Staff Spotlight: Meet Rebecca Miller, New Senior Librarian

Starting a new job in the middle of a pandemic is not easy. But Rebecca Miller isn’t letting that slow her down. The new Senior Librarian is embracing our new normal and using virtual tools to meet colleagues, serve students, and settle into life at Thomas Jefferson University.

Keep reading to learn a bit about what brings Rebecca to Jefferson, how she can help you with library-related questions, and what she likes to do in her free time. If you’re looking for a horror movie to watch this Halloween, Rebecca can give a good recommendation!

Welcome to Thomas Jefferson University! Tell us a little bit about your role. What’s your title, and on which campus will you be working?
Thank you for the warm welcome, everyone has been so friendly and helpful! A little about my role, my formal title is Senior Librarian, I am part of the Information Services group in the Academic Commons at Scott Memorial Library. I am here to help with reference services, database searching, citation management, information literacy, collaborative projects with faculty, and many more hats as librarianship continues to evolve. My desk and the campus library space where you can find me will be at the new Dixon Campus in Horsham, Pennsylvania.                                                                             

What interests you about academic librarianship, and what inspired you to pursue a career working at a medical college and institution?
Academic librarianship and working at a medical college were never separate thoughts in my mind. I started my Master’s degree with the end goal of becoming a medical librarian in an academic institution right from the very start. I previously worked in both a clinical hospital setting and a clinical research setting, so I paired that with my life-long passion for reading and learning to find a job I love. I am incredibly grateful to have such an awesome opportunity to help others and be a part of the Jefferson community. To be able to start work virtually and still continue to do what makes me happy despite the current Covid-19 restrictions was an amazing gift.

What groups at Jefferson will you be working with and supporting?
I am based at Dixon Campus, and will therefore be of course supporting the nursing students, staff, and faculty at the Dixon Campus. In addition to my services at Dixon, I will also be working with the myriad of other clinical and academic populations that the Information Services group supports as part of the services we provide.

What do you want the nursing students, staff, and faculty to know about how you can and plan to help them? What should they come to you for?
Students, nursing or otherwise, can come to me for help with all library-related inquiries such as library materials, literature search strategies, citation management, formatting styles like APA, data visualization, troubleshooting off-campus access, etc.  My door is always open; if there’s a question I don’t know the answer to, I will find the right person or source that does!

Most of us are working remotely at the moment. If someone needs your assistance now, how can they best contact you?
I am working remotely 99% of the time right now and the best way to reach me is by email: Rebecca.Miller@Jefferson.edu.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to return to work soon because the new Dixon campus is gorgeous! Have you had a chance to visit and meet any colleagues in-person yet?
I cannot say enough about the beautiful new Dixon Campus. The atheistic is bright, innovative, and a vision that mimics the forward-thinking energy that the Jefferson Nursing programs offer. I also really love the beautifully curated display cases that proudly showcase the various nursing school historical materials and artifacts. The library itself is in a quiet nook with a wall of sunny windows, perfect for studying and reading. Did I mention I love all library-themed things because my favorite part of the library design is the neat wallpaper in the pattern of words in the shape of books on shelves.

When it comes to meet and greets, I was fortunate to meet with many library colleagues in the first two weeks of my arrival at Jefferson via Zoom. I am now working on trying to get involved with the nursing faculty and students and giving the library there a face and some visibility. I was able to be on campus this week and meet some faculty and students in person. It was awesome to the see excitement on everyone’s faces, happy to be able to be on campus and have a sense of the physical learning environment.

When you’re not helping students and clinicians, how do you like to spend your time?
Some of my hobbies are: reading (I think that was a given); visiting museums, attending nerdy Cons, watching horror movies and stand-up comedy, going to punk, metal, ska, and rock concerts; frequenting local arcades (if there’s pinball, count me in); recharging at any beach (I just need sand and waves), and going to classic/ antique car shows to name a few.

Is there anything you wish we would have asked you that we missed?
What was it like starting virtually? I had some virtual work practice with the end of my internship being remote over the spring and summer, and I obtained my Master’s degree through distance learning. I think starting in a virtual setting had more positives than negatives for me personally. I am introverted, and being able to meet most new people one-on-one was really a nice change of pace to the normal meet and greet first-week bustle of events with large groups of faces and names. It gave both parties a chance to ask any questions they had and get to know each other. It also helped me to retain those names and faces.