to research their health conditions on NIHSeniorHealth.”  In addition, it would be important to bring in other factors, such as your intended goals for the project, for example whether you hope to have a small group of these seniors that you can train to really use the Internet for health research or whether you want to reach a lot of seniors in underserved areas to let them know that it’s possible to find great health information using NLM resources (see the Kirkpatrick Model of training evaluation for more information on evaluating your training goals).

For more on creating long-term outcomes, see Booklet 2 of the OERC’s booklets: Planning Outcomes-based Outreach Projects

February 17 is Digital Learning Day #DLD

The National Training Center (NTC) is all about training and learning. We use a variety of methods to provide training related to National Library of Medicine products and services. And, we strive to provide leadership to the NN/LM related to e-learning delivery methods and instructional best practices for adult learners. Today we celebrate Digital Learning Day #DLD! This event, now in its fifth year, is sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education, and offers educators (and students) an opportunity to reflect and tell the story about how digital tools are empowering learning in classrooms, schools, homes, and communities.

Based on feedback from our own evaluations, we have a sense that these online training courses and webinars have been beneficial to you in your work. One of the ways to celebrate #DLD is to tell the story of how you have benefited from digital learning environments. While much of the focus of #DLD is around K-12 schools and learning, we know that increasing numbers of adult learners are taking advantage of digital learning opportunities through webinars, twitter chats, Google hangouts, MOOCs, and more.

To participate in a Digital Learning Day activity, learn more, or tell your own story visit the Edutopia or Digital Learning Day website. Or, join in on some of the conversation via Twitter, using #DLD or #DigitalLearningDay. Digital Learning Day 2016

Free Web Content from NIH

content-syndication-three-steps-diagramNIH offers a free and easy way for you to get trusted, up-to-date health information from the National Institutes of Health directly onto your website.

Choose from a vast array of health topics and keep your site fresh with credible material that updates automatically. High-quality and multimedia content developed at the Federal Government can be used in a number of ways, and is designed to be easily distributed through your existing channels.

You can freely use:

  • Web content
  • Images and infographics
  • Videos and podcasts
  • Selected data sets

Get access:

  1. Create a free account at the HHS Syndication Storefront
  2. Sign in, browse, and choose your NIH health topics.
  3. Add the code to your site — Information will update on your site automatically.
  4. Expand your reach and engage your audiences.

Read step by step instructions on how to get free content.