Looking Backward, Looking Forward—Together

photos of Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan's time as Director of the National Library of Medicine

One thing I’ve learned as a federal employee is that nothing at work ever happens all alone. As I look to retirement from NIH and federal service at the end of this month, I invite you to look backward at what we have accomplished together and look forward to the next journey for NLM!

Keeping Cool in the Library!

woman in library using an oscillating fan to keep cool

This summer the United States is experiencing an unprecedented heat wave, with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees for days on end across the country. When health challenges emerge, people often turn to libraries as sources of information and support. NLM is proud of its resources that link people to the trusted health information they need.

Listening… and Watching… and Learning

Animated GIF of a Deaf person on a video chat signs "health" and "practice" to a room of five colleagues

Recently, Meryl and I visited in person with the trainees at Gallaudet University, where we were challenged to consider how language affects terminology and knowledge formalization, especially when engaging with the Deaf community.

How Do the Values of NLM Shape and Support Its Mission?

book titled "NLM Values" pulled off a bookshelf

I have been taking some time recently to talk with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Leadership Team about the values that guide what we do at NLM and the way they influence our work.

Our Libraries: Keeping Hope Alive for Heart Health

library shelves leading towards bright light of hope

Right now, I am reading The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles. One quote that struck me the most is, “Libraries are lungs. Books the fresh air breathed in to keep the heart beating, to keep the brain imagining, to keep hope alive.”

The NLM Mezzanine . . . A Space and a Place

When we launched this blog over six years ago, we selected the title NLM Musings from the Mezzanine to reflect that the thoughts and ideas originated in this beautiful place, situated on the upper story of the National Library of Medicine building on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. I reflected on this inspirational place … Continue reading The NLM Mezzanine . . . A Space and a Place

Endings and Beginnings

two figures building a snow person made from the letters N, L, and M

I LOVE this time of year…. I love the cold weather (I am a snow baby at heart!); I love the holiday season and the connections with my past and present; I love the sense that as one year ends, a new one comes along—and we don’t have to do anything to make this happen! … Continue reading Endings and Beginnings

How Looking Back Leads Us Forward: A Musings Year in Review

When NLM wrapped up 2021 last December, we took a moment and considered what our future might bring. What would a hybrid work environment look like? How would we UNITE to show our commitment to health equity? Where are we in regard to our building renovations? And how would we continue to innovate NLM products … Continue reading How Looking Back Leads Us Forward: A Musings Year in Review

Anticipating a Future We Never Anticipated

During the summer of 2017, my first summer as Director of the National Library of Medicine, Joyce Backus—our then-NLM Associate Director for Library Operations (ADLO)—approached me with a wild idea: “How about we engage an architectural firm to guide renovations of our library space?” Joyce was a forward-thinking ADLO and had already done much to … Continue reading Anticipating a Future We Never Anticipated

Do You Play Word Games?

cell phone screen with word game: trust, serve, align, blast, health

There is an astoundingly popular word game in which the player gets six tries to guess the word of the day, which has been pre-drawn from a list of five-letter words. The only skills one needs are the ability to recognize the alphabet and basic English-language spelling ability. My sisters and I play every day … Continue reading Do You Play Word Games?