Network of the National Library of Medicine members who are used to working with the MidContinental Region – particularly those in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri – will see shifts in their service contacts as the network redraws its map and enters a new five-year funding cycle in May.
Members will still find themselves with plenty of support from NNLM after the change. Access to National Library of Medicine resources like PubMed and MedlinePlus will not be affected.
NLM, part of the National Institutes of Health, will enter into new agreements with the academic health sciences libraries throughout the country that serve as Regional Medical Libraries for NNLM. Seven RMLs will serve more than 8,000 NNLM member libraries and organizations across the country beginning in May, consolidated from eight under the previous arrangement.
“Professional, knowledgeable staff will remain a core part of NNLM’s service to libraries in all the regions,” said John Bramble, associate director for the MidContinental Region. “The faces, names and email addresses of your points of contact may change depending on where you are located.”
The University of Utah’s Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library has served as the RML for the MidContinental Region since 2001 will continue in that role in a new Region 4 through 2026.
Three states from the current MidContinental Region – namely, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado – will be merged with New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota to form Region 4. Meanwhile, the states of Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri will be moved from the MidContinental Region into a new Region 3 with Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
NNLM will continue to offer its members funding for health information access and other projects related to the improvement of public health, as well as professional training, opportunities to connect with health sciences libraries and health-related information centers in each region, and access to free educational and print materials including NLM traveling exhibitions.
NNLM’s main goals are to work through libraries and other members to support a highly trained workforce for biomedical and health information resources and data, improve health literacy, and increase health equity through information. Through meaningful engagement strategies the NNLM increases health information access and use for all audiences, including underrepresented populations.
The reorganization reconfigures regions and reduces disparities between regions in two ways – total population served and number of member libraries and organizations supported.
The NNLM design remains the same with this FOA, comprising grantee staff operating RMLs, national offices, and national centers. RMLs remain an integral component of NNLM that serve as regional hubs for Network members; assess, interpret, and reflect all community information needs in the region; develop, foster, and maintain relationships between and among NNLM and members in the region; and reach all communities in the U.S.
For 2021-2026, the current NNLM Evaluation Office is transformed into a new, separate NNLM Evaluation Center that brings more expertise, innovation, and focus to analyzing and reporting the effectiveness, value, and impact of the Network’s regional and national programs and activities. The change also allows NNLM to strengthen its evaluation program and encourage innovation.
For more information please see the Announcement.