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I Am MLA: Helen-Ann Brown Epstein, AHIP, FMLA

Submitted by Helen-Ann Brown Epstein, AHIP, FMLA; edited by JJ Pionke
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Institution: Virtua Health

Title: Informationist

Brief description of responsibilities:

Solo Librarian with a virtual Library and ambitious clinical outreach program of a 5 hospital, 1399 bed, 14,000 employees, Health System on the Clinical Learning Team. Co-Chair of the Nursing Research Council and Family and Patient Education Committee. Member of the CE Committee.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA offers me CE opportunities to remain on the cutting edge of the profession. MLA offers me colleagues and friends; new ones and ones I have had for many years. MLA gives stature to my chosen profession, especially with its strategic vision, credentialing program, and code of ethics.

Why did you become a librarian?

I could still teach and educate and not have all the discipline classroom teaching requires. My mom was a middle school librarian and media specialist, so I because a librarian by osmosis.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

Reference Librarian at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

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

Step forward without fear. You will be embraced with others standing by to offer constructive advice.

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

Getting a drug approved for the World Health Organization Essential Medicine List. A magnet journey that brought an Exemplar for the Medical Librarian.

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

We must prove our importance by being quality filters of the ever exploding available information. We must continue to be fiscally responsible using no charge information tools to serve your customers. We must be effective and efficient as we think and search the literature in an evidence based way.

Bucket list:

Trip to Italy before it crumbles.

What do you do in your spare time?

I knit, needlepoint, and cross stitch embroidery. I read mysteries. I like to hold my husband's hand and walk in nice places. I enjoy my orange tabby cat, Marmelade

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

I admire research and new presentations by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. I have become a big music fan of Rudi and Matt Ranaudo and the band, Brother Stone & the Get Down

Five words to describe you:

Energetic, enthusiastic, fun, considerate, open-minded

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

I was a Physical Education teacher before going to Library School.

What are you most proud of?

My students that attended my classes when I was a NLM and vendor trainer and my students that attended my classes that I taught in Library School and my students that show up for my CE and webinars. Being recognized as a Magnet Exemplar.

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