The University Libraries are pleased to announce that Linda Watson has been selected as Director of the Health Science Libraries, starting August 1, 2005.
Ms. Watson comes to this position from the University of Virginia, where since 1990 she has been the Associate Dean and Director of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library in Charlottesville. Prior to her work in Virginia, Ms. Watson has also served in management positions at the Houston Academy of Medicine/Texas Medical Center Library and at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ms. Watson’s record of professional service includes chairing the committee on scholarly communication for the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, and service on the PubMed Central National Advisory Committee. She is also a recent former president of the Medical Library Association.
She publishes and presents on a wide variety of topics including scholarly communication, open access publishing, and library outreach projects that enhance access to health information.
The Real Diehl posed some questions to Ms. Watson about her new position:
What inspired you to apply for the position?
“The broad scope and potential of the position attracted me right away. And during every interview with AHC leadership, I found an eagerness to engage the Health Sciences Libraries in strategic thinking – about curriculum and physical spaces to name just two important issues. It seemed to be a very collaborative and energetic environment where new and innovative ideas can thrive.”
What do you hope to accomplish in your first twelve months on the job?
“In my first twelve months, I expect to spend time learning from library staff of course, and interacting with all the health professions represented both in Twin Cities and throughout the state where students train to get a sense of how we can help them achieve their short and long term goals. I'd like to position staff as essential partners (and leaders) in curriculum enhancement, knowledge discovery and knowledge management, evidence-based patient care, and community outreach.”
Can you outline some future challenges for academic health sciences libraries?
“There are a number of grand challenges for the profession of librarianship as well as the health professions. I anticipate working with colleagues throughout the University Libraries system to develop new ways to harness information technologies which support scholarly work, and to influence new models of scientific publication. What will the library of the future look like? It's for us to help invent that future. I also see much potential in the University's growing partnerships with the Mayo Clinic, including a medical informatics training grant from the National Library of Medicine.”
Any other thoughts about moving to Minnesota after living in Virginia for 15 years?
“My husband and I are looking forward to exploring a new part of the country. And we are both huge sports fans, so are anticipating lots of outings to Big 10 and professional events. I love the outdoors, so finding a home right next to a trail head makes my dog and me very happy!”
by Lisa McGuire