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J Med Libr Assoc. 2005 Oct;93(4 Suppl):S21-34.

The National Library of Medicine's Native American outreach portfolio: a descriptive overview.

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  • 1National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA.



This paper provides the most complete accounting of the National Library of Medicine's (NLM's) Native outreach since 1995, when there were only a few scattered projects.


The descriptive overview is based on a review of project reports, inventories, and databases and input from the NLM Specialized Information Services Division, National Network Office of the Library Operations Division, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and Office of Health Information Programs Development of the Office of the NLM Director. The overview focuses on NLM-supported or sponsored outreach initiatives involving Native peoples: American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.


The review of NLM's relevant activities resulted in a portfolio of projects that clustered naturally into the following areas: major multisite projects: Tribal Connections and related, Native American Information Internship Project: Sacred Root, tribal college outreach and tribal librarianship projects, collaboration with inter-tribal and national organizations, participation in Native American Powwows, Native American Listening Circle Project, Native American Health Information, and other Native American outreach projects.


NLM's Native American Outreach reached programmatic status as of late 2004. The companion paper identifies several areas of possible new or enhanced Native outreach activities. Both papers highlight the importance of solid reporting and evaluation to optimize project results and programmatic balance and priorities.

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