It’s National Medical Librarians Month, and we’re celebrating by posting profiles of rock star medical librarians.
In this second installment of our rock star medical librarians series this month, we’re thrilled to introduce you to more stars.
We asked them where they’re currently working (the gig), three words that describe their beat, their greatest hit, and the biggest misconception people have about medical librarians.
You’ll meet a star who writes about music to her “ears/inbox” and one who likes to remind people that “the library is wherever you are.” When asked for three words, one star said, “Urgent. Powerful. Focused.”
We love it.
Mark Alan Mershon
Gig: Arneson Methodist Library, Methodist Hospital, Minneapolis
Three words: Invigorating. Rewarding. Fun.
Greatest hit: My greatest hit is any search that comes back from a clinician or staff member with “great, this is exactly what I was looking for…”
Biggest misconception: It’s all on the internet for free, why would I need a librarian?
Gig: NLM Associate Fellow
Three words: Challenging. Engrossing. Evolving.
Greatest hit: Had the opportunity to work on a data visualization project for the CDC Library to help improve patron services.
Biggest misconception: We read all day…nope.
Gig: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Library, Los Angeles
Three words: Exciting. Vibrant. Humbling.
Greatest hit: Transformed library environment into 24/7 experience, re-imagining library space, publishing
Biggest misconception: It must be very quiet working in a library!
Gig: Librarian at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Three words: Enabling great science.
Greatest hit: Reducing per article spent on one-off document delivery for research literature. Either that, or every time I’ve gotten a “you’ve saved me so much time.” “This information is really helpful” is also music to my ears/inbox.
Biggest misconception: The number one question I get with new-hire training is, “Where is the library?” Since most of the materials we work with are digital databases and online research journals, I like to tell people, “The library is wherever you are.” Not to mention I’m always just an email away.
Gig: Health Sciences Library, The Ohio State University. I’m an assistant professor, research and education librarian, and the nursing liaison librarian serving the College of Nursing and the clinical nursing staff.
Three words: Collaborative. Innovative. Energetic.
Greatest hit: Regularly teaching nurses to find evidence-based practice to improve patient care
Biggest misconception: Librarians conduct most of our work in the library, when actually, we are mostly working with clinical teams, in classrooms, or conducting our own research.
Monique Brigette Liston
Gig: Tri-City Medical Center, Oceanside, California
Three words: Urgent. Powerful. Focused.
Greatest hit: Getting follow-up calls from clinicians expressing extreme gratitude for helping them save their patients with the information provided to them.
Biggest misconception: I believe the biggest misconception I have often heard from other medical librarians and the public is that you can just “send them (clinicians) the information.” My approach to medical librarianship is that, while we are extremely competent at searching multiple sources for specific clinical information, we provide added value to the process. We are active, involved, and motivated by the knowledge that we support clinicians and their patients in the best possible way.
Gig: Assistant Library Director, Education & Research Services, Levy Library, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
Three words: Collaborative. Fast-paced. Enriching.
Greatest hit: The accomplishment I’m most proud of, my greatest hit, so to speak, is working with medical education leadership and faculty to develop a longitudinal evidence-based medicine curriculum for our medical students.
Biggest misconception: We’re only there to help our users get journal articles. We do so, so much more! We can do everything from helping you create a search strategy and manage your bibliography to help you find an appropriate journal where you can publish your work. Medical librarians can help from the beginning to the end of the research and writing process. We can also help you quantify the impact of your work once it’s been published!
Rebecca Osa Mendell
Gig: Access Services Librarian, Professor, Folsom Lake College. In my tenure at this California community college, I work with students preparing to enter nursing school or obtain specific prerequisites for advanced degrees, support our allied health programs, and provide consumer health assistance to students and community members as needed.
Three words: Always something new.
Greatest hit: Having previously worked at the graduate level and supporting physician research, I enjoy being here for students at the community college level as they embark on the long education journey in their medical training. This is where it all starts, and I want to help students strengthen their information literacy skills now, so they are rock solid when they get to med school. Additionally, it’s wonderful to connect with our college and local community to help those who struggle with health concerns. When we assist them in finding useful and reliable information, we are helping to empower them to become advocates for themselves or their families.
Biggest misconception: That medical librarians are only in hospital and university settings. Community college libraries support their local communities through access to medical books and research databases, which are always available to the public. Additionally, we work closely with students as we educate them in medical research.
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