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I Am MLA: Sonya Lemke

Submitted by Sonya Lemke; edited by JJ Pionke.
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Institution: Arkansas Colleges of Health Education

Title: Health Sciences Librarian

Brief description of responsibilities:

Liaison to the College of Health Sciences with overlap support to the medical school (COM), Interlibrary loan (ILL), Collection Development, Cataloging, and Systems.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA is important to me to help me grow in my profession and as a place I can learn from others. Through MLA, I do not feel alone in my career.

Why did you become a librarian?

I was looking for a career that could implement my love of books, knowledge, and medical skills. Medical librarianship is the best fit.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

A work-study program my first year of college. I worked in the card catalog room filing the cards back in the drawers. I did get in some trouble because I would talk to other students in the room. Shhh!!!

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

Be brave. Learn something new. Step out and step up. Don't wait for something to happen­—make it happen. Be patient.

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

Still pending.

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

Technology and data science and management. Having enough librarians with the necessary skills for technology and data science and management.

Bucket list:

Visit Italy, walk the Camino de Santiago, visit Scotland and Ireland. . .

What do you do in your spare time?

Read, travel, workout with the Peloton bike or app, yoga, watch movies, and spend time with my family and friends.

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

Call the Midwife

Five words to describe you:

Nice, funny, helpful, thoughtful, dependable.

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

I served in the Air Force after being raised in the Air Force.

What are you most proud of?

Earning my master’s degree in library science. I am the first one in my immediate family to earn a degree at this level.

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