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Public Information and Communication

October 17, 2004

Mary Jo Ryan,
402-471-3434, 800-307-2665

National Commission Recognizes McGoogan Library

NCLIS Award for Consumer Health Information Resource Service (CHIRS)

The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) has announced that the McGoogan Library of Medicine of the University of Nebraska Medical Center has been selected to receive the 2004 NCLIS Blue Ribbon Consumer Health Information Recognition Award for Libraries for Nebraska. The Nebraska Library Commission nominated the McGoogan Library of Medicine for this prestigious award, which will be presented at 3:30 p.m. on October 22, 2004, during a reception at the McGoogan Library of Medicine. Outstanding libraries in thirty‑seven states are being recognized by NCLIS in 2004 for their contribution to health awareness and health education. 

"The purpose of the awards is to help increase awareness of healthy lifestyles," said NCLIS Chair Beth Fitzsimmons, of Ann Arbor, MI. "Millions of American are diagnosed each year with chronic diseases, which in many cases could have been avoided, had the individuals followed healthier lifestyles." 

Fitzsimmons continued, "For many individuals, we now know how to prevent or delay the onset of the major chronic diseases, and we know a lot about how to slow the progress of these diseases for the 175 million Americans who already live with these chronic conditions. Libraries are a natural location for disseminating health information, and the efforts of the McGoogan Library, and especially its Consumer Health Information Resource Service (CHIRS), have been outstanding in carrying out this function." 

Rod Wagner, Director of the Nebraska Library Commission, nominated the McGoogan Library of Medicine on the basis of the program's potential impact, innovativeness, and replicability. The Nebraska Library Commission recognizes the library's efforts in providing accurate, useful consumer health information to the people of Nebraska. This program exemplifies the role libraries can play in increasing awareness of consumer health‑related issues and encouraging healthy lifestyles. Program components include working with Nebraska libraries to improve delivery of consumer health information to Nebraskans and providing expert medical librarian resources to answer questions that cannot be answered at the local level. This strengthens Nebraska consumer health information services across the state, resulting in healthier, more well‑informed communities. By providing training and consultation to help Nebraska public librarians deliver first‑line services in the community, the McGoogan Library's CHIRS program serves as a resource for all Nebraska citizens, and shares its expertise with a wide‑ranging group of users and information providers, epitomizing the concept of knowledge development and knowledge sharing, one of the basic tenets of professional librarianship. 

ABOUT CHIRS: Consumer Health Information Resource Service (CHIRS) began in January 1985 as a cooperative venture between three independent groups and agencies.  The cooperative members included the McGoogan Library of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Nebraska Library Commission, and more than 70 public libraries in the State. The original objectives of CHIRS have not wavered since its implementation: to provide educational and consultation services to non-health science librarians; and to serve as a health information resource library for the state of Nebraska. The aim of the service is to provide health information, free of charge, to residents of the state of Nebraska no matter their location. CHIRS information is provided for informational purposes only.  It is important to always consult with your individual health care provider for specific medical questions. 

How do you access CHIRS?  Feel free to call 402-559-6221 or 866-800-5209 (toll free outside of Omaha); email; or access the CHIRS website at and click on "Contact CHIRS" to fill out an online request form.   


As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information. The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission home page,, search on Library Commission News Releases.

For more information, contact Tessa Terry.