Dangerous Liaisons - UW Libraries

August 1, 2017

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine

Ann Madhavan

Under the NE Pacific Street overpass linking the upper campus to the lower campus, housed among the UW Health Sciences Library staff offices, is the home of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Chapter. What you may ask is the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), and who are the librarians that work there?

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is a nationwide program funded and coordinated by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). An institute within the National Institute of Health, the NLM mission’s is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by: 1) providing all U.S. health professionals equal access to biomedical information and, 2) improving the public’s access to information, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health and healthcare. In 1965, the Medical Library Assistance Act was signed into law, authorizing the NLM to establish the Regional Medical Library Network (now called the National Network of Libraries of Medicine). One of the original eleven regional medical libraries, the Pacific Northwest Region’s office, serving Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, became operational in October 19681 and is administered by the UW Health Sciences Library through a renewable, 5 year cooperative agreement.

Since 1965, the NNLM’s regions have consolidated and currently consist of eight Regional Medical Libraries and five National Centers (Figure 1) Together they provide a variety of outreach services, such as project funding, training, presentations, exhibits, technology support and other types of public programs. Membership is free and members include academic health sciences libraries, hospital, pharmaceutical and other special biomedical libraries, public libraries, information centers and community-based organizations.

Benefits of Network membership include a certificate of recognition, a multitude of training opportunities, eligibility for project funding, and partnerships with other NNLM members.

The Pacific Northwest Region staff includes Director Tania Bardyn, Associate Director Cathy Burroughs, Program Coordinator Maddie Romansic, Fiscal Analyst Susan Meyers, and four coordinators, Patricia Devine (Outreach and Communications), Carolyn Martin (Consumer Health), and Ann Glusker and Annie Madhavan (Research and Data).

If you would like to find out more about the NNLM PNR, drop by and say hello, subscribe to the chapter’s Dragonfly blog, friend us on Facebook or Twitter, or visit our website. During the next several blog posts, Pat, Carolyn, Ann and Annie will introduce you to some of the issues and activities they are currently working on.

1Bunting, A. (1987). The Nation’s Health Information Network: History of the Regional Medical Library Program, 1965-1985. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, 75(3 Suppl), 1–62. [PMC Free Article]