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Editor - Christine Willis, AHIP
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I Am MLA: Adela V. Justice, AHIP

Submitted by Adela V. Justice, AHIP; edited by JJ Pionke

Become an “I Am MLA” ambassador today by completing the I Am MLA profile form.

Institution: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center–Houston

Title: Senior Librarian

Brief description of responsibilities

Support information-seeking cancer patients and caregivers by providing them with resources and education.

Why is MLA important to you?

It’s my primary professional organization, and I value MLA’s professional opportunities and their efforts to help #medlibs be successful.

Why did you become a librarian?

I love the thrill of the hunt for information, I love educating myself, and I love doing any kind of research. Being a library worker allows me to do all those things and, as a bonus, assist others who want to do these same things.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

Reference librarian at Moody Medical Library, University of Texas Medical Branch.

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

Listen to what the members are asking for. Keep a running list and do what you can to make sure they get what they need and want.

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

The desperate need for librarians to have more diversity—racial and otherwise—in its ranks because those numbers have not kept pace with the changing demographics of the United States. This country’s library systems and professional organizations have a history of being white supremacist, Christian-centric, ableist, and homophobic, and it’s taken too long for librarians to dismantle those inherent trappings.

Bucket list

Visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.

What do you do in your spare time?

I play bass in my workplace band, go to live concerts as much as possible, read a ton of magazines, visit museums, and enjoy taking road trips with my seven-year-old son.

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

Read: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. Watched: Barry on HBO. Listened to: The 1A show/podcast.

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