In honor of National Library Week, PNR asked Molly Montgomery, Director of Library Services at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, to reflect on her career and current work at ICOM.
Hello, everyone! My name is Molly Montgomery and I am the Director of Library Services at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM).
I received a dual master’s in Library Science and Health Studies from Texas Woman’s University, we’ll just say, a number of years ago! It was a program specifically created for those of us who wanted to go into health librarianship which is exactly what I was looking for. I spent the first part of my career working in special library settings. I worked as a librarian for the American Heart Association and then as a hospital librarian for a large health care system in Dallas. I then moved into academic librarianship as the health sciences librarian at Idaho State University, and I’ve been at ICOM for just over two years.
Making the transition from working in special libraries to academic libraries was definitely challenging for a number of reasons (so. many. committee. meetings & so. much. teaching), but I have enjoyed the experience. It has been rewarding to help shepherd the next generation of health care providers through what can be a very grueling time in their lives.
One of the primary accomplishments of my career so far has been building the ICOM library from the ground up. ICOM is a new school (we are still two years away from graduating our first class) and I was hired just 4.5 months before the start of our inaugural class. I spent most of that time in a semi-state of panic and stress about everything that had to be decided on and implemented. What ILS to use? What about interlibrary loan? Gotta build a website. What databases are the highest priority? Don’t forget strategic plans and policies! I survived largely thanks to the amazing and supportive medical librarian community. Librarians near and far took time to answer my emails and phone calls about every aspect of what it takes to run a library. Thank you if you were one of the many people who came to my rescue!
Now that things are somewhat settled, I’ve been able to get back to focusing on my professional interests which include social determinants of health, health equity, and pretty much everything related to evidence-based medicine. I spend way too much time reading articles on these topics, but there is always something new to learn.
Away from work, you’ll find me hiking or snowshoeing or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors. I’m participating in the 52 Hike Challenge this year, so you may see me on a trail near you this summer! I am also a huge fan of board games like Carcassone, Ticket to Ride, Castle Panic, King of New York, and my current obsession, Wingspan.
I’m somewhat active on Twitter, so feel free to find me there @MedLibMolly.