Renae Barger, Executive Director
Last month the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced the award of new, five-year cooperative agreement grants to institutions that will serve as Regional Medical Libraries (RMLs) in the eight regions of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM). Awards also included five National Coordinating Offices which will coordinate and support training, evaluation, web services, DOCLINE support services, and public health information access in all regions. These agreements began on May 1. MAR staff is enthusiastic to continue as the RML from the University of Pittsburgh office. Additionally, the University of Pittsburgh will be home to the National Web Services Office which develops and maintains web services and infrastructures for NN/LM public and internal needs.
The NN/LM program remains vital in NLM’s outreach efforts to health professionals and the public to increase awareness of, facilitate access to, and provide training in the use of NLM’s many web-based information resources; coordinate basic Network services such as interlibrary loan; and work to improve the supporting infrastructure for health sciences libraries. The goal of the NN/LM is to provide access to accurate and up-to-date health information to health professionals, patients, families and the general public, with an emphasis on minority and other underserved populations.
In this current cooperative agreement, a National Network Steering Committee (NNSC) has been implemented with an emphasis on improving transparency, collaboration, evaluation, and outcomes at a national level. Barbara Epstein and I represent MAR on the NNSC.
Regionally, we will focus outreach efforts to reach new populations and organizations providing health information services that will benefit from access to the NN/LM and NLM’s evidence-based biomedical and health information resources. These include: public health workers; community health workers; patient educators; extension professionals; staff at Area Health Education Centers, rural health clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers; health sciences librarians; librarians and staff at public libraries, K-12 schools, community colleges and other 2 and 4 year colleges and universities; seniors; soldiers, veterans and military families; community- and faith-based organizations; and minority, underrepresented, refugee and immigrant populations. As you can imagine, this is a tall order! Therefore, as in the past contract cycle, we are assembling advisory groups to guide our efforts in reaching constituents of these target populations.
MAR Special Advisory Groups (SAGs) for 2016-2021 are:
Much of our programming and outreach is directed in response to feedback from our advisory groups. SAG members are generous professionals representing the diversity of our region and target populations. They unselfishly volunteer their time and expertise to enthusiastically endorse the NN/LM mission. SAG members are active partners in the development, assessment and advancement of health information programming throughout our region. Specifically, SAG members:
SAG membership is rotating, with members serving 1 or 2 year terms. Meetings are held virtually on a quarterly basis.
If you are interested in being more involved in informing MAR programs, consider volunteering to serve on one of our SAGs. Applications are being accepted through June 24.