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I Am MLA: Peace Ossom Williamson, AHIP

Submitted by Peace Ossom Williamson, AHIP; edited by JJ Pionke

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Institution: Central Library, University of Texas–Arlington

Title: Director of Research Data Services

Brief description of responsibilities

I lead a team of experts in supporting research data use at my university.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA is a place for learning, growing, and building community. I have never seen a commitment to community like that of the African American Medical Librarians Alliance (AAMLA) Caucus.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

A circulation assistant at the University of Oklahoma (OU) Law Library where I met my spouse, who was in school there. I worked in the library for four years knowing I wanted a career in a health field and ended up combining the two!

What has been the most interesting project you have worked on?

A National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM)/South Central Region (SCR) grant, where we had a prediabetes health education intervention using a pancake-making robot. Thanks to the pancakebot, 600 people were screened for prediabetes.

What do you consider to be the most pressing issues or trends in librarianship?

Diversifying the profession by breaking down systems of oppression and opposition and finding a core place in the changing larger research, clinical, and educational institutional ecosystems.

Bucket list

Learning more languages.

What is the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently?

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

What are you most proud of?

Setting boundaries for myself and my work so that I can be a whole, healthy, person at home with my family and at work with my colleagues.

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