Adventures of An Aspiring Librarian

Moving to a New Blog

Hello all!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. While I am always out adventuring, I have achieved what I started out to do–I am officially a qualified librarian (and as such, am no longer technically “aspiring”, haha). As such, I am going to archive this blog and will start a new one (soon to be named). I will post here and link to it as soon as it is up and running. Thank you for following me along and supporting me in all my adventures. :)

May the road rise up to meet you,


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I’m happy to announce that I have officially walked with my class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! I’ll be completing my thesis this summer (and as such, will be officially graduating and receiving my diploma in August), but it’s a really exciting event nonetheless. My family came in from Florida to visit, and my Nana and Grandad came into town the day of graduation so that we could celebrate both Mother’s Day and my graduation! It was an exciting day overall! My parents even brought up my little dog, Fluffy, for the celebrations!

I’m so happy to be receiving my Masters in Library Science soon, and I have just had an incredible time in this program. I have learned so much and have been taught invaluable lessons from my professors, peers, and experiences with librarians out in the field. Internships like the Health Science Library one I am currently completing really have helped round out my experience and have taught me things that I know I wouldn’t have learned in the classroom setting. I’ve been able to put the theory to practice, have met incredible and dedicated librarians, and have just enjoyed every minute of my internships and my time at UNC-Chapel Hill. I’ve been interviewing for jobs, and am excited to see where my next adventure will lead!

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Health Science Library Internship–Week 14

As I wrap up my internship with the Health Science Library at UNC-Chapel Hill, I can only be thankful for the time I have been given here. Everyone has just been so kind, helpful and patient as I’ve learned my way around the library building, processes, databases, and vocabulary. I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it.  Every project has been different and unique, and I definitely would say that I’ve met–indeed surpassed–my expectations for my learning goals for this field experience. Fran and all the librarians were wonderful and threw all they could at me….I’m grateful for this because I think I learned more because of it! I’m so glad that I chose this site for my field experience, and I’m so glad that the librarians accepted me as their intern, despite a crazy initial Skype interview from Copenhagen. Thank you for everything!

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Health Science Library Internship–Week 11

This week, I met with Mellanye, the Liason Librarian for the School of Public Health. Mellanye often conducts consults to help patrons and researchers better understand their research. She teaches them how to search, how to narrow their searches, which databases work best for their topics, and other helpful research tips.

I had never sat in on a health information consult before…I am a huge people person, and I have always loved the reference and research side of librarianship, so needless to say, I was very excited about this opportunity!

Our client was a student interested in emergency medicine in developing countries (particularly in their hospitals). He was planning a research trip to Kenya, where he would assist in planning a new triage program to help improve patient outcomes.

Now, when I was sitting in the consult, I had never heard of triage, so I quickly researched it while Mellanye began to help the client. Triage is a medical term for assigning degrees of urgency to medical cases in order to decide the order of treatment.

Mellanye first narrowed down his research goals and location. We discovered the client wished to see whether or not triage improved the efficiency of a hospital, and if it in fact reduced a patient’s outcome and/or time in the hospital. The ultimate goal is a reduction in mortality. Since this is a large goal, we broke the research process down into pieces. Mellanye recommended using MESH terms to help the researcher narrow down his search results for “global health”. MESH terms are specific medical library controlled terms or vocabulary (otherwise known as subject headings) that, combined, can help narrow and define a search so that search results can be pointed and accurate. It should be noted the MESH terms work primarily with the database PubMed. Here is an example of how it works:

An example of narrowing MeSH terms

An example of narrowing MeSH terms


All in all, I think the client was quite happy with the results, as the more we searched and the more Mellanye recommended, the more specific and targeted results he uncovered. He scheduled another meeting with her to discuss what he finds in these results. Hopefully this will help his narrow and define his search even more. I really enjoyed this consult, and I learned SO much by observing how she interacted with the client and and how the search was conducted. I had never even heard of MESH terms before this, so this was an eye opener!

I love putting the theory and hypothetical situations of class into practice in real life scenarios.

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Health Science Library Internship–Week 7

This week, I dove into the world of library instruction and teaching. One of my learning objectives was to learn more about this, since I know it is a very important aspect of librarianship (particularly in academic libraries). I am a bit afraid of public speaking (and as such, teaching large groups), so I wanted to see what it was all about. Librarians can teach about searching and software. Furthermore, they can improve students’ research skills, teach patrons how to navigate a computer, and even instruct on creating bibliographies.

