$10 Million Grant for Eccles Library to Continue Leading National Education Program
By: Catherine Soehner, MLS, BSN | Apr 15, 2021 6:00 PM
In 2001, the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) was awarded a five-year grant from the National Library of Medicine (NLM). That grant designated the library as the Regional Medical Library (RML) for Region 4 of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM). Ten years later, EHSL continued its role as Region 4 and was also awarded the only NNLM Training Office (NTO) in the United States.
We are pleased to share that the EHSL has again been awarded a $10 million grant by the NLM. This latest award renews our role as the NTO and extends our designation as the RML for Region 4, a nine-state region encompassing Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
The grant is another significant milestone for EHSL and an important step for all of us at University of Utah Health. We are very excited to begin work on this five-year grant that will allow us to improve access to reliable health information throughout our region.
This is the fourth time since 2001 the library has had a five-year contract to serve as one of seven RMLs across the nation—and the third time it has been named NTO. We also know that the NLM’s continued confidence in our programs and resources only further establishes EHSL as a leader both regionally and nationally.
Improving Health Equity
The grant will focus on improving access to quality health information, giving special attention to underserved communities. It will also allow the EHSL to continue to collaborate with other NLM RMLs, offices, and centers across the nation.
As the Region 4 RML, the library will implement programs that support the NLM mission to provide researchers, health professionals, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data. This will also include training, funding, and engagement opportunities for member libraries and other organizations.
Other activities and responsibilities will include exhibiting NLM products at national health professional meetings, distributing health news through blogs, partnering with regional telehealth centers and community organizations, and facilitating the delivery of journal articles and books to libraries throughout the country.
Creating Community Across the Region
A new arrangement of states in Region 4 means that we will now cover the largest geographic area of any RML. Being centrally located in the region uniquely positions us to successfully engage with this great work.
Region 4 states have a number of similarities, including large rural areas with few cities, Native American Reservations and Tribal Universities and Colleges, extensive areas lacking internet service, border regions with Canada and Mexico, many medically underserved communities and individuals, and rural hospitals and clinics.
Home to the National Library of Medicine Training Office
Our continued contract as the Network of the National Library of Medicine Training Office (NTO) acknowledges EHSL’s accomplishments over the last ten years in providing high-quality instruction and instructional content across the NLM training program while enhancing access to and use of NLM products nationwide. Our team will continue to create and implement a national education program to expand the reach and impact of key NLM products and services. We will also continue coordinating the instructional efforts of all NLM trainers.
Solidifying Our National Distinction
In addition to highlighting the vibrancy and relevance of EHSL throughout the University of Utah Health community, the NLM grant confirms the library’s role as a regional and national thought leader. This grant allows us to continue serving our state, region, and nation in a way that will improve health care delivery, innovation, and training—and, in turn, change lives.
Catherine Soehner, MLS, BSN
Catherine Soehner is the director of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library and associate dean for research at the Marriott Library. During her time at the Marriott Library, Soehner has led the delivery of a wide range of library services, including research and information services, library instruction and training for users, and support for faculty, graduate students, and other advanced users in digital scholarship efforts. Previously, Soehner served in academic libraries at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as the National Library of Medicine.