NNLM All of Us CEN Newsletter - August 2020

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August 2020

Online Science Talks For All Ages, Brought to You by Your Local Library

A new summer series called Summer Reading Meets Citizen Science is designed to keep students and adults engaged with reading and research to prevent “summer slide” learning loss.


This article features the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) 2020 and partnership with SciStarter. The partnership with SciStarter is led by Lydia Collins and Kirsten Crowhurst from TEC, and Michael Balkenhol and Tess Wilson from MAR supporting the CSLP. I congratulate the team for your work on this collaboration and publicizing the work of the NNLM to a broad audience outside of the normal “library” channels. Read more!

CHIS Spotlight: 
Jennifer Millier, MLS and Lisa Thornton, MI

Lisa and Jennifer

Positions: Jennifer: Adult Services Librarian
Lisa: Technical Services Librarian

Institution: Scotch Plains Public Library, New Jersey

Please share a few sentences about your position and what you do. Jennifer: I am an Adult Services Librarian, with responsibilities including reference services, collection development, programming and publicity, website content, and social media. I work with Lisa to try to incorporate health-related offerings in each of these areas.
Lisa: I am a Technical Services Librarian with my main responsibilities being in cataloging and collection development, management, and promotion. However, I also spend a portion of my time each week in the Adult Services Department, where I focus on health programming and services. Jennifer and I are both available for one-on-one health information consultations by appointment.

Why did you want to receive Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS)? Jennifer: I have a personal interest in a variety of health-related topics, and realized that even as a professional I felt unsure about how to best locate and evaluate health information. So this seemed like a worthwhile area to pursue continuing education—it’s always good when you can combine personal interest and professional development!

Lisa: I was introduced to the CHIS credential while in the MI program at Rutgers and I began pursuing the credential upon graduation. From my academic studies, I knew that it would offer me a more solid foundation of knowledge in developing and managing a consumer health information collection and providing health reference services to the community. I came to librarianship from a science background and enjoy being able to bring that part of myself into my library work.

How have you used what you learned in NNLM CHIS courses in your work? Lisa: As part of the Stand Up for Health course, I created a health information resource document for the Adult Services staff which described websites with reliable information on the top health topics identified by our area’s Community Health Needs Assessments. Since then, Jennifer and I have adapted and expanded this list to create wellness resource pages on our library website. At the same time, using knowledge from various NNLM CHIS courses, we focused on weeding and updating our print health and wellness collection. We also promote NIH and NLM health websites via social media campaigns, targeting the national monthly health observances and other topics relevant to our community.        

Jennifer: For my final project for ‘Stand up for Health,’ I created a colorful bookmark explaining why you should consult the Library for reliable resources on food and nutrition. This is a good outreach tool to use when we have our table at the local Farmers Market, where people are likely to be thinking about food and nutrition.        

Lisa: Concurrently, we have built upon existing relationships with local organizations such as the community’s JCC and YMCA to bring more health and wellness programming into the library. We also collaborate with the town’s Mayor’s Wellness Campaign. These cooperative efforts are mutually beneficial to our organizations and support an overall message of health and wellness within the community. We are fortunate to have strong support and encouragement from our library director and the staff as a whole as we implement health initiatives. We have been careful to take small, manageable steps so that we can respond to feedback from our patrons and be flexible of their needs. At the New Jersey Library Association 2020 Annual Conference this spring, we will be sharing our experience of creating a health initiative at the library on a panel with other CHIS-credentialed librarians from area.        

Why do you feel providing health information is important to your work/community?  Jennifer: Health is big business! We are all constantly exposed to information about products and services promising to treat illness or enhance wellness. A healthy community requires that people can distinguish between advertising and more objective sources, and be able to access accurate and up-to-date sources of information. Libraries play a major role in both promoting health literacy and in ensuring access to resources in formats that are accessible and understandable to all.        

Lisa: I agree. Jennifer and I both took NNLM’s Health News in the Headlines course and it really brought into focus how we are bombarded with “health” information on a daily basis and how difficult it can be for the public to evaluate that information. The library is a trusted place for information and it is important that we support the community in locating reliable resources and in learning to evaluate what they read online.

Any tips or advice you have for someone interested in taking classes to achieve CHIS? Lisa: The Stand Up for Health course was a great way to gain information and also connect with other public librarians providing consumer health information resources and services. However, every NNLM course or webinar that I have taken over the last year or so has been excellent. For anyone interested in the CHIS credential, I recommend signing up for the NNLM email list to receive course alerts and get started by enrolling in any course or webinar that interests you or is particularly relevant to your community. Jennifer and I have quickly put into practice something from each learning opportunity; the payoff is high.     

Jennifer: As I go through each course, I’m almost constantly thinking “I need to add that” or “we should do this!” The classes really help me incorporate quality health-related content into all aspects of my work.

