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Why I Love Being a Hospital Librarian!

Posted by on October 12th, 2017 Posted in: News from Network Members

To celebrate Medical Librarian’s Month we have invited medical librarians in our region to submit some information about who they are and the work that they do as medical librarians.

Today we hear from a hospital librarian in Idaho!

Karly peeking out her library window

Who am I? Karly Vesely, MLIS

Where do I work? Health Sciences Librarian at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Why do I love my job? I was talking about the Kootenai Health Medical Library to a group of new employees, and one of them remarked that I clearly love my job.  I really do, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Fun! Fun is my number one motivator at work, and in life in general, so I love that my job allows me to come in and have fun each day.  As a hospital librarian, I have a fair amount of autonomy, and that allows to me to incorporate my sense of humor and enthusiasm in to most of what I do!
  • Rewarding! Employees here at Kootenai love their library and its services, and it shows!  I’m so grateful for the amazing feedback I get: “Thank you to the moon and back for all the articles you dug up for me!!!”; “Can I just say…You’re the best!!! Thanks a million”; “These articles look awesome so far! Thanks for your help!”.  Who wouldn’t like their job with that kind of encouragement?
  • Investigative! Being a hospital librarian allows me to exercise my natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge with every literature search and clinical question I receive!  I can’t rest until I’ve hunted down the answer to the best of my ability.
  • Varied! As a solo librarian, I get to do a little bit of everything – literature searching, collection development, electronic resource management, circulation, document delivery, interlibrary loan, etc. AND I get to work with so many different groups across the hospital – physicians, nurses, therapists, administration, etc.  I love the variety!
  • Dynamic! With technology constantly changing, I’m never bored.  I love exploring emerging technologies and I’m not afraid to tackle something new.  Having a software engineer for a husband helps with that too;).

Final note? I think one of the biggest misconceptions about being a medical librarian is that we spend most of our time checking out books.  I think a lot of people outside the library world would be surprised that in the last week alone I’ve:

  • Completed 9 literature search requests
  • Set up and presented trials of several online nursing resources to our Nurse Educator group
  • Met one on one with a couple of physicians for new Medical Staff Orientation
  • Had a booth at the new employee General Orientation Resource Fair
  • Helped facilitate a physician focus group
  • Met one on one with nurse to teach her more about literature searching for her BSN program
  • Worked with our Communications and Marketing department on the library’s new website and on updating some unrelated physician handouts
  • Held a meeting with our Nursing Research department to discuss a potential Writing and Publishing class to help our nurses with the publication process
  • And so much more!

Image of the author ABOUT Carolyn Martin
Carolyn Martin is the Consumer Health Coordinator for the NNLM Pacific Northwest Region. She works with various libraries and community organizations to increase health literacy in their communities.

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Developed resources reported in this program are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

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