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Version 3.0

HLIB-NW is a discussion list maintained by Patricia Devine and Carolyn Martin. It debuted in November 1993, with 80 charter subscribers.

The archives of messages on HLIB-NW are only accessible to subscribers. For more information on getting to the archives read the section under the heading "How can I retrieve an old HLIB-NW message?"

This FAQ (i.e., Frequently Asked Questions) was last reviewed and revised on November 17, 2016.

What Is The Purpose Of The HLIB-NW List?

The HLIB-NW List exists to facilitate electronic communications via the Internet among the health sciences library and health information community in the Northwest. It provides a forum for discussing practical, theoretical, and philosophical issues and for exchanging advice, information, ideas, and resources of interest to its intended audience.

This list is not meant to take the place of MEDLIB-L but rather to serve as an adjunct forum for those interested in health sciences libraries and health information in the Northwest.

Appropriate uses of the HLIB-NW List include, but are not limited to, publicizing regional meetings, classes, and other educational offerings; making announcements of regional interest, including job postings; sharing information and resources; and asking for advice from colleagues. It also serves as the discussion list for PNC/MLA, the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association, and for WMLA, the Washington Medical Librarians Association.

The HLIB-NW List is not intended for advertisements by publishers, software producers, or other vendors, however discussions and questions about products and services initiated by list subscribers are appropriate. The list is also not the place for non-list members to ask reference questions.

Who Is The Intended Audience For HLIB-NW?

HLIB-NW is intended for anyone who has an interest in health sciences libraries and health information in the Northwest. The Northwest is defined as the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington in the United States and the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, and Yukon Territory in Canada.

What Editorial Policies Are In Place For HLIB-NW?

The HLIB-NW subscription list is maintained by the Regional Medical Library (i.e., NN/LM PNR: Network of the National Library of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region). This is an "unmoderated" list. This means that what subscribers post goes directly to the entire HLIB-NW community. It also means that it is the responsibility of list members to send messages appropriate to the previously stated purpose of the list. The list owners may, however, respond to inappropriate postings with a message to the senders informing them of list policies. Only subscribers are able to post messages to the list.

Inappropriate postings, such as subscribe/unsubscribe messages, personal responses inadvertently sent to the list, messages not within the scope of the purposes of the list, and even flames may appear from time to time. The best way to handle these is to ignore them, remembering that we all make mistakes, and let list owners handle the transgression.

At times a lively debate may occur on the list. There is room for dialogue and even controversy as long as a spirit of respect for others opinions is maintained. Members who do not meet the minimum expectations will be notified and may be excluded permanently from future participation.

While not policy, there are some courtesies that we should extend to each other when we are on the list, or sending any e-mail. Here's some etiquette to remember:

When sending a message please give a brief and descriptive "Subject:" line.

Please sign your full name at the bottom of your e-mail messages, including your affiliation, and e-mail address.

It is helpful to provide context when replying to previous posting. There can be several "threads" of discussion going on simultaneously, which makes unreferenced postings such as, "I'd be happy to send it", confusing to the readers. A popular way of providing context is to quote verbatim from the original message. However, keep the quotations *short* and *relevant*.

Remember that humor in e-mail can be easily misinterpreted.

Mistakes, such as sending a personal message to the whole list, happen and these can be embarrassing, for both sender and receiver. A moment's thought when you reply is helpful but, hopefully, we are all tolerant of such errors.

Are Messages To HLIB-NW Confidential?

You are advised to consider all messages to HLIB-NW to be public information. Sending a message to the HLIB-NW List is equivalent to publishing an announcement in a newsletter. On HLIB-NW, permission for all postings to be cited, abstracted, and forwarded (with proper credit to the author) is implied.

Copyright law provides a level of protection for all original expression. Electronic messages, to the extent that they are an author's original work, are subject to the protections, as well as the fair use provisions, of copyright law.

How Can I Send A Message To All HLIB-NW List Subscribers?

Send your message to the following Internet address:


All messages sent to the above address are forwarded to all HLIB-NW subscribers. You must be a subscriber in order to send a message to the list.

How Can I Subscribe Or Unsubscribe To HLIB-NW?

HLIB-NW uses Mailman, a Web-based discussion list software. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or edit your subscription options such as digest, postpone list message delivery while on vacation and more, or to access archived messages you must start at the HLIB-NW Information page. To do that go to


If you are already subscribed to HLIB-NW here are some new detailed instructions for unsubscribing or editing your subscription options:

You will need to login with your email address and a password.

