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Himmelfarb Headlines - November / December 2020

Staff Spotlight - Introducing Elaine Sullo, Associate Director, Reference & Instruction

Elaine Sullo, Associate Director, Reference & InstructionShare your path to Himmelfarb Library.
I have always been interested in healthcare and medicine, and after earning an undergraduate degree in health systems management I worked at a CRO for about 8 years before deciding to go back to school for my graduate degree in library science.  While in school, I worked at a small public library as well as in the circulation and interlibrary loan departments at an academic library in Connecticut.  After earning my Master’s degree in library science and getting a taste for health sciences librarianship, I was hooked.

Tell us about your position at Himmelfarb and what you do.
As the Associate Director for Reference and Instruction, I oversee the library’s systematic review service and coordinate library instruction and consultation requests.  Along with my colleagues in the reference department, I provide assistance to students who are working on literature searches, answer reference questions, consult with faculty on research projects, and conduct searches for scoping reviews and systematic reviews. I’m also the library liaison to the School of Nursing, as well as several academic departments, including Exercise and Nutrition Sciences in the GWSPH and Clinical Research and Leadership in SMHS.

What do you enjoy most about your position?
There are so many things that I enjoy about my position that it is difficult to pick just one!  I love working with students – especially providing guidance on using research tools and databases.  They can carry this knowledge with them throughout medical school and into residency and professional practice.

What’s been the biggest challenge?
Because I’m fairly new to this position, the biggest challenge has been adjusting to the role and balancing my new responsibilities with all the work that I do as part of the reference team.

What has been the best part of working at Himmelfarb?
By far, the best part has been my co-workers.  I’ve never worked with such a supportive, fun, professional, and service-oriented group of people.

Elaine Sullo, Associate Director, Reference & Instruction

What jobs have you held previously that prepared you for your work at Himmelfarb?
As I mentioned, I’ve had experience working at a public library and an academic library; I’ve also taught an online introductory graduate course focused on searching databases, perfecting APA style, and using critical thinking skills to write a research-based position paper – all great experiences that prepared me for what I do here at Himmelfarb.

What do you like to do in your time away from work?
When I’m not working, I enjoy reading, hanging out at home (with my husband, our two cats, and our dog), travelling to new places, visiting museums, going out to eat, and going to farmer’s markets.  Of course I haven’t done much of those last few things lately!

Where are you from originally, and what brought you to the DC area?
I grew up in Connecticut. My first professional librarian position was in Greenville, NC, and after gaining several years of experience I knew that I wanted to be in a more urban environment - thus, DC and Himmelfarb Library!


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