Network of the National Library of Medicine
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Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) Organizational Handbook

Infrastructure and Operations


As a group, the RMLs ensure continuity for essential programs of the NNLM, and cooperatively design, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to serving the biomedical and health information needs of researchers, health professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public in communities across the U.S. Below are set trans-NNLM activities, and others may be formed to meet specific needs throughout the UG4 cycle. Dates of meetings will change with the new UG4 cycle as negotiated by all parties.

1.The Steering Committee (SC)

As an example for how the 2021-2026 Steering Committee (SC) will operate, below are the current charters for the Steering and Program Committees of the NNLM. This Workbook and its appendices will be modified and updated in response to decisions and changes made by the SC.

2020-2021 Charter of the Steering Committee (SC)
Objectives and Scope of Activity

The Steering Committee (SC) provides strategic direction and decisions on related matters pertinent to work of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) program as performed under a Cooperative Agreement between the Regional Medical Libraries, the National Coordinating Offices, and the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Description of Duties

  1. The SC provides strategic guidance and direction ensuring the work of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) program, as carried out by the Regional Medical Libraries, the National Coordinating Offices, and the NLM National Network Coordinating Office, is in alignment with the overall mission and goals of the NNLM and the National Library of Medicine.
  2. The SC sets priorities, based on the above missions and goals, guiding actionable initiatives enabling Regional Medical Libraries and National Coordinating Offices to implement local, regional, and national programing promoting National Library of Medicine programs and services meeting the information needs of consumers, health professionals, and librarians.
  3. The SC investigates and initiates program efficiencies reducing duplication of effort, maximizing resources, and ensuring consistency of message, while acknowledging regional requirements and diversity of needs.
  4. The SC provides oversight for all Centers established within the NNLM. This includes the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Center (CEC), the All of Us Training and Education Center (TEC), and the NNLM ACIOP Coordinating Center (NACC). The TEC provides SC with regular updates. As All of Us community engagement and ACIOP awardee coordination and engagement are part of the RML program, the CEC and NACC Project Leads are ex-officio members of the SC Program Committee.
  5. The SC establishes the national identity of the NNLM program by ensuring consistency of the program message and member experience.

Membership and Designation
SC membership for May 2020-April 2021 includes:

  • Principal Investigators (PI); 1 from each Region; 8
  • Office of Engagement and Training (OET) Chief; 1
  • National Coordinating Office Project Leads (PL); 5
  • Extramural Programs (EP) Program Official (ex officio); 1

Ex-officio members may include National Library of Medicine staff and representatives from other programs as requested by the SC and/or the Chief, OET.

SC membership beyond April 2020 will be set by vote by the SC.

Quorum
An official meeting of the SC must consist of a quorum of at least:

  • One (1) representative from each RML (Principal Investigator or designee)
  • Five (5) National Office Project Leads or his or her designee; cannot be the same person who is representing the RML
  • One (1) OET Project Scientist

Decision Making Process, Motions, and Voting
SC members will be given the opportunity for open discussion on all relevant issues based on the agenda. Discussion is intended to explore issues, raise concerns, and suggest solutions. Final recommendations will take the form of a proposed motion that is seconded. Voting in virtual meetings will be conducted using a voting/polling mechanism. Voting in in-person meetings will be conducted by an open show of hands. Any voting SC member may request a private ballot vote. Each Region, National Coordinating Office, and the OET will be given one vote for a total of fourteen (14) votes. The motion will pass with a simple majority vote of eight (8) or more. If the vote is tied, the Chair will initiate a second round of open discussion followed by a second round of voting. If a tie continues, the Chair may serve as final determinants. The Extramural Program Officer and ex officio members will not participate in voting.

SC Roles and Responsibilities
Chair: The SC chair will be selected from the pool of PIs, AD/EDs, and PLs. Duties of the Chair are setting the meeting schedule, arranging meeting logistics (rooms, teleconferencing information), calling for agenda items, setting the meeting agenda, facilitating and leading the meeting, acknowledging action items, and announcing vote outcomes.

Recorder: The OET or designee will serve as Recorder. Recorder will record the meeting minutes. Minute summaries will be submitted to the OET via email for review within five (5) business days of the meeting conclusion. Once the meeting minutes are reviewed and approved, the Recorder will post them to the NNLM staff intranet. Minutes will contain, at a minimum, date and place of meeting, the list of present members, business discussed, motions made and how they were resolved including vote counts, and standing action items.

Members: Members attending the meetings will be prepared to contribute. Members are responsible for assigned action items and communicating meeting outcomes to their staff and Network members as appropriate.

