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One Evaluation Plan for the Whole NNLM Program?

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.

NNLM Goals:

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.

Goal Descriptions

Enhance 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.

Build capacity in emerging trends

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.

Connect NLM and NNLM resources to local and regional communities

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


  1. National Institutes of Health, Advisory Committee to the Director, NLM Working Group. Final Report [Internet]. 2015 June [cited 2017 Mar 22]. 17p. Available from: https://acd.od.nih.gov/reports/Report-NLM-06112015-ACD.pdf


The MidContinental Messenger is published quarterly by the Network of the National Library of Medicine MidContinental Region

Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
University of Utah
10 North 1900 East, Building 589
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-5890

Editor: Suzanne Sawyer, Project Coordinator
(801) 587-3487

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.

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