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Archive for February, 2013

NLM Mourns Loss of Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop

Dr. C. Everett Koop died on February 25, 2013, peacefully at his home in Hanover, NH. He was 96. After a 35-year career as an internationally acclaimed pediatric surgeon, during the 1980s Dr. Koop turned a federal office with a minimal budget and staff, the office of the U.S. Surgeon General, into the most authoritative platform from which to educate the nation on matters of health promotion, disease prevention, and emerging health threats, including smoking, domestic violence, disability rights, and, most urgently, AIDS.  Dr. Koop helped the nation face this most fearsome emerging infectious disease. On this and other issues he often surprised supporters and critics alike.  “I had the privilege of working with Dr. Koop, and seeing firsthand his commitment to public health, when as Surgeon General he served on the National Library of Medicine Board of Regents,” said NLM Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg. “It is especially fitting that his papers are part of the Library’s online collection, Profiles in Science, given that he was such a strong advocate of health information for the public and the use of the Internet for disseminating it.”

Through NLM’s Profiles in Science Web site, which is dedicated to the lives and works of 20th-century leaders in science, medicine, and public health, visitors may view a selection of the C. Everett Koop Papers, including correspondence, speeches, lecture notes, published articles and editorials, photographs, and audiovisual recordings, illustrating Dr. Koop’s tenure as U.S. Surgeon General, from 1981 to 1989.  Visitors to the site can view, for example, a transcript of Dr. Koop’s press conference announcing the release of his seminal report on AIDS in October 1986, as well as photographs from his career as a pediatric surgeon. Profiles in Science also places Dr. Koop’s accomplishments as Surgeon General in the context of the medical advances, political debates, and cultural developments of the 1980s.  As a special feature of this site, Dr. Koop provided introductions to many of his speeches in which he describes their context, setting, and impact.  The Reports of the Surgeon General, including those authored by Dr. Koop, are also available online through NLM.

Individuals interested in conducting research in the C. Everett Koop Papers are invited to consult the finding aid to the collection and/or contact the National Library of Medicine. In addition, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Institutes of Health, has issued a statement on the passing of Dr. Koop.

NIH MedlinePlus Salud Winter 2012 Issue Now Available!

Cover of NIH MedlinePlus Salud Winter 2012The latest issue of NIH MedlinePlus Salud is now available! NIH MedlinePlus Salud is the free, trusted consumer guide to the vast array of authoritative online health and medical information at MedlinePlus en español. The National Institutes of Health, the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health publish NIH MedlinePlus Salud to provide Hispanic Americans with a gold standard of reliable, up-to-date health information in a user-friendly format. In this issue you will find information you can use to keep you and your family healthy, on topics including:

  • Preventing and Managing Diabetes Complications (Prevenga y maneje las complicaciones de la diabetes)
    • What You Can Do to Help Yourself
    • Tailoring Diabetes Treatment to the Patient
  • Healthy Eating (Una alimentación saludable)
    • Chef Lorena Garcia: Learn a Healthier Way to Eat
    • An Easy and Healthy Recipe from Chef Lorena Garcia
  • Getting Started the Go4Life Way (Comenzar de la manera Go4Life)
    • The Go4Life Campaign
    • Exercising for Endurance
    • Exercising for Strength
    • Exercising for Balance
    • Exercising for Flexibility
  • Living with Asthma (Vivir con asma)
    • What Causes Asthma?
    • Asthma: Diagnosis
    • Asthma: Treatment and Control
    • NIH-Sponsored Research

Turn the Pages of a Rare Book on Medicinal Plants from the NLM Collections!

Elizabeth Blackwell (1700-1758) was the daughter of a successful Scottish merchant and one of the first women to establish herself as a botanical illustrator. Now available from the National Library of Medicine is a “Turning the Pages” virtual version of Blackwell’s A Curious Herbal, a book published in London in parts between 1737 and 1739. Today, this book is widely recognized by scholars and the public alike for its colorful and detailed illustrations of hundreds of medicinal plants. Discover selections from A Curious Herbal online, via iPad App, and in kiosks onsite at the NLM.

Based on the NLM’s copy of A Curious Herbal, which is part of the Library’s large and important collection of rare herbals and other books on plants and natural history, this Turning the Pages project includes 38 curated images from the over 500 plates in the book. Readers will learn about Blackwell’s medicinal uses for plants, such as the white lily which she thought to be “good for all pains of the joints and contracted nerves,” and the grape vine which “strengthens the stomach, helps digestion, comforts ye bowels, and is a great preservative against the plague.”