I attended an instruction meeting this week in Davis Library in place of Fran. Mr. Jonathan McMichael, the Undergraduate Experience Librarian at the UNC-CH Undergraduate Library, headed the meeting. Ironically, he recently was a guest speaker in my INLS 501 class (Information and Resource Services), so I was excited to see him speak in a professional meeting/professional capacity. In my class, he spoke about his philosophy towards teaching, which is as follows:

Aptitude x Prior knowledge x Experience
______________________________             x Skills x Motivation
Skills necessary x experience

Summed up, it essentially speaks to a student’s current aptitude and prior knowledge, as well as the skills necessary needed to do the job. The equation of this equals what you can teach them. Most powerfully, he said if the students have no motivation, then the entire equation sums up to 0.

In the meeting in Davis, he spoke of a desire to start a discussion group consisting of the instruction librarians from each library. The key question was: What is the role of a library as an educator on campus? Furthermore, he added, how can we work together to address the instruction needs of students and patrons?

The librarians who attended had some wonderful ideas and insights, and I attempted to contribute here and there with what I knew about the Health Science Library population. The librarians wanted to examine the research cycle, and hoped that they would be able to teach more students at times when they needed it most. Most importantly, they agreed at the end of the meeting that they wanted to create “teachable moments” with their students; these moments are moments in which students are READY and willing to learn something.

This meeting was very informative, and I feel like I learned a lot about the different types of library instruction in the various libraries across the UNC-CH campus. I’m so glad that Fran sent me in her place for this meeting so that I could learn. I took copious notes and sent them her way soon after the meeting ended.


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What are the hardest languages for an English speaker to learn?

I found this chart/infograph earlier today and thought it was fascinating! Unfortunately, I think I’m quickly losing the little Danish I learned in Denmark. I need to work on it more in order to keep it up. :)

Via: Voxy Blog

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Health Sciences Library Field Experience—-Week 4

This week, I took Fran’s feedback and worked on some more phlebotomy research for the majority of the day. I had to track down some full text articles, and also learned that the British spell venipuncture (another word for phlebotomy) as venepuncture. That little spelling difference helped me narrow down my research in PubMed and Web of Science, as well as a few other databases I’m slowly learning my way around.

This can make a world of difference in terms of medical terminology

This can make a world of difference in terms of medical terminology

I also worked a bit on a jeopardy quiz that Fran requested I create. We wanted a way for those being trained to draw blood to be able to remember all the details of their training session in a fun way. So, someone suggested creating a jeopardy quiz! I shopped around on several sites looking for a good, fair-use site that would let me customize a quiz for our purposes.

I managed to find a great quiz builder on the University of Michigan’s website. They have a whole selection of education materials brought to you by the US Department of Education. They are made available to those wanting to use them for educational purposes. I created an account, signed into Quiz Break (found here: and started building the phlebotomy jeopardy quiz slides based on our training powerpoint. It was a lot of fun!

Not the same board I created, but the same concept

Not the same board I created, but the same concept

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Alternative Careers for LIS Grads

This is a fantastic article from Hack Library School on alternative careers for students graduating with a Masters in Library Science:

Alternative Careers for LIS Grads

The author notes several skills that most LIS grads have upon graduation, including: “taxonomical management, metadata management, the ability to handle different kinds of customers, technical skills, project management, content management, content strategy, and rich media management”. I would also add the following skills to the list: instruction, research and information retrieval skills, indexing (which probably could go under taxonomies), teamwork and other various people skills, and marketing skills.

I will definitely be referring to this often as I begin to apply for jobs this spring.

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Northern Lights in Sweden

Auroras in Abisko National Park February 1st, 2014 from Lights Over Lapland on Vimeo.

This is a brilliant (in more than one sense of the word) time-lapse video of the Northern Lights over Sweden on February 1st. Hats off to the photographer, Chad Blakely, for capturing such an incredible sight.

Photographing and witnessing such a powerful phenomenon is on my bucket list! Someday!

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Health Sciences Library Field Experience—-Week 3

This week, Fran asked if I might be able to help her with some medical literature research! I was so excited! I love all kinds of research, but being able to try to search medical terms…it’s a completely different territory! I was tasked with researching phlebotomy (blood draw) training and whether or not successful training programs have been put into place in other hospital/research institutions. Since I had to learn the medical terminology, this search was a bit harder than I thought it would be. Not only that, but the full text was not available on many of the databases, so I had to track those down as well. I found some good sources, and sent them off to Fran for feedback!

Found at


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