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Midwest Matters April 19th, 2018
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So you want to be an outreach librarian? Spotlight on Marcia Francis

Posted by on January 10th, 2018 Posted in: Outreach, Partner Outreach Libraries


Marcia_Francis_exhibit_ 2017

Marcia Francis exhibits on behalf of the GMR.

In the far northwest corner of the GMR is the state of North Dakota, so large and rural that the University of North Dakota (UND) Partner Outreach Librarians have divided the state into four quadrants to maximize their outreach potential.  Today we spotlight Marcia Francis, who conducts outreach on behalf of the GMR, presenting educational sessions on National Library of Medicine resources. See our website to learn more about our Partner Outreach Libraries.

Name: Marcia Francis
Title: Southwest Clinical Campus Librarian, University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Our five questions:

  1. How long have you been in the role of an outreach librarian? Outreach has been part of my current position for the past five or so years at UND. I also did outreach work for about 14 years when working at another position in Idaho.
  2. How did you get involved in outreach? I have worked at outreach/resource libraries in the NNLM, so outreach has always been an expected part of my work.
  3. What is your favorite outreach project that you’ve done so far? I cannot think of one specific project, but probably talking with health consumers at trainings and exhibits has been the most rewarding. Consumers are well aware they are expected to take more responsibility for making health choices, but they are not always confident they have access to quality information and skills to evaluate information. NLM has great resources to share with these individuals, and watching health consumers feel empowered as they use those resources makes the time seem well spent.
  4. What outreach activity do you hope to do in the future? I am not sure what the next outreach activity might be as our library is waiting to learn the results of an information needs assessment project we are working on. I am blessed to work with a team of smart outreach librarians, which will make whatever future project we tackle easier and more fun, too.
  5. What is the one thing you wished you had known before you got started in outreach? When I started in outreach, my supervisor cautioned me to have a Plan B, C, and maybe even a Plan D to fall back upon when (not if) Plan A does not work. That was good advice that I still try to follow as being prepared for the unexpected and being flexible can make all the difference in how successful (and fun) outreach work can be.

 

Image of the author ABOUT Jacqueline Leskovec
I'm a dogma, a catma, a DIYer, and a telecommuter, coming to you from my home office in Chicago.

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This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Grant Number 1UG4LM012346 with The University of Iowa.

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