140 Representative Documents: Sharing Collection Data
Programs and Services Fiscal Year 2014 (excerpts)
Joyce E. B. Backus
Associate Director for Library Operations
The NLM Library Operations (LO) Division is responsible
for ensuring access to the published record of the
biomedical sciences and the health professions. LO
acquires, organizes, and preserves NLM’s comprehensive
archival collection of biomedical literature creates and
disseminates controlled vocabularies and a library
classification scheme produces authoritative indexing and
cataloging records builds and distributes bibliographic,
directory, and full-text databases provides national backup
document delivery, reference service, and research
assistance helps people to make effective use of NLM
products and services and coordinates the National
Network of Libraries of Medicine to equalize access to
health information across the United States. These essential
services support NLM’s outreach to health professionals,
patients, families and the general public, as well as focused
programs in AIDS information, molecular biology, health
services research, public health, toxicology, environmental
health, and disaster planning.
Library Operations also develops and mounts
historical exhibitions produces and manages a travelling
exhibition program creates and promotes education and
career resources for K-12 and undergraduate students and
educators carries out an active research program in the
history of medicine and public health collaborates with
other NLM program areas to develop, enhance, and
publicize NLM products and services conducts research
related to current operations directs and supports training
and recruiting programs for health sciences librarians and
manages the development and dissemination of national
health data terminology standards. LO staff members
participate actively in efforts to improve the quality of work
life at NLM, including the work of the NLM Diversity
The multidisciplinary LO staff includes librarians,
technical information specialists, subject experts, health
professionals, educators, historians, museum professionals,
and technical and administrative support personnel. LO is
organized into four major Divisions: Bibliographic
Services (BSD), Public Services (PSD), Technical Services
(TSD), and History of Medicine (HMD) three units: the
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Section, the National
Network Office (NNO), and the National Information
Center on Health Services Research and Health Care
Technology (NICHSR) and a small administrative staff. A
wide range of contractors provides essential support to the
activities of all these components.
Most LO activities are critically dependent on
automated systems developed and maintained by the NLM
Office of Computer and Communications Systems
(OCCS), National Center for Biotechnology Information
(NCBI), or Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical
Communications (LHNCBC). LO staff work closely with
these program areas on the design, development, and
testing of new systems and system features.
Program Planning and Management
LO sets priorities based on the goals and objectives in the
NLM Long Range Plan 2006-2016, and the closely related
NLM Strategic Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic
Disparities. In FY2014, LO continued its work on the
directions of its Strategic Plan for 2010-2015, within this
broader framework.
The Technical Services Division (TSD) officially
reorganized as of January 26, 2014. All selection,
acquisitions, and licensing functions were integrated in one
section, the Collection Development and Acquisitions
Section. The Cataloging Section changed its name to the
Cataloging and Metadata Management Section. The
reorganization created a new section, the Library
Technology Services Section, to manage the Division’s
systems support functions.
In the area of Developing a 21st Century
Workforce, LO held four quarterly all-staff meetings in
which new staff are recognized and updates from every area
of LO are presented to those in the auditorium as well as
staff listening in from off-site. LO continued its second full
year of a Career Enrichment Program, a professional
development program for selected LO staff to obtain a
broader view of LO and NLM and to work on a project of
institutional significance. LO also held ongoing discussion
groups for supervisors. Capitalizing on a new Federal hiring
initiative, Pathways for Recent Graduates, LO hired 17
recent library science graduates, representing 6 percent of
its Federal workforce, in three Divisions. The new
employees will work in acquisitions, e-resource
management, reference, preservation, outreach,
digitization, digital preservation, Web development, social
media analysis and deployment, systems, data analysis,
customer services, Web user experience, and education and
Collection Development and Management
The NLM comprehensive collection of biomedical
literature is the foundation for many of the Library’s
services. LO ensures that this collection meets the needs of
current and future users by updating the NLM literature
selection policy acquiring and processing relevant
literature in all languages and formats organizing and
maintaining the collection to facilitate current use and
preserving it for subsequent generations. At the end of
FY2014, the NLM collection contained 2,781,201 volumes
and 23,867,056 other physical items, including
manuscripts, microforms, prints, photographs,
audiovisuals, and electronic media.
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