A NNLM National Initiative is an activity approved by the National Network Steering Committee (NNSC) in which a majority of ROCs (RMLs/Offices/Centers) participates.

A NLM/NIH priority for NNLM represents issues, topics, and activities that are important at NLM and NIH, and that NLM’s Office of Engagement and Training (OET) identifies as a priority for the NNLM program.

Active National Initiatives

Confronting Health Misinformation

Confronting Health Misinformation: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Building a Health Information Environment reports that:

Misinformation thrives in the absence of easily accessible, credible information. When people look for information online and see limited or contradictory search results, they may be left confused or misinformed. More broadly, misinformation tends to flourish in environments of significant societal division, animosity, and distrust. 

The NNLM engages with communities to raise awareness of trusted, high-quality, and relevant information and develop strategies to improve health literacy, data literacy, and understand and actively engage in medical research (clinical trials).

Bridging the Digital Divide

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted barriers to health and well-being that were increased due to the digital divide. Issues such as decreased internet connectivity, lack of Wi-Fi, and video chat or webcam technology in both urban and rural areas can hinder access to online health and medical information, and telehealth to its fullest capacity, especially to communities of color, the poor, and medically underserved (Clare, 2021).

The goal of this national initiative is to promote technology and digital equity, digital literacy, and telehealth through long-term partnerships and collaborations that will bring access to online health information to communities across the United States.

Environmental Determinants of Health

Environmental factors can influence human health, including physical, chemical, and biological factors that are external to a person, and all related behaviors. Collectively, these are referred to as environmental determinants of health (EDHs). Threats to any one of the EDHs can have an adverse impact on the health and well-being of the population. These environmental threats can occur naturally, human-made, or because of social conditions and ways people live. Addressing these EDHs will directly improve the health of the population.

The NNLM will establish a baseline of understanding of EDIs for NNLM members. This area will cover a wide-range of topics that include (but are not limited to) socioeconomic factors, natural and built environmental factors, pollution, climate change, disaster information management, mental and emotional health, rural and urban health, tribal health, access to health care, health advocacy, and sustainability.

Traveling Exhibitions

The NLM traveling exhibitions, available free of charge, present inspiring stories about history, society, and medicine. Drawn from NLM, they connect visitors to trusted health information resources.

NLM and NIH Priority Areas for NNLM

Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing:  Through the Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing initiative, NNLM engages communities in addressing societal needs and accelerating biomedical science, technology, and innovation.

Data Science: NNLM supports the goals of the NLM Strategic Plan 2017-2027: A Platform for Biomedical Discovery and Data-Powered Health. Activities are guided through OET’s priority areas as outlined in the document Opportunities for Building Capacity in the Library and Information Science Community to Support Data-Driven Research and Health. A key resource to address this priority is the NCDS Guides & Resources maintained by the NNLM National Center for Data Services.

Student Engagement: Through the Student Engagement initiative, NNLM champions health sciences librarianship by developing partnerships with Library and Information Science (LIS) and other graduate programs, and by collaborating with undergraduate programs, professional associations, and other organizations to work toward increasing diversity in the LIS pipeline.

Substance Use Disorders: The NNLM Substance Use Disorders (SUD) initiative aims to raise the awareness of NLM and partner organization's SUD resources, provide educational opportunities for network members and develop strategies to meet national and regional information needs.

Previous Initiatives

All of Us

The NNLM All of Us initiative is a partnership between NNLM and the NIH All of Us Research Program with two main objectives. The first is to facilitate All of Us community engagement through public libraries and other NNLM members. The second objective is to provide training for All of Us program staff and participants. Community engagement activities support and develop the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Network (CEN). The NNLM All of Us Training and Education Center (TEC) develops training activities and educational content to support community engagement for All of Us.

Public Libraries

The Public Libraries Initiative aims to develop long-term partnerships and collaborations that bring NLM’s information resources to communities across the U.S. The goal of this national initiative is to promote health information literacy by equipping library staff with effective skills and high-quality resources to meet the needs of their patrons.

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