Tara R. Malone is an assistant professor and medical librarian at the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, OK. Tara first joined ACRL in 2015 and is your ACRL member of the week for December 11, 2017.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, skeptical, unconventional.
2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. It’s a really tragic true story, and especially hits close to home, being an Oklahoman. On the lighter side, I’m also making my yearly journey through the Harry Potter series.
3. Describe ACRL in three words: Transformative, informative, inclusive.
4. What do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL as an organization that is committed to helping others find, access, and understand information. ACRL brings together diverse perspectives and personalities to tackle some of the most challenging issues in today’s information landscape, and helps forge meaningful connections between information practitioners to better serve information consumers.
5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As a reference and instructional services librarian on a health sciences campus with seven colleges, I work with other library faculty and staff to provide a wide variety of on-campus instruction regarding library resources, database searching, and evidence-based health sciences information. We also perform mediated literature searches for our faculty, staff, and students, as well as handle the day-to-day reference needs of our patrons. We also are a resource library in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine under the National Library of Medicine umbrella. As such, in addition to our on-campus activities, we also are dedicated to health information outreach activities in our local community and across our state.
6. In your own words: As a child, I remember spending countless hours at the tiny public library in my town, where library staff essentially served as my babysitters. I also remember endlessly wandering the stacks of our state university library when my mother went back to school and took me to study with her. Libraries of many types have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I think in several ways, they saved me by giving me shelter when I had little and by opening my mind to new possibilities. Libraries were my home then, as they are now.
I believe that no matter what inspires you to become a librarian, and no matter what kind of librarian you are, we are all committed to the same ultimate goal: providing equitable access to quality information for as many people as possible. I have lived this reality from a patron standpoint; I’m proud to be on the practitioner side as well now.
Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.