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Dr. Patricia Brennan, the new Director of the National Library of Medicine

On September 12, 2016, Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, was sworn in as the 19th director of the Library and the fourth person to serve as director since the institution became the National Library of Medicine 60 years ago. She is not only the first woman but also the first nurse to hold this position.

In her remarks, Dr. Brennan addressed a number of health and information issues. She relayed that her focus, while working as a nurse and an industrial engineer, was of reaching into the home because the place where most health occurs is in the home. But since most people do not want strangers traipsing through their private domain, addressing the health needs of individuals at the point of when they need it presented a challenge and required innovative solutions. She made further comments about the role of NLM and the need to make health information accessible at the point of need for both professionals and for consumers and innovative solutions will be required to meet those needs. Dr. Brennan remarked that by looking at the past  it can become part of our present. She recognized the work of past NLM leaders which has led to some wonderful contributions over the years and even will continue to influence the present and the future. Dr. Brennan’s speech illustrated her knowledge and awareness of the present needs of researchers, healthcare professionals, and healthcare consumers but also emphasizing that NLM be ready for what lies ahead.

Dr. Brennan mentioned she would be working with the NLM Board of Regents on a one-year strategic planning initiative to create a vision for the future of the National Library of Medicine. She looks forward to working with all those associated with the National Library of Medicine to work together in achieving future goals so that NLM can continue to be a vital component in the world of research, information, and health. Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health,  shared “We’re on your team and want to make this dream turn into something really spectacular and you’re just the right leader to make this happen.”

We all welcome Dr. Brennan as she takes the helm of NLM and leads it into the future. Watch the full swearing in ceremony

Finding Reputable Journals

The growth in importance of scholarly publishing and open access has also had an unfortunate consequence of a rise in disreputable or predatory journal publishing. These publishers can create a negative impact on the spirit of open access publishing, as well as preying upon less experienced authors. Librarians can help guide authors to reputable journals and teach them what criteria to use to evaluate publishers.

The questionable journals, which do not have high impact factors, sometimes sponsor “fake” conferences, and may charge authors to publish, often prey upon recent graduates or issue invitations to serve on their editorial boards as a way to gain legitimacy. Some factors to use in judging whether a journal is reputable: 1) Do they send spam email soliciting papers? 2) Do they charge for publishing? 3)Do they require copyright transfer when the manuscript is submitted?

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association offers a Code of Conduct for their members, which includes the dissemination of peer-reviewed manuscripts without charge or registration required, and allowing users to copy, distribute and use freely their published material. Requirements for membership in their association include: a regularly published open access book or journal, full contact information available on the web site, a well-defined peer review process, and appropriate activity for soliciting manuscripts.

Many academic libraries have published criteria for their users to assist them in identifying reputable journals, for example:

The University of Tennessee Veterinary School: Research Support Guide.
Queensborough Community College: Open Access, Open Education, & More: Predatory Publishing.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice: Open Access Publishing.
Texas A&M University: Open Access and Predatory Journals.
California State University: Psychology Predatory Journals.

Additional References:

  1. Chen, Cenyu, and Bo-Christer Björk. “Predatory’ Open Access: A Longitudinal Study of Article Volumes and Market Characteristics.” BMC Medicine 13 (2015): 230. PMC. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.
  2. Hansoti, Bhakti, Mark I. Langdorf, and Linda S. Murphy. “Discriminating Between Legitimate and Predatory Open Access Journals: Report from the International Federation for Emergency Medicine Research Committee.” Western Journal of Emergency Medicine 17.5 (2016): 497–507. PMC. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.
  3. Gasparyan, Armen Yuri et al. “Publishing Ethics and Predatory Practices: A Dilemma for All Stakeholders of Science Communication.” Journal of Korean Medical Science 30.8 (2015): 1010–1016. PMC. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.
  4. Wicherts, Jelte M. “Peer Review Quality and Transparency of the Peer-Review Process in Open Access and Subscription Journals.” Ed. Gemma Elizabeth Derrick. PLoS ONE 11.1 (2016): e0147913. PMC. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.



