Editor’s Note: In response to reader request, we have added two new features to the DCDM Newsletter, which will appear in alternating months. In odd-numbered months, we will publish the profile of a member of Doody’s Library Board of Advisors (LBA), and in even-numbered months, we’ll feature an account of a library’s successful marketing launch of a new product or service.
The LBA has guided the development of our company’s library services since our inception. With gratitude, this month we present the profile of Lynda Hartel of the Ohio State University. Questions were posed by the editors of Doody Enterprises, Inc. (DEI) and Lynda (LH) provided the answers.
LBA Profile: Lynda Hartel, MLS, AHIP
DEI: Where do you currently work and what is your position?
LH: I work at The Ohio State University Health Sciences Library (OSU HSL) where I currently serve as the Associate Director.
DEI: How would you describe your library and its services?
LH: The OSU HSL is open to the public and serves the entire university community. Our primary customers are the 28,000 faculty, staff, and students of five health sciences colleges, the Wexner Medical Center, the James Cancer Hospital, and numerous research institutes. The specialized expertise of the HSL supports research and discovery – including helping faculty focus their funding proposals and research questions, improving access to their most-needed resources, conducting systematic literature reviews, and creating original medical illustrations and graphics that strengthen faculty research publications and grant applications.
DEI: When and where did you get started in medical librarianship?
LH: My library career began in 1987 when I joined the staff of The Menninger Clinic Library, Topeka, Kansas (now part of the Baylor College of Medicine). I provided curriculum and reference support to trainees at one of the country’s top psychiatric hospitals. This position opened my eyes to the impact that librarians can have on the education, research, and clinical care missions of hospitals. This experience led me to explore academic medical libraries when I moved to Columbus.
DEI: What are two of the most important issues facing medical librarianship today?
LH: I’ve been giving this sort of question a lot of thought lately as our director, Pamela Bradigan, is set to retire in a few months. I’m still not sure what this change means for me personally, but as I consider the future needs of our library, I’m struck by two related issues—brand recognition and focus. In addition to the critical marketing and visual brand recognition needs, I’m thinking of all of our interactions with customers — every touch point we have with them. Do we reflect a consistent quality brand? Does our brand reflect on us as a trusted, valuable, and essential partner to our health sciences students and clinical experts? What can we do to strengthen our brand?
A related challenge is maintaining focus on key initiatives given a constant flow of new opportunities. Whether it is a fear of missing out (FOMO) or a little attention deficit, some of us can be easily distracted. Employees at my library are working to address this challenge by assessing the opportunities and getting engaged in those that most clearly align with our strategic plan.
DEI: Why do you volunteer to serve on Doody’s Library Board of Advisors?
LH: This year marks my 10th anniversary on Doody’s Library Board of Advisors. My service stems from interest in and experience with library collection development and acquisitions. I believe it is important for librarians to work alongside professionals from the organizations and companies that support us. Serving on the Doody’s Board gives me unique insight into the complex issues faced by their leadership and gives me an opportunity to contribute in some small way to meeting our shared goals associated with delivering valuable library services and resources.
DEI: What is one thing you want to make sure all librarians know about Doody’s services?
LH: I have seen firsthand how hard the Doody’s team works to meet the changing needs of libraries. They listen not only to their board members but also to medical librarians across the country. They are committed to providing services that save us time, keep us informed, and help us maintain quality collections.