January 24, 2022

Interview: A 100 Day Q&A with Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, Director, National Library of Medicine

A new interview with Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan is now available online on the NLM In Focus website.

Here are two exchanges from the interview. The complete Q&A runs approx. 21oo words.

Another woman, Carla D. Hayden, was sworn in as the 14thLibrarian of Congress on September 14, just two days after you were sworn in. Have you been in touch?

Yes. I recently saw her at a tribute to Smokey Robinson at the Library of Congress, and we worked together at the American Library Association Policy Planning Sessions.

Dr. Hayden and I agree that public libraries will continue playing a key role in delivering health information directly to citizens in the coming years. This is particularly important as we launch the Precision Medicine Initiative, with its requirement that information specific to a participant will be returned directly to that person. This could raise questions, and the Library, through its National Network of Libraries of Medicine (as well as other outlets such as MedlinePlus), will play an important role in helping people get their questions answered.

What part of your job as director really gets you excited?

I’m so excited about what we’re going to be able to contribute to data science initiatives because we are a library. A lot of what is needed to make data findable and accessible draws directly from our strengths in creating indices and understanding labeling. We’ll just be doing them for a different set of information—raw data instead of published articles.

Direct to Complete Interview

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.