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Region 4 News April 12th, 2024
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‘Impact for All’ Workshop: NEC Launches Impact Conversation Across the NNLM

Posted in: Data Science

When you think about impact, what word comes to mind?

That was the question posed by National Evaluation Center (NEC) Director Kristi Holmes, PhD, at the start of January’s Network of the National Library of Medicine all-staff virtual summit.

Change. Results. Influence. Transformation.

Using a digital response tool to actively engage meeting attendees, NEC Executive Director Verónica Hoyo and Associate Director Keith Herzog, started the discussion of what impact is, and can be, while highlighting the many resources available for identifying and communicating the impacts of NNLM Regional Medical Libraries, Offices, and Centers.

“Our goal is to make this conversation approachable and something that you want to engage with and expand upon,” said Holmes, director of Galter Health Sciences Library and Learning Center and Associate Dean for Knowledge Management and Strategy at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Impact can happen quickly, take a long time, and/or require a series of smaller sequenced changes. We’ll know we’ve met our goals if we are receiving impact examples that help to tell a story about the activities you’re engaged in that are affecting member organizations and the broader community.”

The newly launched NNLM Impact Story Reporter will serve as the primary vehicle for the NNLM Regional Medical Libraries, Offices, and Centers to provide information to the NEC throughout the year, about what they themselves (as subject-matter experts) have identified as potential breadcrumbs of impact.

“We wanted to provide a straightforward way to report impact that will allow us to capture the amazing work being done while also highlighting effective ways of communicating it to the broader NNLM Network,” said Holmes.

Creating Meaningful Impact

Holmes used the book “Creating Meaningful Impact” by Julie Bayley to establish context for action before leaning into the next steps. In the book, Bayley shares perspectives about impact and impact literacy in an inclusive, approachable, and jargon-free manner and outlines eight principles for developing an impact-literate mindset that are appropriate for individuals and for teams.

The Impact Journey

Holmes asked attendees to consider Impact as a journey that often starts with input activities — actions taken, or work performed through which inputs are mobilized to produce specific outputs.

Using an airplane metaphor and describing the direction much like jet trails in the sky, Holmes said: “Just as important as an impact, is the route taken to get there from activities and outputs to outcomes. We learn a lot by studying the process to be as effective as possible.”

So, what if your inputs, outputs, or outcomes don’t produce the desired impact?

“We can celebrate failure as the language of continuous improvement,” Holmes said. It allows us to gain better understanding of the ecosystem and the expectations of ourselves, our partners, and other interested parties — what is reasonable, external factors within and beyond our control, and how to successfully move forward.”

NEC is looking forward to continuing with Impact Conversations within and across the NNLM.


This post was originally published on the NEC Spotlight blog



Contact us at:
Network of the National Library of Medicine/NNLM Region 4
University of Utah
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
10 North 1900 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5890
Phone: 801-587-3650
This project 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 UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.

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