NIH News Advisory
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Library of Medicine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 29, 1997
Bob Mehnert
(301) 496-6308

Expanded Fellowship Program for National Medical Librarians Month

In conjunction with "National Medical Librarians Month," Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NLM), today announced a major expansion of the NLM Associate Fellowship Program-a challenging and enriching learning experience for graduate library and information science professionals bound for leadership positions. In making the announcement, Dr. Lindberg said, "At a time when the delivery of health care is undergoing massive changes, it is critical that we acknowledge and support the contributions of those professionals who are mapping and navigating the health information superhighway-medical librarians."

The expansion of the NLM Associate Fellowship Program is one outgrowth of a long range planning report on the education and training of health sciences librarians commissioned by NLM's Board of Regents. Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, pioneering heart surgeon and Chairman of NLM's Regents stated: "Health sciences librarians play a vital role in making medical information accessible to health professionals and, increasingly, to the general public. Society benefits when these librarians are well equipped to participate in the design, development, and delivery of health information systems."

October 1997 marks the first National Medical Librarians Month sponsored by the Medical Library Association and the fortieth anniversary of the NLM Associate Fellowship Program. At the National Library of Medicine, Associate Fellows learn about NLM's operations and research initiatives, use advanced information technologies, and develop analytic and research skills by conducting special projects. Beginning with the 1998/99 program, the number of Associate Fellows will increase and an optional second year at another health sciences library or information center will be added to the fellowship program. This second year will provide Fellows with an opportunity to work with multi-disciplinary teams in designing, implementing, and integrating information services into the clinical and educational programs of the library's parent institution.

Applauding NLM's decision to expand the Associate Fellowship Program, Rachael Anderson, current MLA President and former Chair of the NLM Board of Regents, remarked "I perceive a growing demand for librarians who are well prepared to exercise a more expansive view of their roles and responsibilities. Health care's evolutionary reform and the growth of managed care call for knowledge-based information and open up opportunities for library linkages to programs that are crucial to the success of health care institutions."

NLM Associate Fellows are recruited nationally and competitively. Former Fellows have gone on to a range of leadership positions in academic health sciences centers, hospitals, information service companies, drug companies, graduate schools of library and information science, and national libraries. Information and applications for the program are on the Web at http://www.orau.gov/nlm/nlmassoc.htm.