The Friends of the National Library of Medicine supports and promotes the world’s largest medical library, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), a vital part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s premier medical research agency.
The Friends organization was formed in 1986 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization to promote, publicize, and support the Library. FNLM is a coalition of individuals, medical associations and societies, hospitals, health science libraries, corporations, and foundations, dedicated to increasing public awareness and use of the NLM, as well as to support its many programs in research, education, and public service.
The Library, founded in 1836 and now located on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, is the world’s largest repository of biomedical and health sciences information. It has over eight million items including books, journals, videos, historical artifacts, and receives over one billion hits per year over the World Wide Web.
The Library’s constituency includes those who participate in its programs and utilize its services and databases. These are physicians, nurses, dentists, librarians and other members of the health care community, research scientists in medical centers, institutes and pharmaceutical, chemistry and communication corporations. Members of the FNLM Board represent all these constituencies in various parts of the country and serve without compensation, giving freely of their time and expertise.