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Rock Star Medical Librarians: Meet the Collisions!

Segment reposted from
Posted by NLM in Focus

The response has been the equivalent of a standing ovation with people holding up cell phone lights.

So we’re back for an encore of medical librarians. We even have a couple of bands.

The idea started after the Director of the National Library of Medicine Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan wrote in a blog post, “I’m all for the ‘rock star’ librarian idea.”

We are so with her on that.

Four women wearing dark sunglasses strike intimidating poses: The Collisions

Erica Lake, Nancy Lombardo, Shirley Zhao, Jean Shipman

Current gig: Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah

Three words on what it’s like to be on the library beat: Inform. Connect. Innovate.

Rock solid advice for wannabe medical librarians: Work with passion! Be curious and willing to try new things, venture in new directions, and fail.

The biggest misconception about being a medical librarian: You have to have a clinical background. You don’t!

If you’re not rocking as librarians, what are you doing? Recording our next album at a local dive!

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A Statement in Affirmation of Our Core Values

by the Faculty and Staff of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah

The faculty and staff of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) publicly assert and stand in support of the 2017 Medical Library Association (MLA) Statement affirming our core professional values.  Quoting from the MLA Statement,

 “…access to information facilitates scientific collaboration, provides researchers with easier access to scientific research and data, strengthens biomedical research, and leads to better patient care. Patients who have access to necessary health information are empowered to play an active role in their health care and realize better health outcomes. The free movement of scientists worldwide contributes to a diverse and inclusive research environment in the best interest of all.”

Our core values as health sciences library professionals, as reiterated in the MLA statement referenced above, include:

  • reliance on scientific evidence;
  • access to information, integrity, transparency, and reproducibility in scientific research;
  • global public awareness of and access to high-quality health information, especially for underserved communities;
  • lifelong learning and professional development;
  • advancement of peer-reviewed health information research and evidence-based practice;
  • global community engagement and collaboration within and outside our profession;
  • adherence to high ethical standards; and
  • commitment to diversity and inclusion to strengthen our communities internally and externally.

These values are part and parcel of who we are and what we do as health sciences library professionals.

Further, EHSL supports the University of Utah’s recent statements (Executive Order and Support for International Community) affirming the University’s support for our international students, staff, faculty, and colleagues. In our EHSL Diversity and Inclusion Policy, we state and affirm that:

We are here to assist anyone who seeks access to health information without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, status as a disabled individual, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information or protected veteran’s status.”

To these ends, we commit to ensure that EHSL provides a space of learning where all voices are heard. We commit to challenging ourselves and others to explore and respect difference. Most of all, we will continue with equity and justice to assist all who seek access to health information.

Medical Library Association Statements:

University of Utah Statements:

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Congratulations Mellanye Lackey!

Mellanye Lackey has been accepted to the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at the Harvard Graduate School of Education–July 30-August 4. “The program details important leadership concepts and applies them to the practical challenges of leading and managing the contemporary academic library. The curriculum addresses three areas — planning, organizational strategy and change, and transformational learning — with an overarching goal of increasing your leadership and management capacity.”

She also received an AAHSL Leadership Scholarship to support her participation in this fantastic program. We look forward to hearing about her experience when she returns. Congrats Mellanye!


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Bike to Work Week May 15-19, 2017

May is National Bike Month and May 15-19, 2017 is National Bike to Work Week. If you bike to work this week, join us at 3:30 PM that day at the main (west) entrance to EHSL for a group photo.

Sponsored by the EHSL Sustainability Committee and the EHSL Wellness Team!

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JoVE: MLA’17 Meeting Travel Award – Mellanye Lackey

Congratulations to Mellanye Lackey, MSI! She is a recipient of the JoVE: MLA’17 Meeting Travel Award. A Librarian’s Role in Research Reproducibility: The award is intended to recognize librarians are working to advance scientific research by empowering scientists, faculty, and students with the necessary information, tools, and training to achieve research reproducibility. These librarians developed and lead invaluable research reproducibility initiatives for researchers, students, or other librarians. They were awarded a $1,500 grant each to attend the MLA Conference in Seattle and their initiatives will be showcased on our blog as well as disseminated in video format.

Read more here:

JoVE Recipients for MLA17

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2017 NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program

Melissa Rethlefsen, MSLS, AHIP – Deputy Director and Associate Librarian at Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah is a Fellow in the 2016/2017 NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program. This program prepares emerging leaders for director positions in academic health sciences libraries. It is jointly funded by the National Library of Medicine and the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries. Since the program began in 2002, 42% of fellowship graduates have assumed director positions. Her mentor is Judy Cohn, Assistant Vice President for Information Services and Director of Health Sciences Libraries at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Melissa recently completed a site visit to the Rutgers University Libraries and the NYU Health Sciences Library as part of her fellowship.

Read more here:



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Art Exhibit: Layers of Medicine Student Artwork

The Eccles Health Sciences Library is now featuring its newest art exhibit, Layers of Medicine. The exhibit consists of artistic interpretations of concepts taught in class, which are created by first and second year medical students enrolled in Layers of Medicine. This required course, pushes medical students to personally and creatively explore the unique relationships and challenges of practicing medicine.

Come view the different displays to see how thinking through art can lead to different observations and influences. The library’s Main and Upper Levels will be home to the interactive and engaging student work until May 15th.

Course directors, Gretchen Case and Karly Pippitt, emphasize the role ethics, humanities, communication, and gender play in terms of giving and receiving medical care. From this, the course directors hope that students start to think differently about health care, and express their talents in broader varieties.

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EHSL on JoVE’s Library Spotlight

Eccles Health Sciences Library was JoVE’s first library highlighted on their new blog series, called Library Spotlight.

Three EHSL faculty – Melissa Rethlefsen, Mellanye Lackey, and Shirley Zhao –  were interviewed.

Read the post at:

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Summer Yoga at the Eccles Library

Join us for free 50 minute yoga sessions from May-July 2017 on:

  • Mondays, 5:15pm, on the Garden Level
  • Wednesdays, 12:05pm, on the Garden Level 

Drop by for one event or attend all of the free yoga events! This is a great opportunity to stretch and relax during the workday.

Please bring your own yoga mat. If you forget your mat, we have 3 mats available for check-out at the Front Desk.

Please send us feedback at:

Continue reading »

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2017 Health Literacy Leadership Institute – Early Registration Discount EXTENDED to 4/28/17

Don’t miss this year’s Health Literacy Leadership Institute (HLLI 2017) at Tufts University School of Medicine. The program is designed for both professionals and students engaged in health literacy work. This is an advanced level program that integrates peer learning to facilitate and encourage research and best practices. Whether you work in the community or healthcare this program will help you achieve your goals and improve health literacy. Register before April 28th to receive the early registration discount.

WHAT: Health Literacy Leadership Institute 2017

WHY: To advance health literacy and build leadership in the field

WHEN: June 12 – 16, 2017

WHERE: Tufts University School of Medicine (Boston, MA)

HOW: Early registration discount ends April 28, 2017. Register today!

For more information and to register:


Facebook: @HealthLiteracyLeadership

If you have any questions, please email

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