  • If you are subscribed to the list with an @u.washington.edu or @uw.edu address, you should use your UW NetID and password to make any changes.
  • The rest of you will need to know your subscriber password. If you are subscribed to the list YOU HAVE A PASSWORD, you just don't know it. Here's how to find it :
    • Go to the link https://mailman.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/hlib-nw
    • Scroll down to the HLIB-NW Subscribers section at the bottom of the page.
    • Go past all other options to the "Unsubscribe or edit options" button near the bottom of the page, next to which you can enter your email address.
    • Enter the email address with which you are subscribed to the list and click on the button.
    • You are now on the YOUR HLIB-NW list: member options page
    • Scroll down to the Password Reminder section on that page and click on the "Remind" button.
    • Your password will be emailed to you, usually in minutes. This first password is a long number. TYpe it into the "Password:" space on that member options page you had open and click on the "Log in" button.
    • This will take you to your "Membership Configuration" page where you can change your membership information, unsubscribe from the list, request a password reminder and even change that long number password to one that is easy to remember using the Change Your Password option.
  • Now that you know your password you can see all of the other options you have and make changes to your subscription options including postponing delivery of your HLIB-NW messages while on vacation, and setting the HLIB-NW list to a digest format. You can also look at the archives which are no longer in the gopher format but on an easy to use Web page.

How can I retrieve an old HLIB-NW message?

The archives of messages on HLIB-NW are now only accessible to subscribers of HLIB-NW. This change was made so that search engines, such as Google, are no longer able to find and index the contents of HLIB-NW. Some subscribers were getting messages from people who used the search engines and retrieved HLIB-NW messages in the search results. They then contacted HLIB-NW subscribers inappropriately.

To get to the archives go to https://mailman.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/Hlib-nw
You will need your HLIB-NW password. If you have forgotten your password go to https://mailman.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/Hlib-nw to the very bottom of the page where it says:

"To unsubscribe from HLIB-NW, get a password reminder, or change your subscription options, enter your subscription email address ..." Fill in your email address and click to unsubscribe or edit options.

At the next page go to the section that says "Password Reminder" and click on the box that says "Remind". You will be sent your HLIB-NW password via your email. If this doesn't work please, send an email to devine@uw.edu, or call 206-543-8275.

What Is the Difference Between HLIB-NW and the Other E-Mail Lists Maintained by NN/LM PNR?

Due to the overlap between the HLIB-NW group and the other e-mail distribution lists maintained by NN/LM PNR, some HLIB-NW subscribers may receive duplicate mailings from time-to-time. This is a source of some confusion both for subscribers and non-subscribers. Therefore it is important for HLIB-NW subscribers to understand the difference, and (it is hoped) be willing to be the recipient of occasional redundant transmissions.

The uses and purposes of the HLIB-NW List are described elsewhere in this document. Addition to the HLIB-NW List is by subscription only: No one is added to the HLIB-NW subscription list except through his/her own initiative. The content of HLIB-NW is an enterprise and responsibility of its community.

The other lists maintained by NN/LM PNR are intended for the use of NN/LM PNR staff and are not "publicly-accessible." These "other" lists are compiled from information gathered for the NN/LM Members Directory. These lists are used to conduct NN/LM PNR business and to disseminate selected information (e.g., announcements received from non-Internet sources which might be of interest to particular audiences within the region). It is important to understand that HLIB-NW is a "virtual" community whose purposes and interests will evolve on a path determined by the members of the community. HLIB-NW provides a common forum for all members of the community. NN/LM PNR, on the other hand, has its own purposes and interests, many of which may equate with those of the HLIB-NW community, but which are highly dependent upon the funding and dictates of the National Library of Medicine. Thus, just like any other Internet user, NN/LM PNR has certain responsibilities which require the maintenance of its own e-mail address books.

In the long-run, you should not expect to see very much duplication of content between HLIB-NW and the e-mail emissions of NN/LM PNR. So, it is left to the individual to determine whether or not to subscribe to and participate in the HLIB-NW community.

If you prefer not to participate in HLIB-NW, but still want to receive announcements from NN/LM PNR, you may subscribe to PNRNews, a list which only transmits Dragonfly articles and other important messages. (Tip: Since PNRNews messages also appear on HLIB-NW, there is nothing to be gained from subscribing to both lists!)

You can subscribe to PNRNews via this page: http://mailman.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/pnrnews

Your comments and suggestions are welcome

Please send them to: devine@uw.edu.