NNLM Reading Club Selections for August

Diving into fiction can help us understand more about the realities we face. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape daily life, NNLM Reading Club calls your attention to three literary works focusing on the impact of pandemics or infectious disease.

The NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Network is pleased to announce its three book selections for August:

August Book Selections
  • The Murmur of Bees by Sofía Segovia, translated by Simon Bruni
  • Severance: A Novel by Ling Ma
  • A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker

Set within the 1918 influenza pandemic and the Mexican Revolution, The Murmur of Bees continues the Latin American tradition of magical realism associated with writers like Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende. Severance is more dystopian, but with a sense of satire amid the outcomes of an apocalyptic plague. A Song for a New Day explores a musician’s experience in a pandemic that makes public gatherings illegal and concerts impossible.

While you are exploring fictional stories amid outbreaks, we encourage you to stay informed about real-life infectious disease. To learn more about each of these titles and to download book discussion guides, promotional materials and infectious disease information, visit the NNLM Reading Club.

News in Health August

NIH News in Heath

The August 2020 issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. Download a PDF version for printing.

NNLM Reading Club Presents...We Live for the We with Dani McClain

We Live For The We

September 22, 2020
12:00PM - 1:00PM PT

Join authors Dani McClain and Andrea Collier as they discuss McClain’s book, We Live for the We: the Political Power of Black Motherhood.

We hope you will join us for this important conversation which will be livestreamed on YouTube.

The event will also be livestreamed on NNLM PNR's Facebook Page. For news, updates and to link to the livestream event, follow NNLM PNR on Facebook.

Registration is recommended but not required. Registrants will receive the livestream links via email.

NNLM, SciStarter, and All of Us Present Virtual Citizen Science Workshops!


This year, to supplement summer reading programming in public libraries, NNLM, SciStarter, and the All of Us Research Program have collaborated on an exciting series of workshops focusing on citizen science.

SciStarter is an online platform for those who want to explore and engage with citizen science. With their Project Finder, users can filter through thousands of ongoing projects, and discover ways to contribute. Starting with Citizen Science Month 2020, the NNLM has paired up with SciStarter to promote several health-related projects, which can be found on the NLM page of their website.

Each of the upcoming virtual citizen science workshops in this series is graciously hosted by a public library, and features a researcher whose work directly impacts an NLM-supported citizen science project. After a short introduction to citizen science from SciStarter, the researcher offers their perspective, and the workshop ends with an interactive Q&A session facilitated by public library staff. These events are designed for a public library audience of teens and adults.

In July, the series kicked off with two workshops. The first featured Dr. Connie Walker, who directs the Globe At Night research project. This project uses crowdsourcing to “raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution.” She was interviewed by Michelle Lesniak, Director of the South Butler Community Library in Saxonburg, PA. The second of these workshops was hosted by Tredyffrin Township Libraries in eastern Pennsylvania. This time, the Stall Catchers research program was featured, and Children’s Librarian Angie Andre interviewed Dr. Pietro Michelucci.

Check out the links below for more information about upcoming webinars:

Watch the Recording: Globe at Night with South Butler Community Library in Saxonburg, PA on 7/9

Watch the Recording: Alzheimer’s Research Online Q&A with Tredyffrin Township Libraries – Paoli Library in Paoli, PA on 7/23

Watch the Recording: Help Develop RNA-based Medicines Online Q&A with the Newton Public Library in Newton, KS at 1 PM CT on 7/31

Watch the Recording: How to Measure Light in the Night Online Q&A with Riverside Regional Library in Jackson, MO at 10:30 AM CT in on 8/4

Watch the Recording: Investigating Weather and Climate Online Q&A with San Benito County Free Library in Hollister, CA at 2 PM PT on 8/4

Free Registration: Alzheimer’s Research Online Q&A with Olathe Public Library in Olathe, KS at 5:30 PM CT on 8/17

Free Registration: Protect Tap Water Online Q&A with the Studio City Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library in Studio City, CA at 4 PM PT on 8/19

Free Registration: Discover New Antiviral Drugs Online Q&A with the Watts Branch Library at the Los Angeles Public Library in Los Angeles, CA at 1 PM PT on 8/25

Free Registration: Investigating Weather and Climate Online Q&A with Howe Library in Hanover, NH at 7 PM ET on 8/26

Free Registration: Protect Tap Water Online Q&A with Torrance Public Library in Torrance, CA at 4 PM PT on 8/27

Free Registration: Help Track the Flu Online Q&A with Scotch Plains Public Library in Scotch Plains, NJ at 2 PM ET on 8/28

Free Registration: Fight Plastic Pollution Online Q&A with the County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries in San Luis Obispo, CA at 3 PM PT on 9/3