Blackwell originally conceived of A Curious Herbal to describe and illustrate medicinal plants from the New World because her husband, Alexander, had been sent to debtors’ prison in London, and they had an urgent need to raise funds.  Blackwell selected and studied plant specimens at the Chelsea Physick Garden and drew the plants, while her husband wrote much of the text using his medical training. Launched at the NLM in 2001, Turning the Pages is part of an ongoing collaboration between research engineers at the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications and curators and historians at the NLM’s History of Medicine Division, to help make the NLM’s rare and unique history of medicine collections widely available to the public.

NLM ILL survey coming soon!

In early March, 2013, NLM will be inviting DOCLINE libraries to participate in a survey on interlibrary loan practices and needs of the health science libraries in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) and Canada. The survey has 30 questions, with an estimated completion time of about 12 minutes. This is your opportunity to help shape resource sharing programs of the future!

NLM initiated this survey to investigate the reasons for the declining use of DOCLINE and current practices of libraries regarding resource sharing. The number of ILL requests entered into DOCLINE has decreased 46% since 2002, while Loansome Doc requests declined 68% in that same period. Your response to this survey is vitally important, and will help NLM to understand the resource sharing needs of librarians in the NN/LM and Canada, and how best to meet those needs now and in the future! The invitation email will be sent via SurveyMonkey to the address of each library’s ILL contact reported in their DOCLINE institution record. If the listed ILL contact has previously opted out of receiving emails from SurveyMonkey, please contact DOCLINE to receive a link to the survey.

Rare Disease Day at NIH (RDD@NIH)

Rare Disease Day logoOn February 28, and March 1, 2013, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will celebrate the sixth annual Rare Disease Day with a 2-day-long celebration and recognition of the various rare diseases research activities supported by the NIH Office of Rare Diseases Research, the NIH Clinical Center, other NIH Institutes and Centers; the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Orphan Product Development; other Federal Government agencies; the National Organization for Rare Disorders; and the Genetic Alliance.

Rare Disease Day was established to raise awareness with the public about rare diseases, the challenges encountered by those affected, the importance of research to develop diagnostics and treatments, and the impact of these diseases on patients’ lives. There are about 7000 rare diseases identified in the United States. About 80 percent of rare diseases are genetic in origin and it is estimated that about half of all rare diseases affect children. Rare diseases can be chronic, progressive, debilitating, disabling, severe and life-threatening. Information is often scarce and research is usually insufficient. People affected face challenges such as delays in obtaining a diagnosis, misdiagnosis, psychological burden, and lack of support services for the patient and family. The goals remain for rare disease patients to obtain the highest attainable standard of health, and to be provided the resources required to overcome common obstacles in their lives.

Rare Disease Day at NIH (RDD@NIH) will be held in the Natcher Auditorium (Building 45) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 28, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1. Attendance is free and open to the public. The event will also be available via live and archived videocast on February 28 and March 1.

For more information about Rare Disease Day, please visit the event’s website. For more information about rare diseases, please visit the NIH Office of Rare Diseases Research and Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) websites.

2013 NLM Informatics Lectures Announced

The National Library of Medicine Division of Extramural Programs has announced the 2013 NLM Informatics Lecture series showcasing NLM-funded research in biomedical informatics. The program kicks off March 6 when Chunhua Weng, PhD, presents “Bridging the Semantic Gap Between Research Eligibility Criteria and Clinical Data: Methods and Issues.” Dr. Weng is the Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University. Her research centers on developing human-computer collaborative approaches to help clinical researchers make the best use of health information technology. She currently is focusing on problems that include interactive query formulation to assist clinical researchers in interrogating large clinical databases.

On June 5, Graciela Gonzalez, PhD, of Arizona State University, will present “Mining Social Network Postings for Mentions of Potential Adverse Drug Reactions.” The final 2013 lecture, November 13, will be presented by Timothy Cardozo, MD, PhD, of the New York University School of Medicine. He will discuss “A Chemical Biology Network for Personalized Medicine.” The lectures will be held 2-3pm (Eastern) in Balcony A of the Natcher Building (Building 45) on the NIH campus. All three talks will be archived at

Now It’s Even Easier to Donate Journals to NLM!

