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Express Outreach Award Highlights: Building an Environmental Health Information Program, A Collaboration Between Charles R. Drew University (CDU) Pipeline and the CDU Health Sciences Library

by Joshua Shulman, MSIS, Emerging Technology Librarian; Zebib Yemane, B.S., Library Aide; and Darlene Parker-Kelly, MSLS, Director
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Health Sciences Library
Los Angeles, CA

The Charles R. Drew University Health Sciences Library received NN/LM PSR Express Outreach Award funding in 2015-16 to conduct a project promoting the value and awareness of National Library of Medicine health information resources focusing on environmental health. The University has a robust Pipeline program and the project was implemented in collaboration with community partners. The foremost objective was to introduce selected National Library of Medicine resources to students (K-12 and college), teachers (K-12 and college), parents and community members. A planning committee was established, composed of staff persons from the CDU Pipeline program, faculty from the Masters of Public Health program, a CDU researcher, librarians/library staff and the Library Director. Several events were planned which included contacting external members of the community, including the Principal at Compton Early College Program, the coordinator of the King/Drew Magnet High School College Bound Program, and Congresswomen Janice Hahn’s office. While the initial program was designed primarily for K-12 students and Pipeline students, the external partners recommended additional outreach activities to introduce and promote the use of National Library of Medicine resources at external events. Read more »

PubMed Celebrates its 20th Anniversary!

PubMed was first released two decades ago in January 1996 as an experimental database under the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) retrieval system. The word “experimental” was dropped from the Web site in April 1997, and on June 26, 1997, a Capitol Hill Press conference officially announced free MEDLINE access via PubMed. For an outline of its early years, visit PubMed Celebrates its 10th Anniversary! Read more »

NLM Training Center (NTC) Gets a New Name: National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office (NTO)

On May 1, 2016, the NLM Training Center’s name changed to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office (NTO) to reflect its role in the newly awarded five-year Cooperative Agreement with the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The headquarters will remain at the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, under the direction of Jean Shipman, Principal Investigator. Current NTO staff includes Jessi Van Der Volgen as the Assistant Director; Rebecca Brown and Cheryl Rowan as Training Development Specialists; Sarah Dickey, Program Manager; and Matt Steadman, Web Software Engineer & Media Developer.

The Cooperative Agreement ushers in a new era where the NTO will move the vast majority of its training online, collaborating with NLM and NN/LM to ensure broad access to continuing education designed to keep you up to date on NLM resources and maximize your contribution to your institutional missions. You can look forward to several new learning opportunities – available in flexible formats – on PubMed, TOXNET and other NLM resources. Stay tuned for announcements of future class offerings!

One of the most important pieces of news is that for the time being you can still find the blog and class offerings at the same URL. There is a new Twitter name and email address for your comments, questions, and ideas.

Express Outreach Award Highlights: Finding Reliable Health Information Online: Trusted Sources & MedlinePlus

by Mira Geffner, Librarian
Bay Area Cancer Connections
Medical Information Services
Palo Alto, CA

Mira Geffner and AttendeeBay Area Cancer Connections offers information and support to people touched by breast and ovarian cancer. Our comprehensive lending library, educational brochures, and medical information specialist service are integral to the organization’s work – helping patients and loved ones to find accurate medical information that can guide their care.

Through the project Finding Reliable Health Information Online, funded by the NN/LM PSR Express Outreach Awards program, we sought to increase health information literacy and awareness of MedlinePlus among members of the breast and ovarian cancer communities, minority healthcare trainees, and members of minority communities. We did this through a series of health information literacy training sessions and outreach exhibits. Working collaboratively with partner organizations, we delivered an educational presentation at a public library and at a community non-profit agency that provides vocational training for healthcare workers. We also offered this session as an in-service training for Bay Area Cancer Connections Helpline volunteers, and for our clients and members of the public. Through lecture, exercises, and discussion, participants learned how to critically evaluate health information and to use MedlinePlus as their go-to site for discovering quality health information. Health information literacy and MedlinePlus awareness also became a component of our regular outreach calendar.

Linda McIntyre and attendeesIn numeric terms, we planned six outreach exhibits and completed more than 20, reaching more individuals than we had hoped. We also completed the four educational events we had proposed. The most rewarding outcomes we saw were in the organizational relationships we developed and deepened over the course of the project. Internally, this project helped to strengthen bonds between the Bay Area Cancer Connections library and our Marketing and Volunteer Resources departments, as we collaborated on outreach work. We also formed a new external partnership with the Mountain View Public Library, our organization’s first public library partnership and one on which we hope to build.

Getting to know the staff and resources at our RML was invaluable as well, and we are confident that the relationships we have developed in the course of this project will be helpful as we plan our health information literacy and outreach work for the future. Funding from this project allowed two staff members to attend a PubMed for Trainers class, which has boosted our research skills.

Although we designed this project with an understanding that MedlinePlus and health information literacy instruction are important, it was striking to see the extent of the need. Most training session participants were unfamiliar with MedlinePlus prior to the session; those who had used the site had used only a small subset of its features and were grateful to learn more. The project staff noted that it would have been beneficial to vary the pace of our educational sessions more to suit the information literacy level of our audiences. And organizationally, we believe we could have done more to promote off-site events in-house, and better clarified mutual expectations with our project partners. Our award period has ended, but our outreach and MedlinePlus promotion continue, and we are looking forward to building on this project in the future!

Former UCLA Librarian Gail Yokote Announces Retirement!

