About HSLS Librarians: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we introduced you to HSLS librarians whose backgrounds and training in nursing, neuroscience, or the humanities allow them to support our patrons’ instruction, research, and scholarship activities. In Part 2, we introduce you to three more librarians whose varied training and experiences help them to make valuable contributions to HSLS services and resources.

Melissa Ratajeski, MLIS, AHIP, RLAT

I attended the University of Pittsburgh as an undergraduate and received a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences and psychology. I then worked as a research technician and research coordinator for a lab using animal models to explore generation and control of voluntary movement by motor areas of the cerebral cortex. My job responsibilities included data collection, writing standard operating procedures, grant support, and writing research protocols.

Currently I’m the HSLS liaison to Pitt’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and Assistant Director for Data and Publishing Services. In these roles, I consult with principal investigators, postdocs, veterinarians, and research staff. My lab experience allows me to identify and offer library services and support tailored to these different groups, foster and deepen collaborations with past colleagues, and “walk the walk” when it comes to discussing research reproducibility. I also understand research “culture,” allowing me to ease concerns or offer practical solutions when topics such as the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy come up.

Rose Turner, MLIS

Prior to earning my MLIS, I was a project manager in technology for seven years. I practiced collaborating and communicating with a variety of stakeholders as well as managing large projects with a lot of moving parts. I often use those skills as a librarian at HSLS.

My first professional librarian job was at a blood and cell technologies company. It was a great introduction to medical research, and I still tell stories about the “blood robots” in the basement of the building.

And finally, it may have been a long time ago, but I was pre-med as an undergraduate, and that has given me a lot of empathy for students preparing for careers in the health sciences.

Julia Dahm, MLIS

I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh, which helped me gain a better understanding of language learners and cultural diversity. I also pursued an American Sign Language (ASL) Certificate as part of my undergraduate program. Learning ASL exposed me to a new cultural experience, as I interacted with the Deaf community as part of the academic program. I learned about the unique challenges of ASL users in the Deaf community and how they co-exist in a country that predominately uses spoken/written English. When I became part of the HSLS team to formalize accessible technology and electronic information, I was more keyed in to the importance of providing adaptive technologies and accommodations.