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I Am MLA: Emily E. Petersen

Institution: Children's Hospital Colorado

Title: Family Health Librarian

Brief description of responsibilities:

I work with families and patients providing both leisure and medical materials. I also work with the Health Literacy Department to create patient friendly materials.

Why is MLA important to you?

I joined MLA as a student in 2015. It was instrumental in helping me find a mentor and finding Continuing Education opportunities that were not available through my graduate program. I have slowly gotten more involved over the last 5 years and have been fortunate enough to attend two conferences where I have learned from, and networked with, others in my profession and have forged productive work relationships that are invaluable.

Why did you become a librarian?

I became a medical librarian because I have always had an interest in medicine but had no interest in actually practicing it. I felt this career path gave me an opportunity to serve the medical and research community while also doing something that I love.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

My first professional job was at the Kentucky College of Optometry. The school was new and needed help growing their collection and developing their curriculum. I worked with them on accreditation and learned many invaluable skills that have helped me in my current position.

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

In my current position, I work with the Health Literacy Department to create patient friendly materials. Health literacy has become a passion of mine and I am lucky to work in a facility that gives me the opportunity to work closely with clinical teams to create understandable patient education handouts and to be that conduit between clinical personnel and the public is a rewarding position. I know that I am helping people who may be shy or unsure when it comes to medical information, be better advocates about their health and wellness.

Bucket list:

I want to travel more (once we have this pandemic under control, that is :))

What do you do in your spare time?

I like to read but I also have tried my hand at a lot of fiber arts and crafts during the pandemic that I have had middling success at.

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

I have recently read and watched Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff and read and watched Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way.

Five words to describe you:

Curious, funny, creative, abstract, helpful

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

I have 5 dogs, 3 German Shorthair Pointers, 1 Australian Shepherd, and 1 'Borg" (Beagle/Corgi mix)

What are you most proud of?

The time I went to Disneyland with 5 friends and we planned out our day so we were able to ride 13 rides in 12 hours (not including riding Star Tours twice and all the parades and shows we saw). Still one of my crowning achievements.

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