Meet Gisela Butera, Reference/Instructional Librarian and Research Enthusiast

Gisela ButeraHimmelfarb Library continues this feature in our newsletter that lets us become better acquainted with our friends and colleagues at the George Washington University. In this issue we learn more about Gisela Butera, Reference/Instructional Librarian.

How long have you been at Himmelfarb Library/GW and how have your position and responsibilities evolved over the years?
I started working at GW in 2007. When I began working at Himmelfarb my primary role was instructional, and I mostly interacted with faculty and students by conducting library sessions or being embedded in their courses. Through the years my involvement in supporting research has grown and now I find myself more integrated into providing research support for both students and faculty.

What about your job do you most enjoy?
Research! Whether it is a research paper, dissertation, IRB study or systematic review I absolutely enjoy the process of searching the literature finding the gaps and discovering what has been written on the topic. Give me a challenging research topic and I dig right in and enjoy every step of the way!

What led you to a career as a medical librarian?
Long story…. (This story should really be told over drinks). My background is broadcast journalism and straight after college I worked at both CBS and ABC in NYC. I loved it and enjoyed the excitement and fast pace. When I married and moved to the Scranton, PA area, I focused on starting a family and enjoying time with my husband and two boys. Returning to work I realized I needed to reinvent myself and explore other career opportunities. Library science was a good fit because it demands similar skills in searching for facts, research and delivering information. Through the years I have found many librarians with a journalism background…it is a good fit!

What is your most memorable moment at Himmelfarb?
I have many memorable moments and they always revolve around students taking the initiative to go beyond their academic experience here at GW and take the challenge to participate in a research study. I love it when a student I have helped contacts me to tell me the study they have worked on has been published. It doesn’t get better than that!

What do you like to do in your time away from work?
Two places that are heaven-on-earth to me are NYC for the excitement and, to relax,Topsail Island, NC. I am a very proud Jersey girl who grew up outside of NYC and to me it has always been an exciting, magical place. I went there for Christmas this year and had a blast going to China Town, Little Italy and soaking up the electricity of the city. When I want to relax I go with my family to North Carolina’s Topsail Island. Topsail is a barrier island near Jacksonville, famous for its sea turtle rescue. We enjoy surfing, fishing, and just sitting on the beach relaxing and watching for dolphins. Heaven!

Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library ◊ The George Washington University ◊ 2300 Eye St., NW, Washington, DC 20037 ◊ Phone: (202) 994-2850