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Midwest Matters October 24th, 2021
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So you want to be an outreach librarian? Spotlight on Katherine Chew

Posted by on April 16th, 2018 Posted in: Blog, Outreach, Partner Outreach Libraries

Who knew there was such a thing as “outreach on a stick”? If you’re in Minnesota, like this month’s GMR Partner Outreach Librarian, Katherine Chew, you might know. From ice cream, taffy apples, and every deep fried food you can think of (olives!), the Minnesota State Fair takes the on-a-stick notion to new heights.


Name: Katherine Chew
Title: Research/Outreach Services, University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library, Minneapolis, MN

  1. How long have you been in the role of an outreach librarian?
    Officially November of 2014, practically (i.e. first outreach activity/event) April 2015.
  2. How did you get involved in outreach?
    When our Public Health/Outreach Librarian, Anne Beschnett, left in October 2014, I got tapped for the Outreach role for three reasons: (1) I had helped Anne with exhibiting, (2), at the time I had the most flexibility with my current job duties to take on fulfilling the outreach contract and (3) the library director had decided that as part of recruiting for a new Public Health Librarian, that outreach would be replaced by data curation duties, so outreach became a permanent part of my job.
  3. What is your favorite outreach project that you’ve done so far?
    The most favorite outreach activity is staffing a booth at the Minnesota State Fair. It is fun, exhausting (on your feet for six to nine hours), exhilarating, informative and a great way to interact with people. All shapes, sizes, ages, genders, educational levels, nationalities and work disciplines stop by and you get to hear great stories and pass on lots of information.
  4. What outreach activity do you hope to do in the future?
    Don’t have an answer for that — still trying to perfect the ones I am doing now.
  5. What is the one thing you wished you had known before you got started in outreach?
    How difficult it can be to get people to come to an instructional session at a conference and some tips and tricks to get people to show up.

Image of the author ABOUT Jacqueline Leskovec
Jacqueline Leskovec, MLIS, MA, RN is the Network Librarian for NNLM GMR. She is the lead for the Partner Outreach Library Program, Network membership and user accounts, and the GMR website. She has been with the Network since 2005. In addition to being a health sciences librarian, Jacqueline maintains her license as a registered nurse. She telecommutes from her home office in Chicago and attends on-site meetings regularly. She is well acquainted with power tools and will be happy to bore you with details of her many home repair and remodel adventures.

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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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