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I Am MLA: Shalu Gillum

Submitted by Shalu Gillum; edited by JJ Pionke.
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Institution: Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Title: Head of Public Services

Brief description of responsibilities:

I manage library public services, including reference, instruction, circulation, and outreach.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA is important to me because it has connected me to so many other librarians, many of whom have been kind enough to mentor me throughout my career.

Why did you become a librarian?

I love connecting people to information that can answer their questions.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

As a student assistant at the Health Professions Division Library at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

What is your advice to someone taking on a new role in leadership in MLA or in some other capacity?

Ask for help and don't be afraid to not know something. Librarians are kind and helpful; all you have to do is ask for help.

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

My first book, Planning and Promoting Events in Health Sciences Libraries: Success Stories and Best Practices, which I coedited with my colleague Natasha Williams.

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

Creating safe and inclusive spaces for our users, whether that is physically/in-person or virtually.

Bucket list:

Seeing all 50 states with my family and traveling to other countries to experience other cultures.

What do you do in your spare time?

I garden and I knit; I'm also a decades-long runner.

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

The podcast You're Wrong About.

Five words to describe you:

Tenacious, strong, resilient, grounded, efficient.

Is there anything about you that others might be surprised to know?

I love getting my hands dirty.

What are you most proud of?

My two awesome children.

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