I started out as a clerk in a hospital library in New Jersey in the late 1970’s. After receiving my MLS degree at Rutgers University, I began my career in 1981 at the UCLA Louise M Darling Biomedical Library in a one-year temporary position. I served as a Reference Librarian in the Biomedical Library for nearly 20 years. My primary responsibilities involved literature searches, working at a very busy reference desk and providing instruction to various groups and classes. During this time, I gained significant expertise with NLM’s MeSH and MEDLARS systems, as a back-up instructor for the weeklong Fundamentals of MEDLARS Searching and Initial Online Training course, from 1987–90.
In 2001, I transitioned to the NNLM PSR and my latest job title has been Education & Outreach Librarian. During my tenure in the RML, I have had primary responsibility for managing the education and exhibits program, and providing outreach and training to various audiences, including health sciences libraries, public libraries, community colleges, Native Americans, and health professionals, particularly school nurses, who I successfully reached with presentations at a number of national and state school nurse association meetings. I also made great inroads reaching promotores (community health workers) through exhibiting and presenting at their annual conferences. Some of the presentations were delivered in Spanish! Over the years, I developed a number of courses in both in-person and online formats, such as PubMed Clinics of North America: A Problem-based Approach to PubMed Searching, PubMed Rediscovered: Hidden Treasures in Searching, and Teaching with Technology: Tips, Techniques and Tools. I also regularly updated Nursing on the Net: Health Care Resources You Can Use. I also pioneered the development of a Moodle-based course to promote the Results Section of NLM’s ClinicalTrials.gov, as the result of my participation in a NNLM National Initiative. As Associate Director Alan Carr has noted, “Kay is regionally and nationally recognized for her expertise with NLM resources, especially PubMed.”
I have been professionally active throughout my career, most notably in the Medical Library Association (MLA), particularly the Consumer and Patient Health Information and Public Health/Health Administration Sections, and the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona (MLGSCA). I have published several articles in the Bulletin/Journal of the Medical Library Association. At the 2015 MLA Annual Meeting, I presented the contributed paper Assessing Librarian Learning Needs Over Time, which analyzed the trends and differences in NNLM PSR Network member learning needs over ten years. I collected five data sets using an online questionnaire tool. I have been a Member of MLA’s Academy of Health Information Professionals since 1983 and received the MLGSCA Louise Darling Achievement Award in 2000. In addition, I served on the Adult Congenital Heart Association Board of Directors from 2011-2015, including one year as Secretary.
I’ll miss my colleagues and network members in the Region, and I will especially miss my annual trips to the MLA Hawaii-Pacific Chapter annual meetings where I provided workshops on various topics and promoted NLM resources. My husband has been retired for a few years, and I look forward to joining him. We’ll be traveling, hiking and reading. I can finally finish some of my beading projects, and get better at my hammer dulcimer playing!
The good news is that I will return to my position on recall status, beginning August 1. I will be at 43% time for one year. So, save those PubMed questions for me until then!