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I Am MLA: Lisa A. Marks, AHIP

Submitted by Lisa A. Marks, AHIP; edited by JJ Pionke
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Institution: Mayo Clinic Arizona

Title: Director, Library Services

Brief description of responsibilities:

I'm responsible for Library Services which includes patient libraries, clinical libraries and a library for our medical school. In addition to all the administrative things - budget, finances, scheduling, etc. - I'm a "working" librarian, meaning I still do literature searches and provide reference services. I work with my fellow librarians across the Mayo Clinic enterprise to ensure Library Services are available across the enterprise.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA is important to me as my professional association home. I don't belong to any other association so MLA is my "go to" for CE, networking and "frolleagues" - thank you MJ Tooey!

Why did you become a librarian?

I became a librarian because it seemed to be the next logical step for me. I had worked for Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) as a Library Clerk through my senior of high school and then while in college. Going to graduate school - which I never actually thought I would do - to get my MLS was the logical thing to do.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

My intent was to return to LAPL as a librarian when I graduated however, there was a hiring freeze. I needed a to get a job, so I applied to my first job in medical librarianship with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California and have been doing it ever since.

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

My advice to someone wanting to be a part of leadership is to get involved at both the local and national level. Association involvement looks terrific on a resume and, I was told, was a part of the reason I was offered my current position. Also, take the leadership CE offered by MLA as well as your institution. It's important to learn an institution’s culture and taking advantage of leadership training offered will help in a new leadership role. Find a mentor, join the Leadership and Management Caucus, and ask questions on the list-serv as there is a wealth of knowledge out there amongst colleagues.

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

The survival of hospital libraries, particularly after this pandemic, is close to my heart. Having been let go from a hospital library position, and with all the issues hospital libraries are facing - staffing, access, budgets - I don't know that hospital administration folks truly see the benefits of not only having a library but staffing one as well.

Bucket list:

I'd love to go to Australia to go opal mining - my birthstone.

What do you do in your spare time?

Read, typical I know. I've also taken up crocheting recently. And I've started to go back to the gym, although not necessarily fun, I find myself more relaxed after the fact.

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

I tend to read fiction so pretty much anything by John Grisham. I am trying to read more non-fiction and titles we have in our Humanities collection so I've read Black Man in a White Coat, Brain on Fire, When Breath Becomes Air. Currently I'm reading Dare to Lead by Brene Brown.

What are you most proud of?

I'm truly most proud of my current position. It's an honor to work for a world renowned health care organization.

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