Request for Information (RFI): Evolving the Network of the National Library of Medicine
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

July 1, 2024

Response Date:
August 30, 2024

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Library of Medicine (NLM)


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) seeks new ideas to help improve access to health information made available via the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM). The NNLM is managed by the User Services and Collection Division (USCD) at NLM, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

This Request for Information (RFI) offers health sciences and public libraries, health professionals, researchers, public health workers, community organizations, the public, or any other interested party the opportunity to provide information about how the NLM can best provide better access to biomedical information and health information through the NNLM going forward.


The NNLM is a key program in achieving NLM’s objective to reach more people in more ways through enhanced dissemination and engagement pathways as outlined in its Strategic Plan 2017-2027. Through its products and services, NLM supports researchers, healthcare providers, librarians, and members of the public who seek current and trusted biomedical data and information. NLM’s many databases, tools, and services, including, the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), and the Unified Medical Language System, make available citation records, health information, clinical trial registration and results information, genomic information, and terminologies. Effective community engagement is critical to ensuring NLM resources reach a wide range of audiences. Engagement encompasses promoting awareness of available information resources, developing an understanding of user information needs, facilitating access and ensuring the ability to use information resources.

Currently, the NNLM comprises seven Regional Medical Libraries funded via 5-year competitive cooperative agreements. The Regional Medical Libraries engage with more than 8,800 libraries across the country in community-, hospital-, and campus-based settings (for a map and more information about each region and participating libraries, see NNLM Regions). Six national offices and centers provide professional services to support the NNLM in achieving its national initiatives, as well as serving regional needs: the NNLM Evaluation Office, the NNLM Web Services Office, the NNLM Training Office, and the NNLM Public Health Coordination Office, the Center for Data Services, and the All of Us Program Center.

Through the NNLM, NLM provides convenient access to biomedical and health information resources for U.S. health professionals, researchers, educators, and the public. As a key NLM outreach program, the NNLM seeks to reduce health disparities and improve health information and data literacy, by providing funding, professional development, and learning opportunities for participating institutions. The implementation of this work requires partnerships and ways to engage with representatives from the public and private sectors, including researchers, librarians, health professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators, underserved communities, and the public.

The Medical Library Assistance Act of 1965 (MLAA, P.L. 89-291) authorized the establishment of regional medical libraries, which was implemented through the NNLM. Over time, a growing emphasis has been placed on increasing the impact of the NLM through partnerships with participating organizations, including health sciences, hospital, academic, and public libraries, as well as health professionals, data organizations, and community-based organizations.

Information Requested

NLM seeks input from interested communities to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the NNLM. NLM is seeking comment on the following topics.

  1. Important priorities that NNLM should address, including those related to the NLM Strategic Plan 2017-2027the USCD Long Range Plan, the  NIH-wide Strategic Plan, changes and advancements in technology, changes and advancements in health and healthcare, topics of importance to you and your communities, and other related skill and knowledge needs.
  2. How NNLM could address NLM data and data science priorities and NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science goals and objectives.
  3. NNLM services that could be coordinated nationally and/or services that are best coordinated at a local or regional level.
  4. Strategies that NNLM could employ to collaborate with new and existing participants including libraries, health organizations, and community organizations to reach health professionals and public health practitioners, researchers, information professionals, and the public more effectively.
  5. Strategies that could be used to collaborate with and address the needs of minority and underserved populations.
  6. Components of a 21st century medical library, including services and resources that could be offered to a variety of audiences.
  7. Any other topic that may be relevant for NLM to consider in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the NNLM.

How to Submit a Response

Comments should be submitted electronically to by August 30, 2024. Please limit your comments to no more than 3 pages.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. Please do not include any personally identifiable or other information that you do not wish to make public. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in responses. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements. This RFI is for informational and planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the use of that information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

National Library of Medicine