Gail Yokote Long-time NN/LM PSR Network member Gail Yokote, currently the Associate University Librarian for Collection Services at the University of California, Davis, has announced her retirement effective July 1. Gail has had an outstanding nearly four-decade career with the UCLA and UC Davis Libraries. She is also one of the original members of the NN/LM PSR family, known previously as the Pacific Southwest Regional Medical Library Service (PSRMLS). She served as PSRMLS Information Specialist in 1973-1977 and Head of the Information Services Section in 1979-1981. At the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, Gail served as Assistant Head of the Reference Division from 1977-1979 and as Associate Biomedical Librarian from 1984-1998. Then Gail relocated to UC Davis, where she has served as an Assistant or Associate University Librarian overseeing various operations, including sciences, technical services, research services, collections, and systems. She was also the Acting Co-University Librarian in 2009-10.

Gail is nationally recognized in the medical library field, having just completed service on the National Library of Medicine Board of Regents from 2012-2016. She was Chair of the Board during the last year of her term. Gail is also currently serving on the National Institutes of Health’s prestigious Council of Councils. In addition, she served as a member of the National Library of Medicine Biomedical Library & Informatics Review Committee (BLIRC) from 2003-2007. Gail has also held various elected positions in the library field, including serving as co-chair of the Medical Library Association (MLA) National Program Committee from 1992-1995 and 2000-2003. Gail was a member of the MLA Board of Directors from 1987-1990, and Secretary from 1989-1990. She also served as President of the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona (MLGSCA) in 1980-1981. Gail was honored with the MLA Estelle Broadman Academic Librarian of the Year Award in 1989 and was selected as a Fellow of the Medical Library Association in 2005. She has also been a Distinguished Member of MLA’s Academy of Health Information Professionals since 1990.

Several current NN/LM PSR staff members have known Gail for many years as a member of the regional Resource Library Directors group and in various other capacities, and we are very grateful for her thoughtful contributions and advocacy to the NN/LM over the years. Her strategic thinking was always appreciated and her legacy will not soon be forgotten. Gail’s last day on the UC Davis campus will be Friday, June 17, and a retirement party and celebration of Gail’s career will be organized for a date in July.

Please join us in congratulating Gail and wishing her the best for the future!

DOCLINE: 2016 MLA Update

Elisabeth (Lis) Unger, the DOCLINE Team Lead from the National Library of Medicine, presented an update on DOCLINE for the 2016 Medical Library Association annual conference. At the conference, a recorded video was featured at the NLM Theater presentations booth. In the video, Lis talks about recent changes to the DOCLINE team at NLM. She also summarizes changes to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) with the new five year cooperative agreements, including: Read more »

NLM Announces Selection of 2016-2017 Associate Fellows

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced the selection of its 2016-2017 class of Associate Fellows. Four fellows will join NLM in the fall of 2016. The Associate Fellowship Program is residency fellowship at the NLM located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. The one-year program, beginning in September every year, offers a robust educational and leadership experience, ranging from formal lectures and presentations to projects in operations, research and development, policy and data analysis, all within the context of the role of a national library on the national and international stage. Read more »

New NLM Learning Resources Database

Learning Resources DatabaseThe National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced the new NLM Learning Resources Database, making it easy to find educational resources for NLM products and services. These materials include videos, tutorials, and handouts on products such as PubMed, ClinicalTrials.gov, Unified Medical Language System, and many more. Now you can find resources using one interface rather than searching different areas of the NLM Web site. An API is also available to auto-populate NLM learning resources on your Web site.

The database currently holds all of the resources previously listed on the former Distance Education Resources Web page. There is a permanent redirect from this page to the NLM Learning Resources Database. Additional resources are being added on an ongoing basis. Read more »

New NLM Director Announced: Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD

Dr. Patricia F. Brennan National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, announced today that Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, will be the next director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library and a component of NIH. She expects to begin her new role in August. Dr. Brennan comes to NLM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is the Lillian L. Moehlman Bascom Professor, School of Nursing and College of Engineering. She also leads the Living Environments Laboratory at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery that develops new ways for effective visualization of high dimensional data. A recipient of many awards, Dr. Brennan is a past-President of the American Medical Informatics Association, a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), and a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, the American Academy of Nursing, and the New York Academy of Medicine. Additional biographical details appear in this press release from the NIH Director.

Dr. Brennan has been a pioneer in the development of information systems for patients. She developed ComputerLink, an electronic network designed to reduce isolation and improve self-care among home care patients. She directed HeartCare, a web-based information and communication service that helps home-dwelling cardiac patients recover faster and with fewer symptoms. She also directed Project HealthDesign, an initiative designed to stimulate the next generation of personal health records. Additionally, she conducts external evaluations of health information technology architectures, and works to repurpose engineering methods for health care. Dr. Brennan received a master of science in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following seven years of clinical practice in critical care nursing and psychiatric nursing, she held several academic positions at Marquette University, Milwaukee; the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.

Dr. Brennan spent a year at NLM in 2002-2003 as a visiting senior scientist in the Lister Hill Center and has a longstanding appreciation and understanding of NLM and its important work. Her expertise and experience, as well as her focus on developing health information systems that support patients, caregivers, and the general public, are an excellent fit for NLM at this point in the Library’s history. Dr. Brennan will also bring a valuable perspective to NIH as it launches the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort program, and she is ideally suited to lead the NLM in the era of precision medicine, as the Library becomes the epicenter for biomedical data science, not just at NIH, but across the biomedical research enterprise.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Brennan as the new NLM Director!

MLA’s Educational Webcast – The Consumer Health Library: A Site for Service, Education, and Hope

The Medical Library Association’s educational webcast, The Consumer Health Library: A Site for Service, Education, and Hope, held on April 26, 2016, was a success! Read more »