Copyright Warning Notice | Directors and Advisors

The Lymebrary sprang from a concern to gather documents of note about tick-borne diseases into one searchable archive, and make it available to the patient, as well as to caregivers, healthcare providers, researchers, legal professionals, and advocates. Our hope is that by putting quality information in one place, reasonable people can make reasonable decisions about tick-borne disease.

This project was funded by a grant to Nahant (MA) Public Library from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement Number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. It is maintained by Nahant Public Library Director Sharon Hawkes, MLIS with advisory support from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, National Network of Libraries of Medicine/Northeast Region,

Mission Statement.

The goal of the Lyme Disease Digital Library (the “Lymebrary”) is to create and maintain a library of quality information on Lyme disease (borreliosis) and other tick-borne illnesses for easy retrieval by the public.


The Lyme Disease Digital Library staff and advisers believe that well-informed users can and should make their own best decisions about Lyme disease, and we will employ multiple methods to assist users with their information needs.

About the Collection.

Lyme disease is an emerging infectious disease, and research is still unfolding. Different authors may disagree on fundamental issues. Rather than supply only one point of view, the Lymebrary has endeavored to use objective selection criteria common to public and academic libraries. We have attempted to gather information of note from wherever the source and offer it without editorial comment, understanding that it is a fundamental right of the public to access all points of view in order to make informed decisions.

Scope of the Collection.

What is often referred to as “Lyme disease” may include many different bacteria, viruses, amoebae, and other microscopic organisms which produce illness in the human host. Although it is known that co-infections to Lyme exist, it is often difficult to sort out which symptoms are caused by which organism. We have relied on the words of the authors to define Lyme disease as they see fit.

While we acknowledge that ticks and people are not the only hosts for these pathogens, we have chosen to limit this collection primarily to tick-borne pathogens and their impact on humans. The collection currently emphasizes aspects of tick-borne disease in North America, although that may expand in the future, particularly knowing that the travels of infected birds, animals, and people may commingle these pathogens around the world. Subjects include:

• History of the discovery of tick-borne disease
• Etiology, or cause of the disease
• Epidemiology, or spread of the disease
• Symptoms
• Diagnosis
• Treatment
• Prevention

A further breakdown of these topics can be found on the Browse By Topic or Browse By Genre pages.

Materials Selection Criteria.

1.) Accuracy

• Facts are verifiable or common knowledge
• Argument is persuasive and logical, builds on prior knowledge; conclusions proceed logically from the evidence and discussion
• Impartiality – if there is bias, can that bias be balanced by other material in the collection

2.) Authority

• Author is recognized in the field
• Document has been published in peer-review
• Document cited by others of note
• Document’s citations include others of note
• If not peer-reviewed, appropriate peers in the field can vouch for the document’s scholarship

3.) Relevance

• Helpful to users: primarily patients, secondarily caregivers, researchers, professionals, or advocates
• Timely: recently requested, or will help answer current or frequent questions in the field
• A significant portion of the document provides needed information

4.) Uniqueness

• Fulfills a missing aspect of the subject matter of the collection
• Scope: explores a topic deeply, or is a broad overview that is needed
• Bolsters the arguments of other documents
• Presents new or recent data
• Format presents information in a new way

5.) Readability

• Would be understood by the patient community
• Document is legible, logical, and grammatically sound
• The copy under consideration is the most recent update, or most graphically pleasing format, and contains all adjunct information

6.) Availability

• Document is free or affordable when compared to similar documents
• Patron can view or download freely in accordance with Fair Use under copyright law, or a license can be secured from the copyright owner or licensing agent

Last update: March 17, 2017