“Rock Star” Medical Librarians, Part 4

For many rock stars, this is their favorite day of the week.

Read on.

Rock on.

Headshot of Kevin ReadKevin Read

Current gig:  Knowledge Management Librarian at the NYU Health Sciences Library

Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat: Challenging. Collaborative. Ever-changing.

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians: Get as much experience as you can by finding volunteer opportunities, work placements, research projects, and even school projects in the realm of medical librarianship. Seek out work in the medical field, whether it be in libraries or in a supporting research capacity. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a medical librarian whose work you admire for guidance and mentoring. Pay attention to the growing group of librarians supporting research data discovery, management, sharing, and visualization.

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: That our primary job is performing searches. My role as a medical librarian is dramatically different, in that I spend most of my time helping researchers, faculty, and students collect, manage, organize, and share their research data. While I still work on searches regularly, it is by no means the main part of my job. I see medical librarianship moving toward research data support. I believe it is important that we continue carving out a role in this area.

headshot of Judy StriblingJudy C. Stribling

Current gig: Manager, Weill Cornell Medicine, Samuel J. Wood Library and Myra Mahon Patient Resource Center

Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat: Fascinating. Interdisciplinary. Gratifying.

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians: Take a statistics course.

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: That we exist.

headshot of Lori HarrisLori E. Harris

Current gig: Assistant Director of Operations, Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library and Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati. The training I received as an NLM Associate (2014-2015) was a primary factor in why I was selected as Assistant Director. I moved from being a rockin’ medical librarian to a rockin’ medical librarian who uses leadership skills and knowledge to support, implement, and help shape the direction of our profession.

Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat: Exhilarating. Transformative. Humbling.

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians:  Go for it! You’ll never find another profession on the cutting edge of health, technology, science, and information!

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: That we’re one-dimensional. We’re not! Our profession, similar to the needs of our stakeholders and collaborators, is evolving at a rapid pace.

headshot of Beth WhippleBeth Whipple

Current gig: Research Librarian, Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Indiana University School of Medicine

Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat: Energizing. Eye-opening. Epic.

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians: Get experience in a health sciences library setting and talk to librarians in the field about what they do and what they love about their job.

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: You have to go to school to be a librarian? That, or I must like to read.

casual headshot of Heather PrettyHeather Pretty

Current gig: Cataloguing & Metadata Librarian, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat: Invigorating. Challenging. Fun.

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians: Get to know evidence-based practice and do literature searches using the PICO model.

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: Just because one starts out as a medical librarian doesn’t mean that one will continue as a medical librarian. But it’s no misconception that training as a medical librarian is a solid foundation for a fulfilling career.

headshot of Joyce BackusJoyce Backus

Current gig: Associate Director for Library Operations, NLM

Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat: Exciting. Challenging. Rewarding.

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians: Find the intersection of what you love to do and what people need medical libraries to do.

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: That we are all expert PubMed searchers. It actually takes all kinds of talents working together to bring quality medical information to users.

headshot of Megan FrattaMegan Fratta

Current gig: NLM Associate Fellow

Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat: Innovative. Cutting-edge. Rewarding.

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians: Make sure your passion for the field shines through.

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: We can’t diagnose our customers’ conditions or illnesses, but we can help them find credible sources.


More rock star medical librarians?

You know it!

If you’d like to participate in the next round of rock star medical librarians, please send us a photo and very brief answers to these questions:

  • Name as you’d like it to appear in print.
  • Current gig (where you work).
  • Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat.
  • Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians.
  • Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian.

2 thoughts on ““Rock Star” Medical Librarians, Part 4

    • Thanks so much for commenting, Lorna. We absolutely will include medical librarians who work in hospital libraries! We will be putting more medical librarians center stage in the future, so we invite you and others to send in your details and a picture. The questions to answer are at the bottom of any of this week’s “Rock Star” posts.

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