Since April, 2009, NLM’s Journal Donation System has made it possible for libraries to determine whether NLM needs any volumes of the print journals they plan to discard. The system was designed for DOCLINE libraries and was restricted to titles listed in their DOCLINE holdings. On January 4th, 2013, NLM launched Version 2 of the system, and enhancements now make it possible for non-DOCLINE libraries to use the system! In addition, all libraries may now offer titles not owned by NLM. The system can be accessed directly, or by searching “Journal Donation System” on NLM’s home page. Once in the system, use the “Help” link for detailed instructions. For additional assistance, contact NLM at (301) 496-0081 or NLM will pay shipping for needed volumes. To donate pre-1871 journal volumes, visit the NLM History of Medicine Division web site.

Since the inception of the online donation system in April 2009, a total of 8,230 gifts have been added to the collection. NLM hopes to build on the success achieved to date with the enhancements in Version 2!

NLM Selected as a Host Site for National Digital Stewardship Residency!

The National Library of Medicine has announced its participation in the inaugural year of the National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR), a ground-breaking new program created by the Library of Congress (LC), in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The program enables 10 recent Master’s program graduates in relevant fields to complete a paid, nine-month residency at various institutions in the Washington, DC area. Beginning in September, 2013, accepted residents will attend an intensive two-week digital stewardship workshop at the Library of Congress. Thereafter, residents will move to a host institution to work on significant digital stewardship projects. These projects will allow them to acquire hands-on knowledge and skills involving the collection, selection, management, long-term preservation, and accessibility of digital assets. The entire list of projects is available on the NDSR Web site.

NLM will host a resident to develop a thematic Web archive collection. The resident will create a collection of Web content on a specific theme or topic, such as medicine and art, or the e‐patient movement. This project builds on a pilot Web archive collection completed by NLM last year and featured in LC’s The Signal in October 2012. The final Web archive collection will become part of the permanent collection of NLM. The resident will be embedded in NLM’s History of Medicine Division under the mentorship of Christie Moffatt, Manager, Digital Manuscripts Program.

In addition to NLM, the inaugural NDSR host institutions include Association of Research Libraries, Dumbarton Oaks, Folger Shakespeare Library, Library of Congress, National Security Archive, PBS, Smithsonian Institution Archives, World Bank, and University of Maryland Libraries and Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. LC and IMLS are accepting applications for the NDSR until April 5, 2013. Apply online to be a part of NDSR’s inaugural class!

DOCLINE Version 4.9.2 Released!

On February 21st, NLM released a minor update to DOCLINE. This maintenance increased the length of the citation, article author, and article title fields on the DOCLINE receipt. The article author and title fields were increased to 60 characters, while the citation field was increased to 100 characters, to allow for the increasingly long citations in PubMed. There are no changes to the PubMed interface or request functionality.

Action item for Lenders: The combination of a long citation and the borrower’s comments field, as well as document delivery addresses, may cause the receipt to print on two pages depending on your browser settings. If you encounter requests that print on two pages, please see the FAQ on “How do I prevent Receipts from printing on two pages?

Action item for Borrowers: Review the “Comments to Lenders” field of your DOCLINE record to ensure they contain only unique information necessary for lenders. Remove any duplicate information that may be displayed automatically on the receipt. This is also a good time to review your DOCLINE Options, Borrowing Preferences, document delivery addresses, and library group memberships. See the DOCLINE FAQ page about reviewing your Institution record. Feel free to contact your RML at 1-800-338-7657 for any questions or assistance.

The release of a new version of DOCLINE occasionally reveals problems with a user’s browser settings. If you are experiencing a problem in DOCLINE, first check your browser settings and then also clear your browser cache. If the browser settings are correct and you have cleared your cache, complete the “Report a Problem” form found under “Contact Us” in DOCLINE. The form gathers information that is useful to NLM in investigating the issue.

Download a Free Copy of the Book Hidden Treasure!

Cover of Hidden TreasureIn April 2012, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) published a remarkably illustrated book edited by Michael Sappol, Hidden Treasure, which features rare, beautiful, idiosyncratic, and surprising works in the collection of the world’s largest medical library. NLM selected extraordinary pieces largely unseen by the public from more than 17 million items dating from the eleventh century to the present. Each photograph of an object is accompanied by a brief, but lively, explanatory essay.

Among the treasures featured are charming hand-painted glass “magic lantern slides,” which doctors used to entertain and help cure inmates at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the Insane (in the 1800s in Washington, D.C.), to surreal views of mechanically sliced cadavers in the photographic anatomical atlas of France’s notorious surgeon Eugène-Louis Doyen. Overall, the book encompasses a staggering variety of worldwide objects from seven centuries.

Download a free e-copy of the book and celebrate the richness of NLM’s collections! Print copies are also on sale at and other outlets.