Doody’s Special Topics Lists Board Profile: Susan Swogger, MLIS
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Editor’s Note: Doody’s Special Topics Lists (DSTL)were born out of a desire to develop lists of books on a regular basis addressing timely, multidisciplinary topics to meet the information needs of health communities across the globe. With the help of our Library Board of Advisors, we recruited an outstanding diverse Editorial Board, whose members are tasked with 1) selecting timely, pertinent, interdisciplinary topics (“special topics”) based on issues facing the health information community and 2) identifying passionate, knowledgeable librarians to serve as List Selectors who are ultimately responsible for the composition of each Doody’s Special Topics List. With gratitude, this month we present the profile of Susan Swogger of University of Vermont, an inaugural member of the Doody’s Special Topics Lists Editorial Board.She is also a veteran librarian selector for Doody’s Core Titles

Where do you currently work and what is your position? 

I am the Director of Collection Development & Acquisitions at the University of Vermont in Burlington. 

Provide a one sentence description of your library and its services. 

There are three libraries — Howe Library, the main academic research library; Dana Medical Library; and Jack and Shirley Silver Special Collections – each of which supports a wide variety of research, educational and clinical activities for the University of Vermont and University of Vermont Medical Center. 

When did you start in medical librarianship? What was your position? With what institution? 

I started working as a medical librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008, where I was the Collections Development Librarian for the Health Sciences Library.  

Name two of the most important issues facing medical librarianship today. 

I see changes in the medical information publishing industry as a major issue facing our profession. Information source acquisition options are being affected by changes in licensing models, consolidation of information and service providers, inflexible purchasing options, technological issues, direct-to-user marketing, etc. As a result of these changes, libraries in many cases are providing fewer subscribed or owned resources and instead relying on single-use purchases, interlibrary loan, or freely available resources. This shift is not necessarily a negative one, but it is something that requires new thoughts and processes.  

The above also relates to another issue – the positioning of the library in relationship to the provision and utilization of information. Many in our user communities bypass the library’s website to access information through their EHR – never knowing either that the library provides access to these resources or that it could help them better use them. Others are so focused on the information resources rather than other services that the library provides that any change in this detracts from the library’s value in their eyes. Both of these require new thoughts about how to better connect with our user communities.  

Why do you volunteer to serve on the Editorial Board of Doody’s Select Topics Lists and as a Librarian Selector for Doody’s Core Titles? 

I volunteered to work with Doody’s on these projects because I find it enjoyable and a useful way to share information about good resources. 

What is one thing you want to make sure all librarians know about Doody’s services? 

I would like them to know that the titles included are all present as a result of initial identification and subsequent regular review by independent librarian peers.  

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