Sarah Wade, MLS, AHIP
Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine
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 Sarah Wade, who has served as a Librarian Selector for Doody’s Core Titles since 2021.
Where do you currently work and what is your position?
I am the Medical Librarian at Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine. I have been in this position for nine years as of September, but a year prior to taking the position I worked as a library assistant in the same library, so I have been here for 10 years total. I am considered faculty, though I don’t have tenure. My current areas of liaisonship are Nursing, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Public Health, Doctor of Health Sciences, and Master of Health Professions Education. Because my office is located in the medical library, I also work with medical students and medical faculty, though that is not one of my assigned liaison areas.
Provide a brief description of your library and its services.
We are a medical library within a medical school. We serve all the health sciences programs on our campus minus the pharmacy school and its programs. These programs include Medicine, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Nursing, and Public Health, as well as our two online programs for Master of Health Professions Education and Doctor of Health Sciences. We also work with the residents and clinical preceptors who teach our third- and fourth-year students on their clinical rotations.
When did you start in health sciences librarianship? What was your position? With what institution?
I started in health sciences librarianship 10 years ago in the same library where I work today. My position at the time was Library Assistant. I was then hired to be the Assistant Medical Librarian. When my former supervisor left last March, my title was changed to Medical Librarian.
Name two of the most important issues facing the profession today.
One issue is the abuse of lower-level librarians by those above them. More people seem to be coming forward and saying their superior abused them in some way, making them work long hours, yelling at them, piling too many responsibilities on them, or dumping tasks on them that they can’t do. This is horrid and must stop. This is part of the reason why so many librarians are quitting and finding something else to do.
The other issue is 24/7 work expectations. Ever since the pandemic, people expect others to help them immediately no matter what time of day it is, whether it’s a weekday or weekend. This isn’t reasonable or appropriate. Librarians have lives too, and just because you deem something urgent doesn’t mean it is. I have seen more people add a note in their email signatures like, “My work hours may not be your work hours so please reply on your timeline,” and I love this so much.
What is one innovation, product, or service in your library that you’re excited about?
When my current supervisor was promoted to his current position, a Health Sciences Reference Team was also created. This has enabled the three librarians that work with the health sciences on our campus to be more focused on health science instruction and instructional projects than we had overseen for the last 10 years. Also, 2023 is the 10-year anniversary of the opening of the medical school building and we are getting ready to celebrate that. I am anticipating the celebration to be really fun.
Why do you serve as a DCT Librarian Selector?
I serve as a Librarian Selector because it is a unique opportunity to help influence the selection of textbooks in health science libraries. I also enjoy looking at different textbooks, reading what they are about, and helping to decide if they would be appropriate for students in a particular specialty. One additional reason I serve is because part of my job is collection development, so this is an opportunity to view all the new material that has been published recently and see what my library might need to add to our collection to support our students.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I have a very cute, happy, sweet, loving, kind little girl named Caroline who is the joy and happiness of my life. She is five years old and will start kindergarten at the end of August. I love to tell people about her, so I just had to share.