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Thinking about the PHDL for your Department?

Posted by on September 15th, 2023 Posted in: Blog, How To, PHDL Resources


This post of PHDL Me This provides information for public health departments and related organizations considering the Public Health Digital Library.

The Basics

The Library. The Public Health Digital Library is a PHDLScreenShot collection of  evidence-based information resources developed specifically to enhance public health practice, research, and workforce development.  The digital collection is made available to subscribing public health departments and related public health organizations throughout the country.  A list of currently participating public health entities is available on  the NPHCO website.

Access.  The Library is available as an enterprise-wide resource:  it is not offered to individuals or sub-units of a department.  Participating public health organizations collaboratively support the resource through an annual fee.  Larger local health departments can enter the program individually, smaller local health departments are asked to convene a grouping of LHDs to enter the program as a cohort.

NNLM Map for 2021-2026Program source. The National Public Health Coordination Office operations is supported by the National Library of Medicine as part of the Network of the National Library of Medicine program.  Departments become members of the Network and staff can attend all NNLM instruction programs.

PHDL Instruction. With the variety of resources and information needs, instruction on using the PHDL is part of the program.  Scheduled classes are available for open registration by individual users.  Department-specific learning programs can also be be developed, scheduled, and conducted virtually.

Document Delivery. Sometimes called interlibrary loan or article delivery, the PHDL program offers document delivery services for articles and not available through the PHDL collection.  Users can request articles with a Partner Library, a library participating in the program as a document delivery provider.  Document delivery is supported by the annual fee: no additional cost is attached.

Fees.  Public Health Departments pay an annual assessment to have access to the licensed resources of the PHDL. An annual assessment is made for supporting access. With many departments subscribing to the program, fees are assessed for ongoing affordability and are based initially on the departments staff size. We use FTE as a general metric, we know not all staff will be regular users the PHDL. Fees support annual access to the licensed resources and the software tools used to deliver the resources.

Implementing PHDL

Ongoing collaboration. The program works best when departments carry out promotion of resources, schedule classes for using the PHDL, and respond to issues and questions from all parties.  Contacts are necessary at the department.  A primary contact oversees the program and promotes the resource, an education contact helps program instruction and relates information needs, a fiscal contact to facilitate yearly payment, and a technology contact will be needed for initial implementation and support issues.  Depending on capacity, one primary contact can manage all areas of the program.  Contacts are necessary and a team approach is encouraged.

Timeline. While the technical requirements are not difficult, lead time is needed for the department as well as our office.  The access year begins in May.  Departments considering subscribing to the Public Health Digital Library should coordinate with NPHCO at least six-to-five  months before the access year.  Decision to participate in the program should be supported by department leadership.  NPHCO is available to guide implementation and communicate with the department as much as necessary.

Departments and public health organizations interested in the Public Health Digital Library can submit an interest form with some information about your organization.  And we are always available at phdl@umassmed.edu.

 

 

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NNLM Public Health Coordination Office University of Massachusetts Medical School 55 Lake Avenue North Worcester, MA 01655 (508) 856-7633
This 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 UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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