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NEC Spotlight November 28th, 2022
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Making a Difference: The Life and Legacy of Donald Lindberg

Posted by on September 23rd, 2022 Posted in: Blog

Dr. Lindberg’s incredible impact on biomedicine was recently celebrated during a day-long virtual scientific symposium, Science, Society, and the Legacy of Donald A.B. Lindberg MD. The symposium was co-sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and Friends of the National Library of Medicine (FNLM) and provided an opportunity for a rich discussion by speakers from a range of academic and professional organizations to recognize his dedication, humor, and lasting influence on topics like education, bioinformatics, precision medicine, computing, and public outreach and partnership. Also featured among several discussions was his impact on the dynamic mission of health sciences libraries, a perceptive and inspiring vision described in The modern library: lost and found, among his other comments on libraries.

Dr. Lindberg’s legacy also reflects significant attention to both outreach and evaluation, two topics near and dear to our hearts at the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) National Evaluation Center. These two areas build nicely on our shared NNLM mission, “to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public’s access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health”. I encourage everyone to learn more about Dr. Lindberg’s impact on outreach and outreach evaluation in a terrific article by Frederick Wood and Elliot Siegel, Are we making a difference? Outreach evaluation in practice.

The symposium celebrated countless large and small ways that Dr. Lindberg “made a difference” to people across scholarship and society. His impact serves as a strong foundation for the exciting work underway at the National Library of Medicine – and an important reminder that any vision is possible when we work together and focus on the public good.

Sincere thanks to the NLM and FNLM, to the event committee, and to Jeffrey Reznick, Chief of the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine, for their efforts to make such a wonderful tribute and celebration possible.  Dr. Brennan’s remarks from the program are available on her Musings from the Mezzanine blog in a post, When You Stand on the Shoulders of a Giant, What Do You See?  NNLM colleagues participating in the event included Region 2 Director Shannon Jones, NCDS Associate Director Peace Ossom-Williamson, and NEC Director Kristi Holmes. The recorded proceedings are available on the NIH Videocast Archive and the NLM YouTube channel. Complete details from the event can be found on NLM’s Events page.

Written by NEC Director Kristi Holmes


  1. Lindberg DA. The modern library: lost and found. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1996 Jan;84(1):86-90. PMID: 8938334; PMCID: PMC226129.
  2. Wood FB, Siegel ER. Are we making a difference? Outreach evaluation in practice. Inf Serv Use. 2022 Apr 26;41(3-4):241-254. doi: 10.3233/ISU-210126. PMID: 35602570; PMCID: PMC9071792.

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