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Charting a Course for the 21st Century – NLM's Long Range Plan 2006-2016

Executive Summary

In a world that is increasingly digital, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) already plays a pivotal role in enabling biomedical research, supporting health care and public health, and promoting healthy behavior. By connecting and making the results of research from scientific data to published literature to patient and consumer health information readily available, the Library magnifies the positive impact of the countrys investment in the creation of new knowledge. In the next ten years, NLMs programs and services will become even more central to scientific discovery, treatment, and prevention. Careful planning and visionary thinking are critical to the pursuit of that future.

This Long Range Plan contains four overall goals:

Goal 1. Seamless, Uninterrupted Access to Expanding Collections of Biomedical Data, Medical Knowledge, and Health Information

Recommendation 1.1. Ensure adequate space and storage conditions for NLMs current and future collections to guarantee long term access to information and efficient service delivery.

Recommendation 1.2. Preserve NLMs collections in highly usable forms and contribute to comprehensive strategies for preservation of biomedical information in the U.S. and worldwide.

Recommendation 1.3. Structure NLMs electronic information services to promote scientific discovery and rapid retrieval of the right information by people and computer systems.

Recommendation 1.4. Evaluate interactive publications as a possible means to enhance learning, comprehension, and sharing of research results.

Recommendation 1.5. Ensure continuous access to health information and effective use of libraries and librarians when disasters occur.

Recommendation 1.6. Establish a Disaster Information Management Research Center at NLM to make a strong commitment to disaster remediation and to provide a platform for demonstrating how libraries and librarians can be part of the solution to this national problem.

Goal 2. Trusted Information Services that Promote Health Literacy and the Reduction of Health Disparities Worldwide

Recommendation 2.1. Advance new outreach programs by NLM and NN/LM for underserved populations at home and abroad; work to reduce health disparities experienced by minority populations; share and actively promote lessons learned.

Recommendation 2.2. Work selectively in developing countries that represent special outreach opportunities, such as improving access to electronic information resources, enhancing local journal publications of high quality, and developing a trained librarian and IT workforce.

Recommendation 2.3. Promote knowledge of the Librarys services through exhibits and other public programs.

Recommendation 2.4. Test and evaluate digital infrastructure improvements (e.g., PDAs, intelligent agents, network techniques) to enable ubiquitous health information access in homes, schools, public libraries, and work places.

Recommendation 2.5. Support research on the application of cognitive and cultural models to facilitate information transfer and trust building and develop new methodologies to evaluate impact on patient care and health outcomes.

Goal 3. Integrated Biomedical, Clinical, and Public Health Information Systems that Promote Scientific Discovery and Speed the Translation of Research into Practice

Recommendation 3.1. Develop linked databases for discovering relationships between clinical data, genetic information, and environmental factors.

Recommendation 3.2. Promote development of Next Generation electronic health records to facilitate patient-centric care, clinical research, and public health.

Recommendation 3.3. Promote development and use of advanced electronic representations of biomedical knowledge in conjunction with electronic health records.

Goal 4. A Strong and Diverse Workforce for Biomedical Informatics Research, Systems Development, and Innovative Service Delivery

Recommendation 4.1. Develop an expanded and diverse workforce through enhanced visibility of biomedical informatics and library science for K-12 and college students.

Recommendation 4.2. Support training programs that prepare librarians to meet emerging needs for specialized information services.

Recommendation 4.3. Continue support for formal, multidisciplinary education in biomedical informatics to increase the supply of informatics researchers who can work at the intersections of molecular science, clinical research, health care, public health, and disaster management.