Editor’s Note: One of the hallmarks of Doody’s Core Titles is the number of individuals who contribute to its development year after year, including health sciences Librarian Selectors, Content Specialists, medical book distributors, and the staff of Doody Enterprises, Inc. Their belief in the importance of this endeavor and willingness to offer expert analysis is critical to DCT’s success. Because of the cumulative efforts of over 180 individuals, we are able to produce a reliable list of core titles in just over two months every year. With gratitude, this month we present the profile of Barb Ruggeri of Carroll University, who has served as a Librarian Selector for Doody’s Core Titles since 2004.
Where do you currently work and what is your position?
I am the Life & Health Sciences Librarian at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Carroll is known as Wisconsin’s pioneer college, celebrating its 175th year in 2021. Rooted in liberal arts traditions, our health sciences majors make up the majority of our 3,480 undergraduate and graduate students. I am the liaison librarian to our biology, environmental science, animal behavior, nursing, exercise science, athletic training, exercise physiology, public health, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant majors.
When did you start in medical librarianship? What was your position? With what institution?
I started as a solo hospital librarian in 1996 at Mercy Hospital in Janesville, Wisconsin. I had just finished my masters and done an internship in a hospital library and loved it. At Mercy, I had a staff of three octogenarian volunteers who came in every day to copy articles for staff and shelve materials. It was a challenging first job, as I had no peer librarians to ask for advice, but the positive side of that is it got me involved in medical library associations from the local to national level.
Name two of the most important issues facing medical librarianship today.
Smaller hospitals are no longer able to support library personnel. We have seen layoffs and hospital library closures in our state. Academic institutions are also facing large financial hardships due to COVID-19 and demographic declines. Good stewardship of library resources has always been important, but the stakes have become even higher in 2020.
Why have you volunteered to serve as a Librarian Selector for Doody’s Core Titles?
When I started on the inaugural Doody’s Core Title list, I worked at an academic medical center with a strong collection in pediatrics, which was my job focus. My library collection had many of the books that I knew were key texts to my users. I wanted to share this knowledge with others, as well as learn about new materials from other selectors. I wanted to give back, remembering my roots as a solo librarian with a tiny budget. I continue to participate as the selection process has honed my skills in objective material evaluation.
How do your colleagues and you use Doody’s products in your library? Or, what is one thing you want to make sure all librarians know about Doody’s services?
In my current position, I had so many new areas to learn about! Having Doody’s Core Titles and reviews has helped me find the essential works necessary to support students and faculty in health sciences. Doody’s services enable me to serve as a good steward of my library collection development budget.