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Thinking about the PHDL for your Department?

Posted by on December 6th, 2021 Posted in: Blog, How To, PHDL Resources

This post of PHDL Me This provides information for public health departments 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 throughout the country.  Information on participating public health departments is available on  the NPHCO website.

Subscribing.  The Library is available to state and local public health departments as an enterprise-wide resource:  it is not offered to individual subscribers or sub-units of a department.  Subscribing public health departments collaboratively support the resource through an annual fee.

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.  Subscribing 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 other material 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 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 four  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 interested in the Public Health Digital Library should contact us at phdl@umassmed.edu.



Image of the author ABOUT Javier Crespo

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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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