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GUEST AUTHOR

Outreach Services by the Harley E. French Library of the Health Sciences By Lila Pedersen, director of libraries, and Barbara Knight, assistant director, Harley E. French Library of the Health Sciences

Library outreach to the fire department? emergency responders? EMTs? You might find these to be strange audiences for library outreach. The Harley E. French Library has a long history of outreach services to the state, and even beyond. Our outreach efforts were able to grow as the National Library of Medicine (NLM) began promoting outreach by awarding funds to medical libraries. In 1992 we received a grant from the NLM to travel to Indian reservations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska—the Aberdeen Region of the Indian Health Service (IHS). Lorraine Ettl (the library’s head of public services, now retired) traveled thousands of miles to 25 IHS facilities, where she trained 350 health care workers to search the medical literature database, Medline. Since then, the library has taken advantage of many opportunities to continue outreach to many groups— health care professionals, American Indians, public health workers, social service agencies, the public as health care consumers, and most recently emergency responders. From 2002 to 2007, Judy Rieke, then the library’s assistant director and now retired, rejuvenated outreach to American Indian communities through several projects funded by the NLM. She forged partnerships with North 20

NORTH DAKOTA MEDICINE Spring 2012

Dakota’s five tribal colleges by providing their libraries with computers and access to databases, and teaching the librarians how to mine Pubmed and other NLM databases. Rieke formed a cohort of American Indians recruited from the North Dakota reservations to assist the NLM to develop its American Indian Health website. And she trained many health professionals at the IHS sites in the state to make expert use of Pubmed and related NLM and NIH databases. In 2006, the Harley E. French Library was designated an Outreach Library by the Greater Midwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. As an Outreach Library, we have received funds every year since then to support outreach services. Our librarians have traveled throughout the state to small communities such as Velva, Williston, Grafton, Rolla, Bottineau, Rugby, Stanley, Oakes, and Carrington to acquaint health care providers with information services and to train them in effective use of the medical literature. We have offered classes in public libraries to the librarians and the public alike in Mandan, Minot, Bismarck, Harvey, Bowman, and Fargo. Our staff have even been guest lecturers in classes at North Dakota State University and Minot State University. Sandi Bates, head of reference and

North Dakota Medicine  

North Dakota Medicine Spring 2012

North Dakota Medicine  

North Dakota Medicine Spring 2012

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