Citations (Library Newsletter) April 2001


Library Health Information Project Improves Borderland Wellness


The Border Health Information and Education Network (BIEN!), led by the NMSU Library, is a partnership of seventeen academic and public libraries, hospitals, clinics and other public health service organizations in New Mexico’s Dona Ana, Luna, and Otero counties.  BIEN!’s mission is to create opportunities to improve the health of residents of the borderland region by the provision of quality health information in all formats in English and Spanish.  Since its beginning in 2000, BIEN! has made much progress in accomplishing its goals:


•Installation of computers with Internet access and printers at all 17 BIEN! Project partner locations.


•Creation of a BIEN! Project Internet web site accessible at This site includes many links to quality consumer/patient health information web sites in Spanish and English as well as links of interest to health care providers and health educators.  Besides locating health/medical information, BIEN! web site visitors can provide feedback to the site’s webmaster and BIEN! Project Health Information Reference Librarian Molly McGetrick and post messages to the site’s bulletin board.


•Purchase of various web-based health and medical information database subscriptions, now available to project partners.  Because the NMSU Library is a BIEN! partner, faculty, students, and staff have access to EBSCO Publishing’s AltHealthWatch, a full text alternative and complementary health information database, and MDConsult, a health and medical information database geared to health care professionals.  Ask about accessing these databases at the Reference/Information desks at Branson and Zuhl libraries.


•Access training sessions at BIEN! partner sites in February and early March.  A total of 20 sessions were conducted by project staff members Judith Pearson and Molly McGetrick.  Participants were groups of public librarians and staff, academic librarians and staff, health educators, and health care providers.  Approximately 140 people have participated in training sessions thus far.  More sessions will be scheduled in March and April.  Training sessions include presentation of BIEN! web site features and instruction on navigating the site to locate and retrieve information.  Training/instruction is also provided on searching EBSCO and MDConsult databases.  Each training session includes a time period for “hands-on” practice using the resources to reinforce learning.

Overall response to the training sessions by both participants and trainers has been very

positive.  Participants are invited to complete training evaluation forms which provide valuable feedback to the trainers, including suggestions for modifying the BIEN! web site.  These suggestions have been implemented.  NMSU academic departments and community groups interested in participating in a BIEN! training session may contact Judith Pearson, BIEN! Project Outreach/Training Librarian, at 646-3078 or

Approximately $28,000 has been spent to purchase health information resources in Spanish and English in print and other formats based on results of a needs assessment survey of project partners.  Each partner site will receive a core collection of materials tailored to that location’s stated needs, to be used for reference and distribution.  One of the goals of the project is to provide timely and quality health-related research information and other health reference information to consumers, health care providers, health educators, allied health professionals, students, faculty, and librarians.  Already, the project staff has responded to numerous information requests via email and phone and will continue to provide this service for the life of the project.


BIEN! has been funded by a $10,000 planning grant from the Paso del Norte Foundation of El Paso and a $204,000 information access grant from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  NLM funding for the project ends this September.  However, plans are underway to seek future funding to continue and expand the project’s activities and services.  Your help is very much needed and appreciated.  For more information about BIEN! or the BIEN! Project, please contact project staff members Molly McGetrick or Judith Pearson at Branson Library (505-646-3078), Sylvia Ortiz, project director/ principal investigator and Head of Reference at Branson Library at 505-646-7481, or Norice Lee, Chairperson of the BIEN! Executive Board and DABCC Library Services Director at 505-527-7556.