No Comments on DCT Librarian Selector Profile: Shelley McKibbon, MLIS 63
Information Services Librarian
W. K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library
Editor’s note: On a regular basis, we publish profiles of librarians who have been an integral part of Doody Enterprises, whether they have served on our Library Board of Advisors, as a Librarian Selector for Doody’s Core Titles, or on the editorial board/as a List Selector for Doody’s Special Topics Lists. This month, we are profiling a librarian who has served as a Librarian Selector for Doody’s Core Titles since 2016: Shelley McKibbon of Dalhousie University.
Where do you currently work and what is your position? Provide a brief description of your library and its services.
I work at the W.K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Kellogg Library serves the faculties of Dentistry, Medicine, and Health, which encompasses what we used to call the Allied Health Professions. Our services cover the usual academic library services of instruction, reference, and collection development. In the past few years and especially since the pandemic, we have also supported an ever-increasing number of systematic and scoping reviews.
When did you start in health sciences librarianship? What was your position? With what institution?
I’ve been a health sciences librarian since I began in the profession – I tell students I have been a librarian “since the turn of the century,” which is probably getting less funny as the 21st century wears on. I received my MLIS (from Dalhousie) in 1999 and immediately went to work as a reference librarian at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. This was a bit of a plot twist for me since I had previously been an elementary school teacher and initially expected to become a children’s librarian. However, I applied and was hired for an internship at the Kellogg Library and found it so interesting and rewarding that I have been a health librarian ever since. I came back to Canada in May of 2003 and started work at the Kellogg Library in August of the same year. I have been here ever since!
Name two of the most important issues facing the profession today.
I think one of the most important issues facing academic health sciences libraries right now is probably the same one we’ve faced for a while: the rising costs of academic publishing. Another issue is the capacity to support things like the increase in the number of review projects our users want to complete. As librarians, we are happy to contribute to the vital search step of the reviews, but whether it’s training for team members or completing the search ourselves, it’s a lot of work that needs to fit into our schedules. Especially since the pandemic began, it seems to be a real “growth industry” at our institution and elsewhere. I always feel like we could use a few extra colleagues to keep on top of it!
What is one innovation, product, or service in your library that you’re excited about?
With that said, I find our support of review projects to be what’s most exciting for me. I get to work with a much wider variety of users than I would have 15 years ago, and their questions are always extremely interesting to me. I work mostly with the folks in fields related to rehabilitation and their projects are often focused on research that will obviously help their colleagues make people’s lives better. It’s really rewarding to get to be a part of that.
Why do you serve as a DCT Librarian Selector?
I’ve been a Doody’s Core Titles Librarian Selector for several years now, beginning in 2016. I like having a chance to look over the core books in subject areas of interest to me and to weigh in on which ones I think are of special value. I like feeling as if I am making a contribution that will be useful to my health librarian colleagues. One thing about being a health librarian is this: I never have to ask myself whether my work is useful or of value. I end most days knowing I have helped someone whose job is to help others, and I value that a lot. Participating in the DCT process is another way to get to do that.
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