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I Am MLA: Bette Bissonnette

Submitted by Bette Bissonnetteedited by JJ Pionke.
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Institution: American University of the Caribbean (AUC)

Title: Director of Library Services

Brief description of responsibilities:                   

I am responsible for collection development, strategic planning, and ensuring the library meets the needs of students on their journey to become physicians.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA provides support, information, and direction to the profession.

Why did you become a librarian?

Initially because I liked to read.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

Head of circulation at the Kelley Library in Salem, NH.

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

Volunteer for whatever you can, locally and nationally. It is a way to connect with and learn from your colleagues who have so much to share.

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

When I started at AUC, there was no library website. Students had to know the URL, username, and password for all the different resources. I developed, designed, and published a library website where students could access all the resources. It was quite a learning curve, and it took about six months, but it has been up and running now for about five years.

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

As a former hospital librarian, I am very concerned about the trend of closing hospital libraries.

Bucket list:

I have been to five continents and hope to add Australia and Antarctica in the near future.

What do you do in your spare time?

Read, travel, and ballroom dance.

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

Fifty Words for Rain by Asah Lemmie.

Five words to describe you:

Thoughtful, concerned, focused, motivated, determined

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

I was a competitive European-style ballroom dancer for seven years.

What are you most proud of?

Raising a successful and kind son.

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