Learn more about Himmelfarb Library staff members. In this issue, we learn more about Rebecca Kyser, Reference and Instruction Librarian.
Share your path to Himmelfarb Library.
I’ve always been interested in medical misinformation. After graduating from college, I knew I wanted to go back to Graduate school for something, but couldn’t quite figure out what. When my friend told me that Medical Librarians existed, I was delighted and applied to library school to get my Masters. The pandemic broke out the year I was set to start but given my focus on Medical Librarianship, I actually managed to make the best of a bad situation by working on projects related to Covid-19 and health misinformation. Then after a year of working as a Visiting Information Literacy Librarian, I managed to secure a job in DC and the rest is history.
Tell us about your position at Himmelfarb and what you do.
I am one of the Reference and Instruction librarians. My job is to provide instruction to the first and second year medical students in their classes and to provide reference services to the schools Himmelfarb services .
What do you enjoy most about your position?
I really enjoy working in medicine, as my focus in librarian school was medical librarianship, especially in the field of medical misinformation and retraction. It’s wonderful to utilize my research interests as part of my day to day job.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
Figuring out how to best organize and structure my day. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it as time passes, but there are a lot of metaphorical balls to juggle. It can get very busy around here!
What has been the best part of working at Himmelfarb?
Working with students, for sure. Part of librarianship is helping people get access to the information they need, so providing instruction so students can find information on their own is always rewarding.
What jobs have you held previously that prepared you for your work at Himmelfarb?
I spent a year as a visiting librarian and instructor at a liberal arts college in Ohio: it really helped me sharpen my skills in instruction along with the basics of operating a library day to day. My work as a research assistant is what prepared me for Himmelfarb’s medical focus in particular: I’ve spent a lot of time in PubMed, so I have quite a bit of hands-on experience.
What do you like to do in your time away from work?
When I’m not working, I enjoy knitting, exploring the district, and playing board games. I carry around my latest knitting project everywhere, so don’t be surprised if you find me getting a few stitches in during lunch.
Where are you from originally, and what brought you to the DC area?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and later moved closer to the city after college. I moved out to DC after a one year assignment after graduate school for this job: I was excited to be back in a big city again.