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September 9, 2014 / Christian M.

Good Morning Baltimore (and Welch Library)!

View of the Baltimore Inner Harbor from Federal Hill Park

Doing a little sightseeing in my new city. The view of the Baltimore Inner Harbor from Federal Hill Park.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to participate in the second year of the NLM Associate Fellowship Program.  I am very happy to be one of the two Associates offered a position at the William H. Welch Medical Library at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. I will be spending my second year continuing to learn more about medical librarianship, and contributing to the mission and services of Welch Library.

The year has begun with an orientation phase, where we are meeting with the department heads and informationists to learn about what they do and about Welch Library services. We are also sitting in on committee meetings and shadowing informationists when they teach classes or lead orientation sessions for students. As we become more familiar with the library, we will be able to take on responsibilities that may include literature searching, systematic reviews, LibGuides, and teaching classes. There are also opportunities to be involved with some really cool special projects.

“Welch Library: Wherever You Are”

The Welch Library serves the students, faculty, and staff of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.  All of the librarians are called informationists, and they are each assigned specific departments to work with. There are five clinical informationists, and six public health and basic science informationists. The informationists operate through an embedded service model where they are integrated into their departments. This integration can include collaborating with researchers, serving on committees, attending meetings or grand rounds, and holding regular office hours in various places around the campus. The goal is to bring the library’s services to the patron instead of requiring the patron to always come to the library. This model also removes the focus from the library as a building or physical collection, and puts more emphasis on the library as a group of skilled information professionals. This nontraditional approach to librarianship is part of what attracted me to Welch. I’m very excited to learn from the informationists and become involved in their activities. At the moment, I am more interested in the public health side than clinical.

A New Place to Call Home

During my first year of the fellowship, I lived in Prince George’s County, MD, very close to the border of Southeast Washington, DC. Driving around the beltway to and from Bethesda was exhausting (at least an hour one way, sometimes longer with rush hour traffic). I knew the commute to Baltimore would be just as bad, if not worse. So I decided to move. I’m now living in Baltimore City, and I can get to Welch Library by a ten-minute bus or shuttle ride. It’s wonderful not to have to drive as much (and also to be able to take time to eat breakfast before I leave in the mornings). In addition to getting to know the new workplace and co-workers, I’m also getting to know a new city. Previously I lived in the DC/PG County area for my whole life (over 30 years), so this is a bit of an adjustment. However, I’m sure I will enjoy my time here.


That’s all of my news for now. I will keep you updated on projects as they get started. 🙂


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