Meeting Frequency and Format
Meetings of the SC will be held quarterly. Meetings beyond April 2020 will be set by vote by the SC.

If it is deemed necessary to hold an in-person meeting, the location will be voted on by the membership with ample time to budget travel expenses. Meetings will be closed to the public except as determined otherwise by the SC.

Subcommittees
The SC appoints subcommittees based on strategic direction. Subcommittee members will be appointed by the SC based upon their expertise to carry out the charge of subcommittee. Each subcommittee will have a Chair and draft a charter including information on its name, membership, function, estimated frequency of meetings, deliverables and expected termination date. The advice/recommendations of a subcommittee must be deliberated and voted on by the SC. All subcommittee members may vote on subcommittee actions. All subcommittee documentation, including charter, membership, agendas and meeting minutes, voting records, and final reports must be posted to the NNLM staff intranet.

The SC Program Committee is a standing subcommittee of the SC. The SC Program Committee advances mission of NNLM by operationalizing the SC vision and planning, coordinating, and implementing programs and activities in the RMLs, National Coordinating Offices, and the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Center. The committee makes recommendations to the SC for final decisions and approval. Changes in the membership of this committee will be made by the SC.

Amending the Charter
Proposed changes to the Charter will be submitted to the Chair. The Chair will bring proposed changes to the SC for discussion and vote.
 


2. SC Program Committee

The SC Program Committee is a standing subcommittee of the SC. The SC Program Committee advances mission of NNLM by operationalizing the SC vision and planning, coordinating, and implementing programs and activities in the RMLs, National Coordinating Offices, and the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Center. The committee makes recommendations to the SC for final decisions and approval. Changes in the membership of this committee will be made by the SC.

2020-2021 Charter of the SC Program Committee
Scope

The SC Program Committee is a standing subcommittee of the SC. The SC Program Committee advances the mission of NNLM by operationalizing the SC vision and planning, coordinating, and implementing programs and activities in the RMLs, National Coordinating Offices, and the National Centers.

Charge
The SC Program Committee will:

  • Operationalize decisions and vision of the SC;
  • Make decisions that address operations which impact more than one office;
  • Make recommendations to the SC for final decisions and approval. Roles & Membership; and · review and vote on proposed national initiatives according to the SC-approved National Initiatives Framework to go to the SC for final decision.

Membership
SC Program Committee membership for May 2019-April 2020 includes:

  • Associate Directors/Executive Directors: 1 from each Region; 8
  • Office of Engagement and Training (OET) Chief; 1
  • National Coordinating Office Leadership: 1 from each Office; 5
  • National Center Leadership (ex officio): 1 from each Center; 3
  • Extramural Programs (EP) Program Official (ex officio); 1
  • Ex-officio members may include National Library of Medicine staff and representatives from other programs as requested by SC Program Committee and/or the Chief, OET

Roles and Responsibilities
Chair: Duties of the Chair are setting the meeting schedule, arranging meeting logistics (rooms, teleconferencing information), setting the meeting agenda, facilitating and leading the meeting, recording minutes and action items, and announcing vote outcomes.

Recorder: The OET or designee will serve as Recorder. Recorder will record the meeting minutes. Minute summaries will be submitted to the OET via email for review within five (5) business days of the meeting conclusion. Once the meeting minutes are reviewed and approved, the Recorder will post them to the NNLM staff intranet. Minutes will follow SC-approved meeting minutes template or content sections.

Members: Members attending the meetings will be prepared to contribute. Members are responsible for assigned action items and communicating meeting outcomes to staff and Network members as appropriate.

Changes in the membership of this committee will be made by the SC.

Decision Making and Voting
As the role of the SC Program Committee is operational, the Committee will make decisions that address operations which impact more than one office.

SC Program Committee members will be given the opportunity for open discussion on all relevant issues based on the agenda. Discussion is intended to explore issues, raise concerns, and suggest solutions. Final recommendations will take the form of a proposed motion that is seconded. Voting in virtual meetings will be conducted using a voting/polling mechanism. Voting in in-person meetings will be conducted by an open show of hands. Any voting SC member may request a private ballot vote. Each Region, National Coordinating Office, and the OET will be given one vote for a total of fourteen (14) votes. The motion will pass with a simple majority vote of eight (8) or more. If the vote is tied, the Chair will initiate a second round of open discussion followed by a second round of voting. If a tie continues, the Chair may serve as final determinants. The Extramural Program Officer and ex officio members will not participate in voting.

