Blog Topic Request

I’d like to ask you guys to do me a huge favor and write a tiny blog about what you do or have done in libraries or internships that relates to health librarianship (or really what any of you do that could translate to work in a medical or health science library. or any library for that matter). A few sentences would work, but however much you write will be eagerly read and appreciated. Stories, job expectations, job description vs actual job performance, anything.

A lot of things get tossed out that I am clueless about (liaisons, embedded librarians, etc.). Sometimes those confusions are cleared up pretty quickly but other times not so much…plus it is way more interesting to hear personal accounts of what people do. 

I can’t offer much (anything) to that discussion, but I am more than happy to answer anything I can about what I wanted as a vet med student or as a practitioner. I can tell you that vet school is arranged a little differently, but having very brief and intuitively arranged information was crucial. As preclinical students we were in class from 8-5, M-F (sometimes longer, and sometimes on weekends). It was exhausting – I once fell asleep in a histology lab because my head was resting on the microscope…as in my eyeballs were supporting my head and I fell asleep looking through the microscope. No one wanted to wake me up so I slept that way for over an hour. Class was a time for having information presented – nights were meant for studying and actually learning/retaining. It is absolutely true that most of the information was not difficult – there was just a LOT of it. If you took the time to rewrite notes or to make study guides your nights were gone and you still hadn’t studied (I can barely read my own handwriting – I have to rewrite or type everything if I plan on reading it). If there are sources that outline the basics of anything, we latched on to them and filled in the things we wanted to add. As a practitioner (and once we were in clinics), we wanted much more detailed information and while format was still important it was much less so. We were still in a hurry, but using an index to find where in a text drug protocols were, or where symptoms were listed, etc. was doable. But it needed to be physically compact, because you aren’t sitting for a long time or studying at home – we needed mobile sources. It’s interesting to me that there were almost no apps or digital texts available to us – I graduated from vet school in 2006, you’d think there would have been more available. But even now, the online Merck Vet manual is a poor comparison to the human manual (the last time I looked at it there was one audio file and a tiny handful of visual files – more than what’s available in the print version, but a tiny fraction of what is available for the human version).

I’m happy to offer more ramblings should there be anything about my personal experience you’d like to know about. my needs aren’t/weren’t typical, but if I can offer any insight I’m happy to!



11 thoughts on “Blog Topic Request

  1. Also!
    As a student: access to board study guides, state-specific information (like licensure information, CE (continuing education) requirements, jobs available, etc.)

    As a practitioner: access to CE requirements (including the finer points, like how much can come from online sources, how many hours have to pertain to a specific subject, etc.) and access to CE opportunities (both online and live conferences or local chapter association meetings, etc.), easy breakdowns of DEA and state board inspection requirements (not sure how that would translate to human medicine), recent legal changes or issues.

  2. Kelly, most of my library experience is as a patron. I grew up in libraries. I was the nerdy kid. I did volunteer as a student aid during my second semester of high school. Cant’ seem to find a library job yet though. And I’m kind of a medical junkie

    • Thanks Evelyn…sounds like we are in similar boats. I am starting to feel like I have a better idea of what a medical and/or health science librarian sees on a regular basis, but the finer details are lost to me. I need a play-by-play account of the “typical day” to get a better feel for what actually happens. Like a memoir or biography of the medical librarian…

  3. Kelly: A lot of your “book learning” in library school gets validated in your internship .. also, when you take your first professional position, (most of) your fellow librarians will know this and your education will continue through the first year or so. Here’s a series of recent blog posts about “first professional positions” in academic libraries:

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