Launched in 2016, NAHSL Narratives was a series of videotaped oral histories and personal testimonies from members of the North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries designed to inspire, connect, and ensure our viability in a complex health environment.
Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of NAHSL Narratives: Reimagined, a revitalized version of the series that will showcase interviews with students, retirees, and active information professionals in the health sciences. We hope that you enjoy learning more about the work that connects us all and engage with our featured members in a meaningful way.
What is your role at your institution? Where did you earn your MLS/advanced degree? How did you find yourself in Health Sciences Librarianship? Thoughts on the future of Health Sciences Librarianship? What excites you about the future of Health Sciences Librarianship?
My name is Sally Gore and I manage the Research & Scholarly Communication Services department at the Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School. I earned my MS LIS from Syracuse University in 2004, got hired to work at the LSL a couple months later, and started my career here on January 3, 2005. I’ve stayed put – at least at the Medical School – ever since. I had a varied career before landing in health sciences librarianship. I majored in Philosophy, went to seminary, earned a Divinity degree, worked in churches and social services settings for a number of years, did a bunch of other odd jobs simultaneously and on their own, went back to school and earned a couple of degrees in Exercise Physiology, and then found myself drawn to library school.
When it came time to do an internship for my degree, I really wanted to be a news librarian and so I reached out to the librarian at the Portland Press Herald (Maine) at the time and she gave me some good advice – “Don’t go down this track.” She saw the end of newspaper libraries (heck, even newspapers) coming fast and didn’t want me to pursue something that would be a dead end. I’d done an internship in cardiac rehab (for one of those exercise physiology degrees) at Maine Medical Center and so I sought out the library director there and asked if I could intern with her and her staff. Janet Cowen, a longstanding and well-admired NAHSL member, took me in and I’ve not left the health sciences librarian world since.
As one who works in the arena of scholarly communications, the world of Open Science that is coming into its own right now is one of the most exciting things about our roles as health science librarians. Navigating a new landscape for publishing, transparency, and sharing of all research outputs gives those of us with knowledge and skills so many opportunities to engage in interesting, fulfilling, and valuable work. From managing tools and developing processes to raising awareness and teaching, we are in perfect positions to help our students, faculty, clinicians, and biomedical researchers make their work accessible and sharable. I tell our students coming into our graduate school of biomedical sciences that they are entering SUCH and exciting world and I’m just as excited to be part of it with them.
If I wasn't a librarian, I would be ...
Given that I did a lot of different things before I became a librarian, one might think it’s a stretch to think I’d still want to be anything else, BUT that’s not true. If I wasn’t a librarian or an exercise physiologist or a clergyperson... if I was starting all over again, clean slate, I would be a sportswriter. I think that if I had known any female sportswriters when I was growing up, if I’d seen any women doing such, I would have pursued such a career. I LOVE sports. Everything about them (except the extreme, obscene, greed-fest that our major sports – pro and college – have become). I love to watch games. I love to watch the talking heads on ESPN. I love to read the sports pages. I could have lived very happily in that world. Kind of like that news librarian job I considered.
Any unusual or interesting stories from your career?
I can’t think of any other than it’s been a career filled with interesting people.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I do all kinds of stuff outside of work. I play a bunch of instruments and occasionally perform in public, I host a radio show on my local community radio station, I love to walk my dog, I like to watch sports (of course), I binge watch way too much television – particularly police procedurals, and I enjoy hanging out at my local brewery, chatting with the staff and other regulars. And since COVID, I have found a deep love of cooking, something that I could always do, but never enjoyed before I had some time to get into it. And now it’s becoming a passion. Such fun!
Share something about yourself that most people may not know.
I am a very good whistler.