Items brought before the committee that impact all of the offices (i.e. a national impact) or involve national strategy will be taken to the Steering Committee for a final determination. If it is unclear whether the decision can be made by the Program Committee or should be taken to the Steering Committee, the chair of the Program Committee will make the final determination.

Meetings
Meetings will be held bimonthly in WebEx. Occasionally, SC Program Committee members will meet jointly with the SC.

Communication
SC Program Committee members are expected to communicate issues and decisions back to the entity they represent, and to bring concerns, feedback and recommendations to the Committee from their RML or Office. Notes, recordings and deliverables will be shared on the NNLM Staff Intranet, and a notice of availability posted to NNLM-All.

Subcommittees
Subcommittees of this group may emerge to address particular NLM or NNLM initiatives or to carry out specific SC decisions.

Renewal
In March of each year, the SC Program Committee will review the charter for changes or renewal. Proposed changes to the Charter will be submitted to the Chair. The Chair will bring proposed changes to the SC Program Committee for discussion and vote.
 


3. NNLM Offices

 

NNLM Web Services Office (NWSO) 
 
2021-2026 Specific Aims — The NWSO is intended to develop and maintain reliable and modern Web services for NNLM public and internal needs; identify, implement, and evaluate information systems security tools; work collaboratively with RML, Office, and Center (ROC) staff to develop and maintain the nnlm.gov website, membership directory and customer relationship management (CRM) system in RedHen, staff intranet, NNLM Data Reporting System (DRS), warehouse (for legacy and operational data, reporting and visualization tools, and course/training systems; and identify software needs of ROCs. For additional details regarding the 2021-2026 goals for NWSO see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-LM-20-001.html.
 
Related Current Activities/Accomplishments — NWSO is currently working on the following initiatives for NNLM ROCs: Implementation of Tableau for data visualization; rollout of a Learning Locker to capture interactions with training modules; licensed Atlassian products Confluence for creating collaborative workspaces and Jira to manage projects; and a redesign of and technology upgrade to Drupal 8 for the NNLM website.  For more information about the current NWSO, visit https://nnlm.gov/nwso.
 

NNLM Training Office (NTO)

2021-2026 Specific Aims — The purpose of the NTO is to create and implement a national education program for key NLM products and services and coordinate the instructional efforts of NNLM trainers. Specifically, the NTO will work with RML, Office, and Center (ROC) and OET staff to identify, develop, implement, evaluate, and maintain NLM trainings; promote training activities; provide assistance in course development and instructional design; and maintain instructional standards and the NNLM Guidelines for Classes. For additional details regarding the 2021-2026 goals for NTO see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-LM-20-001.html.

Related Current Activities/Accomplishments — NTO is currently working on the following initiatives: Leading the Education Advisory Team (EAT) to develop strategy and policy for the NNLM Training Program and quality design guidelines for webinars and online classes; developing and implementing public training on PubMed, bioinformatics, and research data management; supporting NNLM staff through teaching and learning workshops and other internal staff training; supporting training infrastructure such as the Learning Object Repository (LOR) and Moodle course management system; providing training, assistance and auditing of NNLM materials for 508 compliance; and sharing information via NTO newsletter, social media, and other channels. For more information about the current NTO, visit https://nnlm.gov/nto.

 

NNLM National Evaluation Center (NEC)

2021-2026 Specific Aims — The new NEC is intended to bring both established and innovative evaluation frameworks and evidence-based evaluation tools and practices to NNLM. The NEC will collaborate with RML, Office, and Center (ROC) staff to develop strategies and standardized approaches for evaluating outreach and education services; with the NNLM Training Office (NTO) to provide continuing education opportunities for NLM, RMLs and network members; and with the NLM Office of Engagement and Training (OET) to ensure NNLM evaluation strategies are aligned with the NLM Strategic plan. The NEC also will develop and implement approaches for automated data flow and integration across reporting tools as well as maintain and improve the NNLM data dashboard.  For additional details regarding the 2021-2026 goals for the NEC see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-LM-20-002.html

Related Current Activities/Accomplishments — The current National Evaluation Office (NEO) is working on the following initiatives: Development of evaluation pathways that intersect K-12 Health, Rural Health, Underserved, and LGBTQ evaluation; ensure alignment of evaluation reports and tools across NNLM and the NNLM All of Us Research Program; Creation of an RFP rubric for NNLM RMLs; and organizing data, documents and files in preparation for transition to the NEC. To learn more about the current NEO, visit https://nnlm.gov/neo.
 


4. DOCLINE Coordinating Committee
 

Charter of the DOCLINE Coordinating Committee
Statement of Purpose

The DOCLINE Coordination Committee (DCC) provides overall resource sharing strategies and solutions for the NNLM and serves as a central feedback mechanism for NLM on the DOCLINE user experience. The DCC is a committee of the NNLM Steering Committee.

