April 6, 2016

Member Spotlight: Maggie Ansell

Every month, we would like to take a moment to learn more about a fellow librarian and SC/MLA member.  For April, we would like you to meet Maggie, a nursing librarian from Florida who was easily bribed with fancy teas to be the guinea pig graciously volunteered to share a bit about herself.  

Name: Maggie Ansell

SC/MLA Member Since: January 2015

First Professional Position: Nursing & Consumer Health Liaison Librarian at the Health Science Center Libraries of the University of Florida

Education (Include all Degrees): Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, St. John’s College; Master of Library and Information Science, University of Washington.

Favorite website, blog, or twitter feed: One website that I’ve followed for a few years now is Zooniverse (www.zooniverse.org), a citizen science web portal that gives volunteers the opportunity to contribute to data-intensive research through simple identification and transcription tasks, which can be anything from counting penguins in the Antarctic, to transcribing diaries from WWI.  There are even several biomedical projects, such as Worm Watch Lab, Microscopy Masters, and Cell Slider, whose data is being used for genetics, protein modeling, and cancer research!

How did you become interested in medical librarianship? While I was in library school, I got a job at a hospital switchboard, and instantly fell in love with the ever-changing nature of medical information. I especially loved seeing firsthand how I could help patients navigate the healthcare system by directing them to useful resources. 

What do you love most about your job? As a librarian for a nursing college, I spend a lot of time introducing students, staff, and faculty to the world of biomedical research, either one-on-one, or in groups as large as a hundred or more.  I love instruction because it empowers people to pursue research and better clinical practice.  

What has been your biggest professional challenge? Practicing what I preach!  I’ve never done research before, and the process can be very intimidating. 

What do you do to recover from a long work week? Sitting quietly with a large pot of tea and my obese cat Rusty as I crochet lace doilies– I fit the librarian stereotype to a T. 

Anything our readers might find surprising about you? Despite my love of/addiction to technology and the internet, I have a fascination with homesteading and off-the-grid lifestyles, though I’m quite terrible at gardening. 

And just for fun, if you were a crew member on a voyage into intergalactic space, what would your job be?

Ship Maintenance!  There’s always something to do, so I’d never get bored on a long mission, and I’m actively contributing to keeping everyone alive.  Or maybe I just really want to climb through Jefferies Tubes all day…

Many thanks to Maggie! If you know any other amazing SC/MLA members who should be featured in this segment, please post in the comments below or send an email to apomputius@ufl.edu. 

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