Many of our readers know that the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) has a two-part mission, the first part being “to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information.” The MidContinental Region staff along with the Eccles Health Sciences Library and partner libraries in our six state region are supporting unaffiliated health professionals, via the Loansome Doc program, and other services for accessing information. The public health work force in state health departments have the need to access for evidence based public health practice as well.
Javier Crespo, Manager of the NNLM’s National Public Health Coordination Office and staff, creatively provide resources that public health workers around the country can use for their research. Javier recently promoted his program and services by presenting at the MidContinental Region’s monthly webinar series Breezing Along with the RML. Here are some key points shared about the program:
Essentials in Program Implementation: Teamwork
The NPHCO staff play a vital role in implementing the PHDL model. They supply the in-house support to users and also provide online training and instruction for the resources along with managing the resources in the PHDL. This is not the kind of service that you buy and then find out later that the support is lackluster or non-existent if something goes wrong. The NPHCO staff is accessible and helps users to troubleshoot problems. The NPHCO staff frequently assesses the PHDL for the right mix of resources so that the collection is sustainable. They routinely ask for feedback from members to meet their needs.
A public health department also has to agree to several responsibilities before initiation of membership in the program. The department must provide:
The NPHCO is a strong example of a NNLM office with a complex system of many moving parts, but yet has exemplary teamwork. The idea is to recruit and expand membership every year and make sure that the program is sustainable. We hope that the NPHCO will be recruiting and accepting more members from the MIdContinental Region. That can be done with your help. Encourage your state public health work force to review the services of the NPHCO and contact their office with questions, if they are seeking quality resources for their research evidence-based practice. To recap- public health departments in two states (Colorado & Utah) in the MCR are currently subscribers to the PHDL. The state public health departments of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Wyoming are not yet members. We hope that fact will change with further expansion of the program in the region!
-Jim Honour, Wyoming/Member Services Coordinator