Every month, we would like to take a moment to learn more about a fellow librarian and SC/MLA member. For August, we would like you to meet Becca Billings, a new librarian who is looking forward to her first SC/MLA Annual Conference.
Name: Becca Billings
SC/MLA Member Since: 2015
Officer/Committee Positions: I’m brand spankin’ new, so not too many outside of UAB at this time. Here are the proud and few:
- ALHeLA Member-at-Large, 2016
- AACRL Program Committee, 2016-2017
First Professional Position: Full-time Library Associate, Tuscaloosa Public Library, Tuscaloosa, AL
Current Position: Instructor, Reference Librarian at UAB Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
Education (Include all Degrees): BA: English Writing Minor: Small-press Publishing (Southeast Missouri State University); MLIS (University of Alabama)
Favorite website, blog, or twitter feed: Librarian Problems. It’s perfect for a good laugh after a hard day.
How did you become interested in medical librarianship? My professor from school, Dr. Sybil Bullock, who knows absolutely everyone. She was so passionate about the field and its importance, which stirred in me the feeling that I could be a part of something so special and ever-changing too. Plus, the content and resources were really interesting and fun to work with!
What do you love most about your job? After teaching students how to use databases like PubMed or CINAHL, they will reach out to me when they have questions. I love being able to teach them something new that is useful to them. To have them remember who I am, or request me specifically when they have questions, is such a good feeling. Plus, I know they’ve partially been listening to me!
What has been your biggest professional challenge? Learning all the acronyms! ALLA, ALA, MLA, AACRL, HIN – so many! I know I’m not alone in this, right?
One of the biggest challenges for me was realizing it was okay that I had no idea what I was doing as a new librarian. I remember being so excited that I got my dream job at my dream library, but I also had this panic in my gut when I’d get a phone call or someone would chat in with a question. But then I realized it’s a learning process, and I didn’t have to be so nervous because I have the support of many librarians—at UAB and across the Southeast—that I can always reach out to for help.
What do you do to recover from a long work week? Glass of wine, Game of Thrones, bubble bath . . . and yoga when I’m feeling athletic.
Anything our readers might find surprising about you? I’ve never used a card catalog! I was in the weird in-between age where I didn’t need to use them. When I was very young either, my parents would search for me, or I’d browse the shelves and pull books that intrigued me. When I was older, I learned how to search on the computer.
Where would you build your dream vacation home?
Scotland. I don’t really have a witty reason for this, besides the fact that my family is proud to be partly Scottish, and I loved the country when I visited. I imagine escaping the stresses of life by fleeing to a cozy stone cottage (imagine the one from the movie “The Holiday” with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz), covered up with a wool blanket on a sofa, the fireplace crackling while I sipped hot tea. I would be reading one of the books from Game of Thrones.