NLM Office of Engagement and Training
NLM's 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 works with its partners and the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), NLM's field force, to reach targeted audiences at both the national and community levels.
- The NNLM is coordinated by OET. The mission of the NNLM is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public's health by providing U.S. researchers, health professionals, the public health workforce, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data. NNLM’s main goals are to work through libraries and other members to support a highly trained workforce for biomedical and health information resources and data, improve health literacy, and increase health equity through information.
- The Environmental Health Information Partnership (EnHIP), which aims to enhance the capacity of minority-serving academic institutions to reduce health disparities through the access, use, and delivery of environmental health information on their campuses and in their communities.
- OET coordinates NLM's presence at national and international events to increase awareness, access, and use of NLM resources for new and existing users of NLM products and services. NLM events are designed to reach numerous audiences, including librarians, health and academic professionals, and the general public to demonstrate NLM products and services that support and benefit their work and health.
Past Engagement Program: The HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Program (ACIOP) was designed to improve HIV/AIDS information access for patients and the affected community as well as their caregivers and the general public.
OET supports the evaluation needs of NLM and the NNLM through consultation, training, resources, and tools. OET develops metrics and measures for assessing personal and community impact of health information provision and promotes use of evaluation to engage and learn about NLM’s programs, help leadership make data-driven decisions, and enhance the visibility of successes. These efforts are carried out through:
- The NNLM Evaluation Center (NEC) works with OET and network staff to develop strategies and standardized approaches for evaluating NNLM’s outreach and education services; provide continuing education opportunities for NLM, Regional Medical Libraries (RMLs), and network members; and ensure NNLM evaluation strategies are aligned with the NLM Strategic Plan.
- OET provides evaluation for NLM’s outreach activities through the Outreach and Evaluation Reporting System (OERS), NLM’s centralized system for entering, evaluating, and reporting all NLM outreach activities. OET provides support for selecting appropriate evaluation tools, tailoring them to activities, and reporting them in the OERS system.
NLM, through OET, is working toward a sustainable biomedical information ecology in Africa to support the mission of NIH and meet the needs of NIH-funded, U.S. and African researchers, clinicians, students, and policymakers. Our efforts include the development of peer reviewed publishing venues and platforms for researchers, health communication networks to disseminate information to the lay public and policymakers, and human capital development in the health information sciences.
- The African Journal Partnership Program (AJPP) partners open access African health and medical journals with mentor journals published in the United States and the United Kingdom to promote high editorial standards and visibility. The journals are broadly indexed, including in PubMed Central and PubMed/Medline. AJPP is sponsored by NLM, the NIH Fogarty International Center, and the Elsevier Foundation.
- The Moroccan Health Informatics Master’s Program is the first accredited health informatics master’s program in Northern Africa and the Middle East. NLM will provide travel support for European lecturers to fill in gaps in Moroccan expertise.
- The Network of African Medical Librarians (NAML), with NLM support, conducts more than 30 outreach and training workshops per year throughout Africa, as well as a recent H3Africa Fellows webinar series. Training covers PubMed and other NLM resources, health informatics, and systematic reviews. They also partner with AJPP to conduct workshops on scholarly writing, manuscript preparation, research ethics, peer review, and publishing.
- The Tanzanian Health Information Specialist (HIS) Training Program is a 3-year diploma program to develop a nationwide workforce with medical information and electronic health records management skills. NLM worked with the Tanzania Ministry of Health and diverse stakeholders to assess needs, develop curriculum, obtain accreditation, and implement the program in three training facilities. In addition, the Ministry has created a civil service career path for graduates and plans to matriculate, graduate, and then commission about 120 students per year. They will be placed in any 1 of over 6,000 hospitals, clinics, and dispensaries.
- The Ugandan Health Communication Network (HCN) is a network of researchers, librarians, journalists, and policymakers that aims to disseminate accurate, evidence-based health information to policymakers and the public. The program is coordinated by the editor-in-chief of the journal: African Health Sciences, one of the AJPP partners. Activities include planning and developing strategies to disseminate accurate, credible, and timely health information — routinely and during public health crises. They will address health misinformation, disaster preparedness, and response, promote health journalism standards, and share quality health and medical research from NLM and the AJPP.
The NLM Technical Bulletin (TB) is a serial publication produced by OET. TB articles keep users informed about NLM offerings, including product updates, changes, and training sessions. The TB reaches over 21,000 subscribers through GovDelivery and the 10 most popular articles in FY19 had an average of over 5,500 pageviews. The TB also serves as an ongoing record of changes to NLM’s products and services.
OET staff coordinates NLM product experts, NNLM Training Office staff, and NNLM instructors into effective teams that combine product knowledge, instructional design, evaluation, and logistical experience and expertise. Staff have an in-depth knowledge of and experience with target audiences. These teams develop authoritative instruction on NLM resources in the form of train-the-trainer programs offered via the NNLM, adaptable lesson plans, and online tutorials for the public and for embedding into learning management systems.
- Search the NLM Learning Resources Database for online tutorials, training videos, and other instructional materials.
- Explore PubMed Online Training, including quick tours, webcasts, and classes on how to use the system.
- View the NLM Bioinformatics Education for Librarians, which introduces different topics and NCBI databases that support bioinformatics education and discovery, including the NCBI databases Nucleotide, Gene, Structure, and Protein.
- View all NLM training opportunities.
The National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship is a 1-year residency program for recent library science graduates interested in a leadership career in health sciences libraries. The program combines curriculum and project work along with professional development activities to foster the acquisition of subject matter, technical, and soft skills. The program is located at NLM on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The NLM Associate Fellowship Program is one element of the NLM commitment to supporting and developing a skilled workforce in library and information science and open science.
Last Reviewed: May 4, 2022