March 8, 2017

Member Spotlight: Elena Azadbakht

Every month, we would like to take a moment to learn more about a fellow librarian and SC/MLA member.  For March, we talked to Elena Azadbakhat, who is the first librarian from Mississippi to step into the member spotlight and the second place winner of the SC/MLA 2016 Paper Research Awards for her presentation on humor in library instruction.

Name: Elena Azadbakht

SC/MLA Member Since: 2012

Officer/Committee Positions:
  • Public Relations Committee (Co-Chair)
  • Communications Committee
    • Southern Salutations Subcommittee
  • MLA Scholarship Jury
First Professional Position:
Library-wise, that would be my current position (although I did have several student jobs and internships).

Current Position:
Health and Nursing Librarian at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Education (Include all Degrees):
I have a Bachelor of Arts in English literature with minors in German and International Studies and a Master of Science in Information with a specialization in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Favorite website, blog, or twitter feed:
This a tough question for me! I’m a big fan of Ask a Manager, and I’ve really gotten into podcasts lately – my current favorite is the Myth and Legends podcast, and I follow the show on social media.

How did you become interested in medical librarianship?
When I was in graduate school, I worked at the University of Michigan’s Taubman Health Sciences Library. I mostly did reference but got to help out with other projects as well.
What do you love most about your job?
I really enjoy helping graduate students with their research, especially some of our DNP and MSW students. Also, I’m the citation management tool expert at my library, and I love introducing someone who is not familiar with these tools to one of them.
What has been your biggest professional challenge?
Whenever we’ve had a liaison librarian position vacant at my library, the rest of the liaisons have pitched in to cover that position’s areas. Although I’m very at home with the health sciences, I’m not as familiar with some of the subjects I’ve had to temporarily support. Getting up to speed on a new area’s needs during a very busy semester can be tough.

What do you do to recover from a long work week?
A nice meal and a fun movie. Going for a long walk or jog when the weather is good.

Anything our readers might find surprising about you?
This may not be that surprising, but I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. Like, I’ve actively sought out and read articles analyzing the economics of the wizarding world.

If you were a crew member on a voyage into intergalactic space, what would your job be?
I’d like to think that I’d be involved in record-keeping in some way, like maybe I could be the ship’s archivist? If that opportunity wasn’t available, I think it’d be cool to be one of the people who looked after plants/seedlings in the ship’s greenhouses.

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