Submitted by Jamie E. Bloss, AHIP; edited by JJ Pionke
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Institution: Laupus Health Sciences Library, East Carolina University, Greenville , NC
Title: Liaison Librarian, Allied Health Sciences and Dental Medicine
Brief description of responsibilities
I am a liaison librarian and work on several grant projects regarding migrant and seasonal farmworker health. I also participate in our systematic review service.
Why is MLA important to you?
MLA is a great way to connect and feel supported amongst fellow medical and health sciences librarians. I have really enjoyed getting to know new people from all over the United States through my short time as a member so far.
Why did you become a librarian?
I honestly had tossed around the idea of becoming a librarian in high school. It was either that or a post office worker. I think librarianship appealed to me initially because I loved books, until I learned the profession is a lot more than just working with books. Post office worker appealed to me because I wanted to be outside walking every day. But I am happy I chose librarianship ultimately. I also had a great mentor as an undergrad who told me about Kent State University’s master’s of library and information science (MLIS) program and that kind of reminded me of what I wanted to do when I was in high school.
What was your first library job or first professional position?
My first library job was at the Kent State University Geauga Campus as a library associate. I worked with all the subject areas we offered there and managed student workers and worked at the reference desk on campus.
What has been the most interesting project you have worked on?
Definitely the National Library of Medicine (NLM) grant regarding health disparities amongst seasonal and migrant farmworkers. We worked to compile a large listing of all the patient education materials we could find regarding this special population online and list them in one place and by topic. We also made some training videos on finding reliable health information online for outreach and community health workers. This has been some of the most rewarding work I have gotten to do as a librarian so far.
I have loads of places I want to travel to including India, Russia, Singapore, Mexico City, Egypt, South Africa, Slovakia, Barcelona, and Madrid...the list goes on.
What do you do in your spare time?
I am a yogi. I do yoga between four and five times a week, and enjoy ballet barre classes online and walking/hikes outside. Especially during the pandemic, movement has been key to staying well and sane.
What is the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently?
I just finished reading The Paris Hours, which was very good. I also enjoyed Underland: A Deep Time Journey very much. I’ve also been learning a lot with books like White Fragility and am currently reading The New Jim Crow, where I am getting a very important history lesson. I never learned a lot in school about how chattel slavery began in the United States before 1776 or after the Civil War about the Reconstruction period and what occurred after. I try to usually alternate between fiction and nonfiction.
Is there anything about you that others might be surprised to know?
I think the most surprisingly thing about me is that I worked and lived in Fiji for three years before my current job. I worked in Ohio, then moved to Fiji, then back to Ohio, and now to North Carolina. So it was a sort of random series of events. I loved my time there, though, and got to do a lot of traveling while I worked overseas and visited New Zealand, Australia, and the Marshall Islands as well as many islands around Fiji (which consists of over 300 islands).