Human Genetics Film Kits

The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) Genetics Film Kits contain a curated selection of materials designed to support public libraries in raising scientific literacy and awareness of precision medicine. Through attending screenings of the films and participating in related discussions, library patrons will learn about human genetics and the advance of precision medicine.

What is precision medicine?

Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment that takes into account an individual's genes, environment, and lifestyle to create a plan of care tailored to the unique needs of the individual. Learn more about precision medicine on MedlinePlus - Genetics, a resource developed by the National Library of Medicine.

How to apply:

  1. Become a member of NNLM (if your organization isn't already)
  2. Complete the application form

What is included in a film kit?

Each kit includes a set of four DVD films on topics surrounding human genetics:

Cracking Your Genetic Code (PBS)

"What will it mean when many of us can afford to have the information in our DNA—all 3.1 billion chemical letters of it—read and available for analysis? Cracking Your Genetic Code reveals that we stand on the verge of such a revolution. Meet doctors, patients, and ethicists who are grappling with the promises and the pitfalls of this new era in medicine. Advanced technologies and designer drugs may save countless lives, but they also raise moral dilemmas: Will it help or hurt us to know the diseases that may lie in our future? What if such information falls into the hands of insurance companies, employers, or prospective mates? One thing is certain: gene-based medicine will profoundly impact individual lives and our society as a whole. "We're on the brink of a new era of personalized, gene-based medicine. Are we ready for it? The Hastings ​Center, the nation's foremost bioethics research institution, has partnered with PBS's NOVA to produce an hour-long documentary and related resources that address this critical issue."

The Gene Doctors (PBS)

"Through intimate stories of families whose lives are being transformed, The Gene Doctors takes viewers to the front lines of a medical revolution. With early successes and new treatments appearing on the horizon, families battling genetic diseases have never had such good reasons for hope."

On Beauty (Kartemquin Films)

"The film looks at beauty through the lens of fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who highlights vibrant individuals with genetic conditions. At the center of On Beauty are two of Rick's photo subjects: Sarah, who left public school for homeschool after being bullied so harshly for the Sturge-Weber birthmark on her face and brain; and Jayne, who lives in Eastern Africa where witch doctors hunt people with albinism to sell their body parts and the society is blind to their unique health and safety needs."

Pink & Blue (Pink & Blue Inc.)

"The documentary takes a profound look into the BRCA world examining what it is and how this gene mutation puts both women and men at risk for developing numerous cancers. The film highlights the message that men are equally as likely to carry a BRCA gene mutation and this lack of information is deadly."

In addition, the kits will contain the following materials to support programming:

ALA Book Film Programming for Public Libraries by Kati Irons

"Irons, a public librarian who has overseen a county-wide movie program, offers a complete guide to creating, mounting, running, and evaluating a successful program. From selling the idea to administrators and partnering with community groups, to selecting great movies and tackling permissions issues, this guide from the Public Library Association (PLA) is an all-in-one resource for movie programming."

NNLM and All of Us brochures

These are produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) and include information MedlinePlus and the NNLM All of Us National Program.

Program Kit

Includes sample programs for film screenings and discussion questions for each of the films.

How are the kits funded?

The NNLM Genetics Film Kits are made available with funds from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the NIH All of Us Research Program (All of Us). Public libraries that receive a film kit must be willing to host one event using the film kit that can raise awareness about All of Us in their community and to promote NLM resources by sharing brochures and information included in the shipment.

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