More Rock Star Medical Librarians in the Spotlight

In this our final posting of rock star librarians this month, we’re pleased to feature a band and individual librarians.

Do you want to read about more rock star librarians? We’ll post again during National Medical Librarians Month in October. Details below.

Four men and four women stand together as a groupMount Carmel Health Sciences Library

Liz Lyman, Kaitlyn Humphrey, Noreen Mulcahy, Don Pearson, Stevo Roksandic, Ken Wright, Allison Erlinger, Aaron Coldren

Current Gig: Mount Carmel Health System, Columbus, Ohio, a Member of Trinity Health

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

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians:  We are not a solo act! Our advice is to follow Steve Jobs’ quote: “My model for business is The Beatles. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts … Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.”

Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library has been on the “beat” for 96 years by serving diverse Mount Carmel Health System communities and Trinity Health operating sites in different states. The “beat” has pulsed differently over time.  In the last decade, driven by visionary leadership and intrinsic motivation, a synergized group of librarians has “played the tunes” of continuous innovation, excellence, growth, and transformation of health sciences librarianship. Liz, Kaitlyn, Noreen, Don, Stevo, Ken, Allison, and Aaron share our knowledge, talents, creativity, and collaboration through our unified tune: “It’s not about me, it’s about we!”

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: That librarians are not an integrated part of the health care team. We strongly believe in teamwork, however, and we proudly serve as collaborative partners by connecting health care professionals with personalized information services and resources. Our “Rock Star Band” transforms, adapts, and continuously strives to improve, create, and deliver the best knowledge and information to provide outstanding support for healing and education. We believe that this is the way to create a “harmonized health care symphony.”

headshot of LaVentra E. DanquahLaVentra E. Danquah

Current gig: Medical Librarian, Vera P. Shiffman Medical Library, Mazurek Medical Education Commons, Wayne State University. I manage instruction and outreach services, leading teams in setting priorities and spearheading programs to meet users’ health information needs.

Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat: Evolving. Energizing. Engaging.

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians: Question everything, explore the “what if,” and have a foundation but remain flexible.

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: That the work is linear, non-multidimensional. There are many areas of work librarians can focus on and often do.

headshot of Marcia FrancisMarcia Francis

Current gig: Southwest Clinical Campus Librarian and Outreach Coordinator at the University of North Dakota Health Sciences Library

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

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians:  Be curious, ask questions, never stop learning, expect constant change, play well with others, and have fun.

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: We work in libraries with lots of print books and journals. I share an office with a physician in a clinic and work “in” two virtual medical libraries.

headshot of Melanie J. NortonMelanie J. Norton

Current gig: Head of Access and Delivery Services, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University

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

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians: Find a mentor and don’t be afraid to ask questions and take chances. Get involved in professional organizations, and when a professional opportunity presents itself, just say “yes.”

Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: Working in a medical library (or any library) must be a nice, quiet job.


We’ll feature more  rock star medical librarians during National Medical Librarians Month in October. We’d like to hear from you. Please send us a photo and very brief answers to these questions. You have plenty of time. We’ll accept submissions until September 15.

  • 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.
  • Greatest hit as a medical librarian.
  • Biggest misconception about being a medical librarian.

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