Nichole Rosamilia …Librarian: Pushing Boundaries and Blending Disciplines at FDA

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

by Jessica N. Hernandez, Program Analyst, Office of the Director, Office of Science & Engineering Laboratories, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Nichole Rosamilia …Librarian: Pushing Boundaries and Blending Disciplines at FDA

VITALS

nicholerTitle: It varies! I usually say librarian

Institution: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Degree (Institutions and Years):

Master of Library Science (MLS), with a specialization in Archives, Records, and Information Management, University of Maryland, 2011

Favorite LIS Website or Blog:

Digital Humanities Now:  http://digitalhumanitiesnow.org/

Digital Koans:  http://digital-scholarship.org/digitalkoans/


INTERVIEW

Editor: What was your path to librarianship?

Nichole: My undergraduate studies were in anthropology and history, so I was very interested in working with archival materials and all the “stuff of history.” But I also enjoyed my information management job at an ecological research laboratory. I helped maintain their online repository of project proposals, data, and publications. So libraries and archives seemed a natural fit – I could make a career out of my interests in stuff (information) and organizing and providing access to it.

 

Editor: What type of work did you expect to pursue when you first started graduate school, and how does this compare to your current work at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration?

Nichole: Although I was interested in digital archives and electronic records, when I started library school I still thought I would work in a more traditional setting doing things like reference, arrangement and description, and scanning.

 

My institutional repository and metadata projects at FDA align pretty well with those expectations. But I have also had the opportunity to do a lot of work that I had not previously considered, like analyzing and modeling business processes to inform the design of a new database, conducting user testing for the repository, and investigating ways to measure the impact of investment in scientific research.

 

Editor: How do you explain what you do to the average person- say to someone you meet at a social event? What title do you use to describe yourself?

Nichole: I stopped saying I am an archivist and now generally tell people that I am a librarian. Although recently I have experimented with saying I work in knowledge and information management. I think this gives people a better immediate grasp of the kind of work I do, rather than implying something about where I do it.

 

Editor: You have a unique perspective as a LIS professional working in a non-traditional information setting. In your view, what opportunities exist for librarians and archivists in these types of environments?

Nichole: As information professionals, archivists and librarians have the skill set to fill any number of roles. It really just depends on your interests! I know people who have become Web managers, social media strategists, IT project managers, etc.

 

Editor: Finally, where do you go from here in terms of your professional development? Are there any issues or challenges you are eager to take on?

Nichole: I am still new to the profession myself and am exploring the myriad of possibilities. But right now, I am interested in how we can design and implement information systems that support efforts to measure the broader public impact of federal investment in scientific research.

 

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 20.5 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 

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