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Region 4 News June 18th, 2024
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Faces of NNLM Region 4: Mary Anne Hansen

Posted in: #CC/Academic List, #Health Interest List, #Health Sciences List, #Public/K-12 List, All Members

Today we will be shining a light on Mary Anne Hansen, Professor and Research Services Librarian at Montana State University Library. Below is an interview with Mary Anne about her experience being a librarian.

Can you give us the elevator-speech rundown of your librarian career?

I’m in my 26th year as a library faculty member at at the Montana State University Library. For eight years prior to that, I served as a Circulation Supervisor, during which time I completed my Master of Library Science in the University of Arizona’s online program. During the bulk my career at MSU, I’ve served as Subject Librarian to Education, Health & Human Development, Nursing, and Psychology. As a result of my work in health sciences information, I became a Montana liaison to the NNLM/PNR up until the reorganization of NNLM. I also served on the NNLM/PNR Regional Advisory Committee for many years, contributing to online and in-person meetings with Region 5 staff. Now, I welcome the chance to make contributions to Region 4 now that Montana is part of it.

What are your interests or top work activities?

I love teaching and providing research assistance to students, faculty, and staff. Both activities help me to continually hone my research skills, especially when I’m working with DNP students on their Evidence-based practice questions and Quality Improvement projects.

I’m also incredibly fortunate to be the coordinator for the MSU Library’s annual Tribal College Librarians Professional Institute (TCLI), a role I’ve held since 1997. In this capacity, I get to work with and learn from dozens of librarians serving Indigenous college students and faculty, as well as community members. Many are Native librarians, and some are not, but they’re all so dedicated and inspiring for the great library services and programming that they provide for their communities.

What prompted you to become a librarian?

How many answers “because my mom was my school librarian?!” True for me, and I was fortunate to get a great job at the MSU Library as a classified staff where I could learn more about librarianship while completing my program online.

What is your favorite health information resource or tool?

I use MedlinePlus a fair amount for my own purposes, as well as for helping students explore and choose topics to get a grasp on them before diving into the research. I recently discovered the power of searching PubMed Central to help students locate research articles with accompanying data sets. Web of Science is also helpful for finding data papers, as well as tracing research forward in time through citation indexing. And I love PsycInfo, which I’ve discovered is very powerful for psychiatric nursing research, in addition to research involving human behavior, which so much of health sciences research is!

Why is providing consumer health information at your library important to you?

It’s so important for consumers – students, faculty, staff, the public (we’re a land grant university) to have awareness of high-quality health information resources for both their academic and personal needs.

What do you think are the most important challenges librarians face in providing consumer health information?

As an academic librarian, one of the biggest challenges is audience because so much of my work involves guiding users into the research databases.

Please tell us about an interaction with a library user that gave you a lot of satisfaction.

I can’t think of just one specific example, rather a common sentiment shared by the DNP students, especially, after they’ve worked with me on their literature review. Time and again they’re so appreciative, and even surprised, that they learned so much about strategic searching while working with me.



Contact us at:
Network of the National Library of Medicine/NNLM Region 4
University of Utah
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
10 North 1900 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5890
Phone: 801-587-3650
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.

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