On our final day of celebrating National Medical Librarians Month, we’re thrilled to introduce you to five rock star medical librarians at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Their “reunion tour” brings together five current and former Lamar Soutter Library Fellows, all of whom currently work at the Lamar Soutter Library, which serves as the Regional Medical Library for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region.
Here at NLM in Focus, we’re always finding something or someone to celebrate. Please continue reading, sharing, liking, tweeting, and, of course—rocking.
Martha E. Meacham
Gig: Associate Director, National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region (NNLM NER) at the Lamar Soutter Library of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (Lamar Soutter Library Fellow 2013-2015)
Three words: Always new learning
Greatest hit: Every time I show someone something new or a piece of information they were looking for—something I am pretty sure they won’t have known about or found without a librarian’s help—and see them light up with the joy and the realization that a librarian really can help.
Biggest misconception: I think being a librarian is almost more a state of mind, a way of thinking, rather than just a profession. We are consumed with organizing, disseminating, and ensuring access to information. The misconception people have is that this only applies to books or printed material. But it really applies to anything that can help inform, educate, or enhance the work of those we serve. Online, print, data, text, born digital, or historical—a librarian’s mindset is less about the specific form information takes, but constantly thinking about ways to ensure information is available, accessible, and usable for all.
Gig: Education & Clinical Services Librarian, Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School (Lamar Soutter Library Fellow 2015-2016)
Three words: Engaging. Enriching. Evolving.
Greatest hit: Getting out and representing the library all over campus. Whether it’s being embedded in a research team, teaching medical students evidence-based medicine, or providing information support to residents at clinical chart rounds, having the opportunity to meet users where they are and contribute to the ongoing work being done in the school and hospital is one of the most rewarding aspects of librarianship for me.
Biggest misconception: That when we say we help teach students and clinicians, we don’t mean we are explaining the Dewey Decimal System! Our library doesn’t even shelve according to Dewey; we use National Library of Medicine classification….But in any case, we are involved in education in so many more ways than just “how to use the library.”
Victoria (Tori) Rossetti
Gig: Education & Clinical Services Librarian, Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School (Lamar Soutter Library Fellow 2016-2017)
Three words: Complex. Social. Informative.
Greatest hit: The first time I show a researcher EndNote or RefWork’s automatic in-text citation features. The chorus goes something like, “You have no idea how much time this is going to save me. I wish I knew about this in school!”
Biggest misconception: Aside from still having to answer the question of “Do people still use libraries?” the biggest misconception I face is the idea that I sit behind a desk and wait for people to come to me with their questions. That’s barely a part of my job. I’m regularly out in the UMass community, actively embedded in grants and project teams, running training sessions on searching and library resources, and working with people from the public, the clinical side, and the school. I love explaining to people how my searches might help them get better care at a hospital, and I’ve had some great conversations centered around evidence-based medicine in particular.
Current gig: Library Fellow, Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School; Graphic Medicine Specialist, NNLM NER (2016- present)
Three words: Bridging. Mapping. Sharing.
Greatest hit: Getting to introduce people to the idea of using comics as an educational tool for the first time and seeing the excitement in their eyes. You can always tell who was or is a comic book reader because their eyes light up like you just told them they get to have fun at work. Those are the folks who become lifelong colleagues.
Biggest misconception: This applies to librarianship period, but the one I encounter the most is that we are all catalogers—even if the person assuming so doesn’t know what a cataloger actually is! Cataloguing is vital and a foundation of everything we do, but I promise you we aren’t all good at it. Some of us are great at reference, some cataloging, while others still are masters of technology—but none of us is a master of it all. Convincing both our patrons and our funders of that without losing their support might be our biggest challenge of all.
Gig: Library Fellow, Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School (2016- current)
Three words: Connecting. Service. Flexible.
Greatest hit: I love working with people, but I also love working with data and code, so my greatest hit would have to be learning a new analysis technique or piece of code and then having it actually work!
Biggest misconception: The only information that we provide is in books. Not only do we provide anatomical models, digital resources, and books, we also have knowledgeable staff who have a wide array of strengths and specialties or, through our connections, we know who on campus or in the hospital a patron should talk to.
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