Health Hotlines to be Retired

Health Hotlines was developed by NLM as a community service to help the public locate health-related information from organizations with toll free numbers. Organizations listed included such categories as Federal, State, and local government agencies, information and referral centers, professional societies, support groups and voluntary associations.

NLM has decided it will no longer update the Health Hotlines database because most of the information is now readily available through web search engines and because many of the organizations no longer have toll free numbers. Health Hotlines will remain online until the end of January, 2017, at which time it will be retired.

Ann Glusker Interview at MLA

ann-gluskerAnn Glusker, Reference Librarian at NN/LM PNR Network member institution Seattle Public Library, was interviewed by McGraw-Hill Education at the annual Medical Library Association Conference in Toronto, Ontario in May 2016. She talked about her experiences on the reference desk and the way that information is being delivered and consumed, and also how to make sure healthcare consumers are getting reliable information, stressing the importance of staff education as well:

NLM and ALA Partnership Brings Native Voices Exhibit to Libraries in PNR Region

Native Voices logo

A year ago last fall, the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) partnered to bring the NLM traveling exhibition, Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness to academic, public, and tribal libraries in the United States and other Native-serving cultural institutions beginning in 2016 through 2020.  Libraries and institutions were encouraged to apply for this opportunity and the awardees were announced late in 2015. Here, in the Pacific Northwest Region, several libraries received notice that they were selected. In fact, libraries in all five states are represented.

In 2016 three libraries were hosts to Native Voices and include libraries at Clark College, Fort Peck Community College, and North Seattle College. Library staff from each of these libraries have written a short summary of the activities planned around the exhibit as well as the benefits to the library community.


James E Shanley Tribal Library, Fort Peck Community College, Poplar, MT
Hosted exhibit from Feb. 3 – March 16, 2016

Anita Scheetz wrote,

The exhibit opened on February 4th but we held the native blessing and smudged the building and the exhibit on February 18. As part of the Native Voices grant, we were asked to do two health related programs but since we had the exhibit for an extended length of time we decided to do one each week in the month of March. The most popular of these events was the Native plants program.

  • March 3 Lois Red Elk  “Native Plants and Medicines”
  • March 10 Loy Sprague “Mind Body Medicine: Mindfulness and Stress Reduction”
  • March 17 Dr. Christine Holler-Dinsmore will present “Science, Faith, Family, Friends and Healing”
  • March 24 Beth Brown Morgan “Essential Oils: Uses in Health”
  • March 30 Teresa Rorvik “Pitfalls of Fad Diets”

There have been lots of people reading the posters and checking out the iPads.  I don’t have exact numbers but almost everyone who comes in stops and looks at the banners.


Cannell Library, Clark College, Vancouver, WA
Hosted exhibit from Feb. 3 – March 16, 2016

Laura Nagel wrote, Read more »

Free Webinar: A Beginners Guide to Creating Accessible Documents

Are you interested in learning how to make your documents accessible to people with disabilities? The Institute on Disability is offering this free webinar tomorrow at 12:30 Pacific Time.

From their website:

Accessible Document Icon“Description:

During this webinar, participants will learn the steps for creating an accessible document and the importance of having content accessible. Areas to be explored include the use of alternative tags, styles, headings, and hyperlink texts. Pitfalls for creating accessible materials will be explored and elements to be avoided will also be analyzed. By the end of the session participants will have the knowledge to make every document moving forward accessible.

Who Should Attend:

Anyone who creates print or digital documents and anyone who wants to know why this is important: this includes general and special educators, paraeducators, assistive technology specialists and providers, accessibility professionals, ADA administrators, physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, rehabilitation engineers, vocational rehabilitation counselors, document creators, communication or accessibility coordinators, website content managers, marketing managers, and administrative assistants.”

To register, click here: