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Region 7 Update April 15th, 2024
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Member Spotlight: Lara Lasner-Frater

Posted by on May 8th, 2023 Posted in: Communities of Interest
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Woman holding superhero figureIf you had 25 hours in a day, what would you do with the extra hour?

I know this is a very librarian response, but I would definitely use that hour to catch up on my reading, I have a folder of articles to read, 30 ebooks on hold at my public library, and a stack of print books on my dresser. Reading both for my professional life and for leisure always seems to be on the background so I would love to just say “This extra hour is for reading”.

Tell us about your position/institution.

Since 2016, I’ve been the Electronic Resources Librarian at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Touro College of Pharmacy in Harlem, New York which is part of Touro University.

I’m essentially in charge of making sure our databases and records work in the catalog and discovery layer. I spend a lot of time troubleshooting, making sure our resources are available, and looking for new resources.  I also catalog our books (Although the majority of our collection is electronic), flash cards, even once a skeleton. Like many librarians, I wear different hats. We are a small staff, so we all pitch in. I help with reference and ready reference questions in person, in chat and email, anything from helping with printing posters or printing in general to complicated literature searches.  I also assist with ILL requests, DOCLINE, and working with EFTS.

What special projects are you working on?

I was just invited along with my colleagues to apply for a grant to do a systematic review. I’m so excited, and I hope we get it, because I’ve never done a systematic review before!

We recently got new carpet and locking shelves. During the carpet installation and our books had to be removed. This turned into a massive weeding and shelf-reading project.

What National Library of Medicine resource is the most useful to your work, and why?

PubMed is usually our first recommendation for any student/faculty who need help looking for articles on a particular topic. And as the main cataloger, I use MeSH a lot to add the subject headings to records.  We also use DOCLINE exclusively for interlibrary loans. And all the free titles from PubMed Central are in our discovery layer.

What is the coolest thing about your library/organization/county/state?

The schools are located in Harlem. The building used to be Blumstein’s Department Store where unfortunately Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was stabbed (He was saved at Harlem Hospital). The Apollo is across the Street, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is blocks away. There are many famous restaurants nearby including Sylvia’s and Red Rooster. Our graduations take place at the Apollo and we have had match day celebrations have taken place in the historical Alhambra Ballroom. It’s exciting to work in such historical environment. I got to take a tour of Harlem, learned a history lesson about Ella Fitzgerald, the Hotel Theresa, and saw Alexander Hamilton’s house!

ICYMI: Medical Librarians Podcast

From the NNLM Discovery webpage: “Very few people know what a medical librarian is or does.  You don’t find medical librarians portrayed on Chicago Hope, or House, or ER.  Hollywood is missing out on some great storylines!  On this episode of the NNLM Discovery Podcast, Region 7 Education and Outreach Coordinator, Margot Malachowski interviews four medical librarians from her region. Their stories remind us that even in a world of instantly accessible information these information navigators serve an important role that allows clinicians to focus their time on caring for patients rather than refining searches of medical literature.”

Image of the author ABOUT Margot M

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NNLM Region 7
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
(508) 856-5985

This 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 UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School.

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