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The NIH Almanac

Recent Photos from the National Library of Medicine (NLM)

2013 Photos

 NLM Director Dr. Donald Lindberg recounts the history of the creation of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at a gathering celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013. Providing access to the world’s biomedical and genomic information to advance science and health, NCBI was established as a division of NLM by an act of Congress in 1988. Since then, it has grown into a leading source for public biomedical databases, software tools for analyzing molecular and genomic data, and research in computational biology. NCBI’s resources rank among the most heavily used government Web sites in the U.S., with approximately 3 million users each day.

 In 2013, NLM observed an important milestone—the 15th anniversary of its award-winning consumer health site, MedlinePlus. Launched in October 1998, MedlinePlus features trustworthy content from NIH as well as other federal agencies and private organizations. Since its creation, MedlinePlus has been visited approximately 1.7 trillion times. More than 2 million MedlinePlus pages are viewed each day by people seeking accurate, up-to-date information. MedlinePlus’s reach has been extended through creation of a quarterly magazine, a mobile version of the Web site and MedlinePlus connect, which relays MedlinePlus content to patients and health professionals via electronic health records systems.
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 When traditional communication systems fail: NLM Associate Director for Specialized Information Services Dr. Steven Phillips with the amateur radio emergency e-mail communication system, Walter Reed National Military Medicine Center.
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 In June 2013, the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR) celebrated its 20th anniversary. Created by Congress, this office was mandated to engage in “the collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, and dissemination of information on health services research, clinical practice guidelines, and on health care technology, including the assessment of such technology.” Since its establishment in 1993, NICHSR has made great strides in improving access to health services research information for many audiences. It will continue to do so through many NLM programs and key partners in the private and non-profit sectors, academia and government.
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2012 Photos

 This healing totem, created by master carver Jewell James of the Lummi Nation, Washington state, is ensconced in the NLM herb garden after a 4,400-mail cross-country journey. Along its long route, it was blessed by several Native American tribes. The totem is but one unique item in NLM’s exhibition, Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness, which is on display at NLM through 2013 and will also travel nationally. (
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Photo of the Patient Tracking in Disasters team.In March 2012, NLM and its partners in the Bethesda Hospitals' Emergency Preparedness Partnership (BHEPP) won a coveted HHSinnovates award for developing a tool to help hospitals handle the surge of patients during a disaster. The portable, electronic system provides real-time information on the number of incoming patients, the severity of their injuries, and their location within the hospital so key personnel can quickly make strategic decisions about patient care and safely share patient information when victims are moved from one hospital to another. US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius named The Patient Tracking and Locating System a "Secretary's Pick." The system was developed and tested during disaster drills by NLM and the three nearby hospitals that form the public-private BHEPP: the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, which like NLM is part of the National Institutes of Health; the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, also part of the federal government; and Suburban Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine, a community-based hospital in Bethesda.
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2011 Photos

Photo of workers standing in front of the NLM.The National Library of Medicine marked its 175th anniversary year in a big way with this unique group photograph. As part of the celebration, hundreds of workers formed the number 175 and posed for a commemorative photo on the Library’s front steps. Assembling the staff and creating the photo was a feat that involved logistics, art, aerial bravery and the ability to stand still for 10 minutes on a cold December day, but the result was clearly worth it. (Photo by
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2010 Photos

Image of Medline Plus webpage.NLM
NLM’s popular consumer Web site, MedlinePlus ( undertook a complete (and well-received) makeover of its site, in English and en español, in 2010.

Image of MobileMedline Plus screen on a mobile device.NLM Mobile MedlinePlus
MedlinePlus also launched a mobile version,, to provide users with on-the-go access to many resources located on the Web site.
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Image of NLM Standards  webpage.NLM Data Standards
Key elements in the implementation of electronic health records nationwide are standardization of medical terminology and interoperability of those records. NLM has a long and distinguished history in this area and continues to work closely with policymakers at HHS and the White House, and to conduct its own research.
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Image of DIMRC webpage.NLM Disaster Information Management Resource Center
Resources were added this year to the DIMRC site, to aid those coping with earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, and the Gulf oil spill. This year, NLM also activated the Emergency Access Initiative, to provide free reference materials to Haiti and Pakistan.
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Illustration of Twitter bird holding sign.NLM medlineplus4you
In 2010, social media really took off at NLM. NLM has more Twitter feeds and Facebook accounts than any other NIH Institute or Center, and we’re employing those to spread the word about NLM’s many programs and services to our audiences all over the world.
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2009 Photos

photo of several military men in uniform walking ahead of emergency vehicles. BHEPP Disaster Drill
On October 15, 2009, NLM participated in a disaster drill in Bethesda, MD.  Joining forces were the other members of the Bethesda Hospitals Emergency Preparedness Partnership (BHEPP)—the NIH Clinical Center, the National Naval Medical Center, and Suburban Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medical. This unique alliance pulls together public, private, and military facilities, creating a model that could be replicated around the country and also serving as a laboratory for the development of cutting-edge disaster-related technologies. NLM’s effort is coordinated by the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) office at the Division of Specialized Information Service (SIS).

photo of NLM Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg NCBI’s 20th Anniversary
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a component of NLM, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a program February 5, 2009 in Natcher Conference Center. NCBI is a national and international resource for molecular biology information. It creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information—all for the better understanding of molecular processes affecting human health and disease.

NLM Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, who helped lead the charge for the creation of NCBI in the mid-1980s, gave an overview of the planning process. Here, he is showing an image of Congressman Claude Pepper (D-FL), whose House Select Committee on Aging Subcommittee on Health and Long-Term Care held hearings on the need for a national biotechnology information center. On the left is Aging Committee member Cong. Lindy Boggs (D-LA), while Frances Humphrey Howard, an NLM employee who was also a driving force in NCBI’s creation, is on the right. She was the sister of U.S. Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.
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photo of two men in native american costume. Powwows
Begun as an effort by the Office of the NIH Director and the NIH Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) office in 2001, the NIH Native American Powwow Initiative has brought together several NIH offices during its history. It is now under the auspices of NLM. Participating in the powwows allows NLM to build and nurture relationship with Native American communities on the east coast and in other areas of the US. Specifically, these gatherings afford excellent opportunities for NLM staff to share health information (online and in print), while informing Native Americans about NIH as a biomedical resource. These festive gatherings allows staff to engage Native Americans in conversation, learning about their specific health concerns and also learning more about their customs.

This colorful scene is from the Mashpee-Wampanoag powwow, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 4th of July weekend, 2009.
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medline announcing NLM's 10th Anniversary Symposium. NIH MedlinePlus Magazine
In 2009, NLM celebrated its third year of producing the NIH MedlinePlus quarterly magazine, an outreach effort made possible support from NIH and the non-profit Friends of the NLM. The free magazine contains no advertising and is widely distributed to the public via physician offices, libraries, and other locations, with a readership of up to 5 million nationwide. Each magazine focuses on the latest research results, clinical trials, and new or updated guidelines from the various NIH institutes A Spanish/English version, NIH MedlinePlus Salud (Spanish for “health”), was launched in January 2009 with support from the National Alliance for Hispanic Health to address the specific health needs of the growing Hispanic population and to showcase the many Hispanic outreach efforts and NIH-funded research results.
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This page last reviewed on April 7, 2014

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