May 26, 2022

NLM 175: Upcoming Events and Milestones at National Library of Medicine

As many of you know the National Library of Medicine (the world’s largest library of library of the health sciences and collections) in Bethesda, MD is celebrating their 175th anniversary in 2011 with many events, a special web site, a couple of contests and more.

An recent announcement reminded us of two special events taking place in the next few weeks.

1.March 29-30: Disaster Information Outreach Symposium

Presentations will feature research results, project reports, and personal experiences of librarians active in managing health information and other library resources to improve disaster outcomes. Librarians’ actions in response to the H1N1 influenza outbreak, the Haiti earthquake, major U.S. hurricanes, and local emergency events will illustrate practical ways to be involved. Speakers will discuss the online resources, communications, social media, and NLM programs that support responders’ abilities to make well-informed decisions and communicate health messages to the public. There will be updates on the development of disaster information competencies and a new disaster information specialization being developed by the Medical Library Association.

The event has reach maximum capacity but you can be placed on a waiting list and/or learn about the webcast (free) of the entire symposium on this page.

2. April 6-7: A Workshop on the Long-Term Preservation and Management of Electronic Health Records

Electronic health-related patient information is vital for clinical care and medical research. However, systems interoperability for preservation, storage, and accessibility of such health data have not yet been defined. Clinical data in digital form represents a digital library and inherits all the same administration and technical issues faced by digital libraries in other fields: what to retain and for how long; how to handle obsolescence of hardware and software; interchange of information; costs; assignment of responsibility; standards. In addition, clinical data involves issues of privacy, legal constraints, economics, and data ownership that complicate preservation even further. If preservation of clinical information is not addressed, valuable and irreplaceable information will become inaccessible, or disappear over time with disastrous consequences for patient care and research value. Replacing lost data even if possible, will entail huge costs for patients, clinicians, administrators, pharmacists, and potentially, the entire country.s economy.

The workshop will take place in Bethesda, MD. There is no charge to attend the event but registration is required.

The program and a speakers list are also available.

Some NLM History from the 175th Anniversary Web Site

+ A Timeline of NLM Milestones
You’ll learn that 2011 is the 40th anniversary of Medline (Medlars Online) as a national service.

+ A Collection of Photos Documenting NLM’s History (via Flickr)

+ NLM Historical Collections: Access an Overview Page With Info, Links and a Sampling of Digitized Images

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.