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Public Services Division

The Public Services Division (PSD) is responsible for providing access to, maintaining, digitizing, and preserving print and nonprint material in the NLM collection. In addition, PSD staff develop and maintain MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus Connect, consumer health information resources available on the NLM website.

Collection Access Section

The Collection Access Section provides access to the library’s collection to patrons using the library’s reading room and through interlibrary loan. The section also manages DOCLINE®, NLM's automated interlibrary loan request, routing, and referral system for sending and receiving document requests that is utilized by health science libraries across the U.S. and Canada, and many libraries worldwide.

Preservation and Collection Management Section

The Preservation and Collection Management Section works to extend the life of and expand access to the collections through an active binding, digitization, and preservation program.  Digitized titles are available online via NLM's Digital Collections.  In partnership with the Wellcome Trust, the section digitizes backfiles of biomedical journal literature, which are made freely available online in PubMed Central (PMC), NLM's digital archive of life sciences journal literature. The section also manages the collection by maintaining the stacks, ensuring collections security, and managing the Library’s Journal Donation Program designed to encourage libraries to donate print journals, indexes, and other serials they no longer wish to retain.  

Reference and Web Services Section

The Reference and Web Services Section helps to meet biomedical information needs of U.S. health professionals, scientists, health sciences librarians, and the public.  Librarians help online and onsite researchers use NLM products and services, such as PubMed and a variety of electronic and print resources, during regular hours.  As the primary contact point for online visitors, Reference and Web Services staff respond to requests for help with any of the resources, services, and programs of the Library.  Staff can be reached through an online Support Center, by telephone (1-888-FIND-NLM), or by mail.  Onsite researchers may access hundreds of databases and other electronic full text resources, including NLM’s extensive collection of journal subscriptions.  Staff also maintain the NLM website, advise medical librarians in the United States, and create and maintain selected Topic-Specific Queries.

Reference and Web Services Section staff also provide leadership and support in technology and health content for the Library and many of its key products. The Section's primary responsibilities include MedlinePlus, one of the library’s consumer health websites and MedlinePlus Connect, which links health IT systems, patient portals and electronic health record (EHR) systems to relevant, authoritative patient health information from

Since the early 1990s with the establishment of the National Information Center for Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), NLM has developed a number of specialized information resources targeted to producers and users of health services research (HSR). These specialized resources were designed to address some of the challenges in finding and accessing credible authoritative health services research information.

Last Reviewed: April 17, 2019