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National Network of Libraries of Medicine: U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)


The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the world's largest biomedical library.  It has been in operation since 1836 and is located on the campus of the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and is one of the 27 institutes.  The library has a vast print collection (most of it underground) and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine is the outreach arm of the NLM and has more than 6,000 member libraries. Communities across the country benefit from health and biomedical information access thanks to the NLM!

The library has more than 180 databases and information resources for research, education, consumer health, reference and more. All are free and always accessible online.  The library also has digital collections in its History of Medicine Division along with online and traveling exhibits.  Its Public Services Division provides multiple services for health professionals and the public. 

NLM Director

Dr. Patricia BrennaDr. Patricia  Brennan, RN, PhD, was installed as the Director of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) in August, 2016.  She is the first nurse and female to head the library in its 181 year history.  "Dr. Brennan is a pioneer in the development of information systems for patients. She developed ComputerLink, an electronic network designed to reduce isolation and improve self-care among home care patients.  She directed HeartCare, a web-based information and communication service that helps home-dwelling cardiac patients recover faster, and with fewer symptoms. She also directed Project HealthDesign, an initiative designed to stimulate the next generation of personal health records. Dr. Brennan has also conducted external evaluations of health information technology architectures and worked to repurpose engineering methods for health care."  She is quite interested in Big Data and precision medicine going forward.  We expect that Dr. Brennan, with her innovative leadership, will be ushering  the NLM in new and interesting directions in the next few years!

Vision of the Director