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I Am MLA: Jolene M. Miller, AHIP

Submitted by Jolene M. Miller, AHIP; edited by JJ Pionke
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Institution: University of Toledo

Title: Director, Mulford Health Science Library

Brief description of responsibilities:

I advocate for the needs of the populations served by my library: physician assistant, medical, nursing, pharmacy, and public health students, faculty, and staff, as well as medical center employees. I also work to eliminate obstacles so that my library staff and faculty can continue to provide the high-quality service for which they are known. Thankfully, I still maintain direct service to students, faculty, and staff in my liaison areas: physician assistant studies and human donation sciences.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA has been my professional home since I began working in a health science library in 1995. It has been vital to my development as a librarian with opportunities for continuing education, networking, leadership opportunities, and peer-reviewed credentialing. I continue to be involved because I want MLA to be able to provide opportunities and support to members new to medical/health science librarianship.

Why did you become a librarian?

My roommate at the time told me about the library school at Kent State University. Honestly, I never thought about librarianship as a career until then. When I learned that I could combine my love of all things biology and medicine with librarianship, I was sold.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

As a temporary reference librarian at the Cleveland State University Library. It was mostly reference service, a little bit of teaching, and most frighteningly, doing a bit of book selection in business, while the business librarian was on leave.

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

Take advantage of opportunities for service and leadership in MLA. Technology has made it much easier for members to participate in the organization; no longer do meetings and projects require being in the same physical place at the same time. Seek out colleagues who can mentor you in how MLA works and who can also support you as you learn the ropes of a new committee, caucus, or leadership position. There's no shortage of colleagues who are willing to help.

Bucket list:

Seeing the northern lights in person, visiting a dark sky site, traveling to Scotland, and taking a mosaic class

What do you do in your spare time?

Make soup, work on something arty-crafty (I'm a bit of a magpie in this regard), spend time near Lake Erie.

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

Burnout: The Secret to Solving the Stress Cycle by Amelia Nagoski and Emily Nagoski.

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