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I Am MLA: Soph Myers-Kelley

Submitted by Soph Myers-Kelley; edited by Christine Willis. You could be featured next! Submit your profile today.

Institution: East Carolina University

Title: Medical Liason

Brief description of responsibilities:

I am one of two liaisons to the Brody School of Medicine. I visit classes and educate them on the library and evidence-based medicine (among other things), work on systematic reviews, person the reference chat, and (my most favorite things) do research, write, and lead.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA connects me with new mentors and colleagues, keeps me connected with those from my past institution, and proves my leadership and service commitment to my current library.

Why did you become a librarian?

It's in my blood. I took a college career test and my answers were most similar to the way librarians answered the same test. It was meant to be!

What was your first library job or first professional position?

It was an internship with the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Library. I haven't talked to most of my colleagues/friends from there recently, but thinking about them makes me happy.

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

Everyone is anxious! Everyone feels inadequate and incompetent! DO THE THING ANYWAYS!!!!

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

It's a sort of non-official lifelong project of mine- mentoring and advising chronically ill friends so they can seek proper diagnosis and treatment. It began when I had to self-mentor and advice myself on a five-year chronic illness journey. That journey is the reason I'm a medical librarian and not some other modality of librarian.

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

Climate change, LGBTQ justice, BIPOC justice, sex worker equity, healthcare.... I don't see a delineation between librarianship and politics. The information we choose to disperse and how we choose to disperse it is inherently political.

My bucket list includes...

Recording myself while sleeping (so I can see what positions I sleep in, if I sleep well, and I think it would just be cool footage to use!), and someday buy myself a nice, high-quality suit.

What do you do in your spare time, for fun, or to relax?

Challenging myself with new and increasingly difficult recipes, reading, watching shows, singing, dancing, doing drag, and doing activism.

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

Our Flag Means Death. It's a hilarious comedy based during pirate time, inspired by real historical people and events! A must see. Watch on HBO Max.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Hyper-Empathetic, Determined, Brazen, Powerful, and Soft.

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

Because of my chronic pain, I attend 1-5 medical appointments a week. That takes up a lot of time, money, and energy, so I have less of an outside life than I would like. I spend a lot of time resting.

What are you most proud of?

Figuring out my mom and I have ehlers danlos syndrome and figuring out we're both autistic (at the age of 26!), and working a full-time job despite chronic pain and disability. Every day I am proud.

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