Charge

The DCC:

  1. Develops 3-5 goals annually for NNLM Resource Sharing Program and maintains documentation of any standards or guidelines for NNLM members;
  2. NNLM Resource Sharing Program goals should be in the SMART format; and regularly reported on to the NNSC;
  3. Supports national and regional resource-sharing networks, including identifying potential new DOCLINE members;
  4. Provides feedback and input to the NLM DOCLINE team based on user experience;
  5. Coordinates with NPHCO on providing services and information to health professionals;
  6. Plans and develops solutions for providing services to unaffiliated health professionals;
  7. Coordinates with NTO on resource sharing training and webinars, including the DOCLINE system; and
  8. Evaluate the effectiveness of the NNLM Resource Sharing Program.

Duration/Renewal
In March of each year, the group will review the charter for changes or renewal. Renewal, dissolution, or changes in charge must be approved by the Steering Committee (SC).

Roles & Membership

Chair/Co-chair(s): The chair(s) shall be elected from the membership for a one-year term (May 1 - April 30). Responsibilities of the DCC Chair(s) are to: 

  1. Lead meetings, with opportunities for all participants to provide input;
  2. Develop the agenda, with input from meeting participants;
  3. Manage the meeting timeline to ensure that all topics are addressed and/or deferred appropriately;
  4. Communicate with stakeholders; and
  5. Ensure that periodic reports are submitted and shared on the staff intranet as required, including a final report if the group is not ongoing.

Members
Each RML, NTO, NPHCO, OET, NLM CAS will appoint a member to the DCC to serve a one-year renewable term (May 1 – April 30). Members are expected to represent their entity by sharing news, soliciting feedback, and voting on behalf of their entity. A proxy should be sent in the absence of the DCC member. Members will come to meetings prepared to do business having reviewed all documents and agenda items prior to the meeting.

Meetings
Meetings will be held monthly in WebEx, at a recurring time determined by the membership. Meetings will be open to NNLM & NLM staff to observe. Action Items and Key Discussion Points will be recorded by the Chair(s) or designee(s).

Decision Making
Each member of the DCC votes on behalf of their RMLO. A simple majority of total members is needed to pass an item. Formal votes will be conducted online following meetings and open for 8 business days to allow members to obtain feedback from their RMLO. Decisions will be added to the meeting minutes. Appeals to decisions may be presented to the OET. Where applicable, decisions will be moved to the NNSC for final approval.

Committee Documentation & Communication

  • Agendas and associated documentation will be shared at least 2 working days prior to the meeting.
  • Minutes will be posted to the Staff Intranet within 5 working days.
  • The chair(s) will communicate activities and decisions with the Program Committee and submit a quarterly update for NNLM All staff.
  • Any reports, guidance, plans, or other documents produced will be the Staff Intranet.

Activities & Priorities
The DCC will develop approaches and responses to each component of the charge. Any recommendations for NNLM action will be submitted to the Steering Committee for approval. Information for the public should be maintained publicly on NNLM.gov. In May of each year, the DCC will present to the Steering Committee a list of priority activities to advance the strategy and policy of the NNLM Resource Sharing program for approval.
 


5. NNLM National Initiatives

Definition
A national initiative is an RML/Office/Center-led activity in which a majority of regions contribute to the goals and outcomes of the activity.

Regions may opt-in to participate and determine the level and type of contributions to accomplish goals of the project based on regional/local contexts. Offices are available to support national initiatives, but early conversations during the conceptualization of the project are required to determine the reasonable and appropriate contribution of the Office(s) involved.

Process
National initiatives are proposed to the SC program committee, which reviews and makes recommendations for submission to the SC for approval. The SC sanctions national initiatives for the Network.

Origins
Network national initiatives can be proposed by any RML, Office, Center, or other group within the NNLM. DHHS, NIH, and/or NLM may mandate national activities for the Network based on legislative, policy, or other grounds. For NNLM-generated initiatives, SC will approve the concept, NNLM implementation, and execution. In the case of DHHS, NIH, and NLM mandates, SC will approve NNLM implementation, and execution.

Current NNLM National Initiatives:

 


6. NLM and NIH Priority Areas for NNLM:

The NNLM responds to priority areas from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by reflecting these issues, topics and activities in the work of the NNLM. Typically, through Working groups, the NNLM collaboratively work to identify opportunities nationally and regional to highlight and/or implement programs and activities.

Current priority areas for NNLM