HSLS is one of eight health sciences libraries across the country coordinating regional and national activities to serve the health information needs of health professionals and the public. With funding from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), HSLS serves as a Regional Medical Library and leads the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Middle Atlantic Region (NNLM MAR), covering Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The goal of the NNLM is to advance the progress of medicine and improve public health by providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving individuals access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.
NLM recently announced a partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) All of Us Research Program (All of Us), part of the Precision Medicine Initiative. The mission of the All of Us Research Program is to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs, enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all of us. The program aims to build one of the largest, most diverse datasets of its kind for health research, with one million or more volunteers nationwide who will sign up to share their information over time.
Through the NLM and All of Us partnership, NNLM’s Regional Medical Libraries and National Offices will focus on improving consumer access to high quality health information in communities throughout the U.S., specifically, by working with public libraries.
This partnership is a three-year pilot program to support All of Us. Activities in the pilot are designed to:
- help public libraries in supporting the health information needs of their users;
- equip public libraries with information about the All of Us Research Program to share with their local communities;
- assess the potential impact of libraries on participant enrollment and retention;
- highlight public libraries as a technology resource that participants can use to engage with the program, particularly those in underserved communities affected by the digital divide;
- establish an online platform for education and training about All of Us and precision medicine, with resources for members of the public, health professionals, librarians and researchers; and
- help identify best practices in messaging and outreach that lead to increased public interest and engagement in the program.
HSLS is also home to the NNLM Web Services Office which develops and maintains web services and infrastructures for NNLM public and internal needs. Under the NNLM partnership with the NIH All of Us Research Program, the Web Services Office will develop and support the learning management platform which will house All of Us courses and training materials.
HSLS received just over $2 million in supplemental funding to participate in this pilot and cooperatively design, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to meet its objectives. Nearly $900,000 will be awarded to public libraries in our region to develop effective and innovative, replicable approaches to meet the health information needs of their communities, including raising awareness of the All of Us Program.
On January 2, Veronica Leigh Milliner, MLIS, joined HSLS as the NNLM MAR All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator. Veronica will work within our region and in collaboration with other regional and national All of Us Program partners and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine to develop, pilot, model, and evaluate All of Us community engagement activities with public libraries. Veronica previously worked as an Outreach Librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, where she extended library services into community-based settings, such as senior centers, the free clinic, and low-income housing. Prior to her work with the Carnegie Library, she worked as an Information Services Trainer at a public library system in Saint Lucia, as a shipboard librarian on a cruise line and as a Peace Corps Community HIV/AIDS Outreach Worker in South Africa. Additionally, Veronica is the Radical Libraries, Archives, and Museums Track Coordinator for the Allied Media Project/Allied Media Conference, which aims to explore various ways that libraries and information institutions can be social justice leaders and spaces for critical engagement.
Posted in the January 2018 Issue