Advisory Board spotlight: Don Jason

Don Jason photographI serve as the Clinical Informationist for the University of Cincinnati Health Sciences Library. In this role I provide library resources to the UC Medical Center. I teach classes on library databases, citation management tools, and data collection software systems. I also provide research assistance to students, staff and faculty in the form of literature searches and support for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. In addition to my job duties, I am also heavily involved in UC Libraries’ diversity and inclusion initiatives. I help plan events that celebrate diversity on the UC campus and in the community. These programs encourage students to step outside of their comfort zones, challenge stereotypes, and explore other cultures.  I have presented at the UC Equity and Inclusion Conference twice and at the ARL National Diversity in Libraries Conference once.  Prior to joining the faculty at UC, I completed the National Library of Medicine’s Associate Fellowship Program. Some of my research interests include: defining core competencies for health information outreach and measuring the impact of library instruction. I earned my MLIS and MS in Health Informatics from Kent State University. I also hold a BS in Journalism from Ohio University.

1) Why are you participating in the IRDL Advisory Board?

I am participating in the IRDL Advisory Board because I believe it is important to give back to programs that have invested in me. IRDL has made a huge investment in me over the past few years. This investment started when the program selected me for the 2015 cohort. The investment has continued with opportunities to present on webinars, and present during the LMU/SCELC Research Day.  I am honored to give back in any way that I can.

I am also participating in the IRDL Advisory Board because I am an advocate for diversity and inclusion in libraries. I believe that it is crucial for both library science students of color and information professionals of color to see themselves reflected on library leadership teams and advisory boards. It is my sincere hope that my presence on the IRDL Advisory Board will empower other people to apply to IRDL. I want them to say “If he can apply to IRDL and be accepted, so can I!”  I hope that my visibility inspires a student to consider a career in libraries or affirms an entry level librarian’s decision to pursue librarianship.

2)  What impact do you hope IRDL has on the library community?

I hope that IRDL raises awareness of librarian-led research in the STEM fields. I especially hope this occurs in the medical research world. Many members of the medical community are unaware that librarians engage in research. Several clinicians have come to my office, and they are shocked to see diplomas on the wall. They are unaware that librarianship is an actual profession that requires education and specialized training. I make sure these medical professionals are aware that librarians are well versed in the scientific method and have experience with qualitative and quantitative research. I also inform these clinicians that librarians understand the importance of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). In fact, I am a librarian and I am a member of the University of Cincinnati IRB. In closing, programs such as IRDL are crucial to raising awareness of librarian-led research!

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