HSLS’ Regional Medical Library Provides Outreach to Veterans

HSLS serves at the Regional Medical Library (RML) for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR). As one of eight RMLs in the country, we work under a five-year, federal contract with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to support their efforts to advance the progress of medicine and improve public health by providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving individual access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.

vfw 3One of the ways we accomplish this is by exhibiting at national, regional, and state meetings of health professionals, public health workers, library associations, and organizations that represent consumers. NN/LM MAR librarian coordinators provide information about biomedical and health information products produced by NLM and available online at no cost.

In the past year, NN/LM MAR staff introduced NLM resources to nearly 3,000 professionals throughout our four-state region of Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania by exhibiting and offering continuing education programs at 39 meetings or conferences. Many of the attendees provide services to minority, immigrant, rural, and underserved communities without access to library services and in need of quality, evidence-based resources for clinical decision making and patient education.

Most recently, NN/LM MAR exhibited at the 116th National Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Conference, a five-day event held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. In addition to conversing with VFW and Ladies Auxiliary members from all over the world while staffing the exhibit table, NN/LM MAR offered a health information workshop twice each day titled, “Combatting Information Fatigue: Health Information Resources for Veterans.”

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Soldiers, veterans, and military families are a priority outreach group for NN/LM MAR. We have partnered with groups such as the Veterans Mental Health Coalitions, Delaware Military Community Partners, VA health system, as well as various social service agencies and public, academic, and hospital libraries to provide health information education and programming to this important population. We are in the process of forming a regional working group to promote NLM resources and encourage health information programs that connect libraries with organizations providing services to soldiers, veterans, and their families.

If you are interested in learning more about NLM resources for soldiers, veterans, and their families, or if you know of organizations that would benefit from education on such resources, contact us at nnlmmar@pitt.edu.

~Renae Barger, Executive Director, NN/LM, Middle Atlantic Region