The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NNLM MAR), based at HSLS, has over 1,000 organizational members, including academic and health sciences libraries, public libraries, schools, community-based organizations, and public health departments. In March, a librarian from a National Network of Libraries of Medicine member library was named one of Library Journal’s 50 “changemakers who are transforming what it means to be a librarian.”
Several years ago, Karen Parry, Information Services Manager at the East Brunswick Public Library in New Jersey, started an innovative service at her library. “Just for the Health of It” assists patrons in finding high quality health information and partners with local health care providers and others to provide health programming at the library. In 2017, the East Brunswick Public Library and fellow NNLM members Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Saint Peters University Hospital were recognized by the New Jersey Hospital Association for their effort to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate health information to underserved populations.
In her “Movers and Shakers” profile, Karen acknowledged NNLM. As the profile states, “In 2010, Parry signed up EBPL as an affiliate member of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM). It has been a boon, she says. EBPL librarians receive ongoing training, and three NNLM grants have enabled it to create and market a 24-7 Just for the Health of It! community portal.” All five of the consumer health librarians at the East Brunswick Public Library have earned their Consumer Health Information Specialization through training offered for free by NNLM MAR staff. The “Just for the Health of It” portal links to several National Library of Medicine resources, including MedlinePlus. And, Karen has also been a great partner for NNLM MAR, including serving as Chair of our Consumer Health Special Advisory Group, co-presenting with NNLM MAR at conferences and being featured as a Member Spotlight in our quarterly newsletter.
The mission of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is to promote the access and use of high quality information by health providers and the public. Partners like Karen Parry and the East Brunswick Public Library are essential to fulfilling that mission. Congratulations, Karen!
~Kate Flewelling, Executive Director, NNLM MAR