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I Am MLA: Sally Gore

Submitted by Sally Gore; edited by JJ Pionke.
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Institution: Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Title: Manager, Research and Scholarly Communication Services

Brief description of responsibilities:

I oversee the Library's collaborative efforts with basic science and clinical researchers on campus, including expanding support and instruction in data services. My department leads all scholarly communication endeavors for the Library, including providing bibliometrics analysis, tracking research impact, ensuring funder-based public access compliance, promoting open science initiatives, and managing eScholarship@UMMS, the University's institutional repository. I'm also the Associate Editor of the Journal of eScience Librarianship.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA is my professional home. As my job has evolved and expanded over the years, I've come to rely upon other organizations, at times, to keep up with trends and learn new skills, but MLA remains the place where I connect most with colleagues, where I give my time towards professional service, and truly where I have the most fun with "frolleagues."

Why did you become a librarian?

Librarianship isn't my first profession and I sort of stumbled upon it while completing a graduate degree in exercise physiology. I was writing a paper that - I know today - was really an early bibliometrics study and while working on it, I found my way to librarianship. When I realized that I could get paid to look spend my days in a library looking things up, a lightbulb went off!

What was your first library job or first professional position?

I was hired to work on two grant-funded projects that focused on consumer health information. One of these, Go Local Massachusetts, was funded by the National Library of Medicine and became a real doorway for me into knowing medical and health sciences librarians all over the country.

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

... the ever expanding world of scholarly communications. With the advances in publishing platforms, the many means to track and report the impact of research, and all the different types of communication outlets available today, there's no end to the opportunities that librarians can offer in this area. From bibliometrics analysis to advocating for open science, it's a wide open field to grow, learn, and lead.

Bucket list:

I want to visit the Shetland Islands of northern Scotland, and in particular, the bird observatory on Fair Isle. I also want to go back to Australia one day.

What do you do in your spare time?

LOTS of things! I play music (guitar, mandolin, harmonica, drums/percussion), I write songs, I host a radio show on my community radio station, I make all kinds of art, I watch birds and critters (and participate in citizen science projects to track them), I read a lot, I write a good bit, and I enjoy binge watching British detective shows.

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

The best book that I've read in the past several months is Mozart's Starling, by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. The author tells the story of Mozart's pet starling, while raising her own. It's funny and fascinating. A great read! (BTW, a starling is a bird, in case you didn't know.)

Five words to describe you:

Friendly, funny, creative, curious, and kind.

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

I was the first woman ordained as a Southern Baptist minister in the Petersburg (VA) Baptist Association (1990).


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