Yes! The Regional Medical Libraries have a history of collaborating on sponsoring events, on developing and teaching classes, and on improving staff technology skills. We’ve now taken this collaboration from the activity level to the organizational level. In December after months of discussion the National Network Steering Committee (NNSC), the strategic direction and priority setting body of the NNLM, agreed on three national goals. It also agreed on the data that should be collected to evaluate and describe the success of the program. Traditionally each region has developed its own evaluation plan. This is the first time that NNLM has developed one evaluation plan for the whole program.
Goal 1: Connect NLM and NNLM resources to local and regional communities to increase awareness of, access to, and use of biomedical and health information
Goal 2: Build capacity in emerging trends, such as data management practices, services and tools, to support FAIR data guiding principles
Goal 3: Enhance health information access by further developing health sciences librarians’ professional skills and knowledge.
This goal carries out the recommendation of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health for the National Library of Medicine to “…strengthen its role in fostering the future generations of professionals….”1 Success will be measured by identifying the NNLM activities conducted for health sciences librarians and the number of health sciences librarians who receive training through the program. We’ll also determine the impact of our training by finding out if and how trainees are using what was taught. The NNLM MCR has already started collecting this information. If you’ve attended a “Discover the NLM and More” webinar we hope you’ve allowed us to follow up with you to determine the value of the training. We love hearing that you used what you learned to help patrons locate health information or that you taught or presented to others about how to use the resources. We like knowing that we help you do your job better. This feedback shows our funder (NLM) and their funder (Congress) that our program has impact.
This goal addresses the future without knowing what the future is using data management practices as the example. The National Network Steering Committee wanted to build in nimbleness should the world of information or health care change. This foresight has already paid off. Since the NNLM was funded the focus on precision medicine (also known as personalized medicine) and the All of Us Research Program is refocusing our attention. The juncture of recruiting one million and more volunteers to contribute their health information and the resulting data is one that the NNLM is considering. We are coming up with ideas on how to increase awareness among Network members and suggestions on how libraries (all types of libraries) can learn about precision medicine. To measure our progress toward this goal we’ll be tracking the collaborations we support addressing emerging trends, as well as metrics related to events and training.
This goal encompasses the outreach efforts of the NNLM where we increase awareness and skills about the availability of reliable health information. The NNLM MCR coordinators are focusing on community health clinics, public libraries, K-12, and the public health work force as our way of reaching communities. We’ll track funding, training, events, demographics to demonstrate the reach of the program.
-Claire Hamasu, Associate Director