NLM Library Operations
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has a legislative mandate to collect, preserve, and disseminate biomedical health information. Library Operations (LO) supports the mandate by collecting, curating, preserving, and disseminating the world’s largest biomedical collection of information for public use. Learn more NLM’s collection development guidelines.
LO collects, curates, and connects (“3 Cs”).
LO’s 2036 Long Range Plan outlines its strategic priorities (more details coming soon).
LO is comprised of divisions and an office structure.
- Collect by selecting, acquiring, and preserving one of the world’s largest and most trusted physical and digital collections of health and biomedical information – in both physical and digital form;
- Curate by cataloging, indexing, processing, and creating metadata to make biomedical information FAIR, or Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable, through our rich portfolio of resources; and
- Connect by linking our diverse global audience to NLM’s collections, products, and services for users of all backgrounds to learn, research, and discover information about health and biomedical matters.
NLM’s LO envisions a future in which data and information will continue to transform and accelerate biomedical discovery and improve health and health care globally. Goals of our 2036 Long Range Plan (details coming soon) are to:
- Create a modernized organizational structure
- Unify and transform NLM collections
- Support and promote the use of health data standards & terminologies
- Provide customer design experience support
- Know and equitably engage our users
LO includes the following Division and Office Structure:
The Bibliographic Services Division fosters expanded access of health information to health professionals and the general public through MEDLINE®, the NLM premiere citation database to biomedical literature references. BSD also produces and provides access to terminology and health data standard products like the UMLS, VSAC, RxNorm, DailyMed, MeSH vocabulary, CDE Repository, and other related products.
The Office of Engagement and Training (OET) serves as a connector linking NLM and NIH biomedical and health information to their users. In its efforts, OET emphasizes reaching and engaging underserved populations and communities, as well as professionals who serve them. OET coordinates the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM).
The History of Medicine Division collects, preserves, makes available, and interprets the world’s richest collection of historical materials, spanning the 11th to 21st centuries in both physical and digital formats. Work of the division includes a variety of interrelated programs which connect the global public to NLM historical collections, including the NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine, an award-winning exhibition program, annual NLM History Talks, Profiles in Science, Medicine on Screen, and a popular blog called Circulating Now.
The Public Services Division is responsible for providing access to the NLM collections. It produces MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus Connect and houses the National Information Center on Health Services Research & Health Care Technology (NICHSR) addressing the information needs of the health services research workforce.
The Technical Services Division (TSD) is responsible for the selection, acquisition, and cataloging of all materials for the NLM modern collection. TSD coordinates technical services programs and projects with the library community including other national and research libraries in the U.S. and abroad, several library associations, and other government and non-government organizations.
Connect with Us
NLM Reading Room
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Blog posts from NLM Musings from the Mezzanine
- Reflect, Reimagine, Reenergize TOGETHER
- MLA ’22: NLM as an Engine for Innovation and Discovery
- A New Frontier: The Impact of a 1959 Board Meeting
- A Peek into the Inner Workings of NLM’s Health Information Services
- (Re)Engineering the National Library of Medicine Building
- Health Data Standards: A Common Language to Support Research and Health Care
- NLM is a Leader in Using AI to Improve User Experiences
- Making Connections and Enabling Discoverability – Celebrating 30 Years of UMLS
- The Next Normal: Supporting Biomedical Discovery, Clinical Practice, and Self-Care
Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM)
Last Reviewed: September 21, 2022