Neyda Gilman is one of our “old” friends. Keith and I met Neyda in 2012 when she did a Library Department practicum, “Introduction to Special Collections,” in the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection. Among other duties Neyda was involved with the reorganization and description of instruments and artifacts from the McGuire Medical Instrument Collection. Neyda worked with Keith Mages and me to group the various items by theme, create effective displays and create consistent labeling. Her ideas and suggestions were based on research using available print and online resources and the print guides she designed for each case were attractive and highly readable. Neyda is currently living and working in Colorado and we thought we’d catch up with her and ask her a few questions about what she’s been doing since she left Buffalo.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Before attending UB for my Masters in Library and Information Studies (MLS) I earned my bachelors in Medical Laboratory Science and worked as a Medical Technologist (MT). What this really means is that both my bachelors and masters are MLS degrees. (If I ever find a PhD program with the acronym MLS, I’m in trouble.) I spent my time as an MT in a few different labs in a few different states before realizing I wanted to go back to school to become a librarian. After graduating from UB and finishing my GA work at the UB Health Sciences Library I moved on to a residency at Syracuse University. At Syracuse I worked in the Learning Commons doing reference, instruction, and events. After a year at Syracuse I found myself moving to Fort Collins CO, where I am now.
2. To this day we appreciate the work and all the in-depth research you did to reorganize and prepare accurate labels for the instrument collection in the History of Medicine. What, if anything, did you learn from the process?
Well I learned a lot about the history of medicine and about all the cool gadgets you guys have in the collection! Beyond that, I learned how great it is to work with helpful, supportive, fun, goofy, and all around awesome colleagues. The experience was also a good reminder reminded how important it is to be somewhat organized and patient with research. Probably most importantly I learned that I really enjoyed librarianship, especially academic librarianship relating to the sciences. My time at HoM is something I look back on frequently and I feel it helped guide me to focus on finding a science related academic position. I also learned how to use Microsoft Publisher and Photoshop, which is cool.
3.What do you like best about your position as Agriculture and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Librarian at Colorado State University?
I really love my job at CSU for many reasons. There are probably two main reasons, at least two that immediately come to mind. First, the people. Once again I find myself privileged to be working with wonderful colleagues that have welcomed me into their world. Besides my colleagues, I love the variety and freedom of my work. I still do instruction and work directly with the students, which I love. I also am able to spend time research and writing, and working on projects of personal interest such as starting a library sustainability committee. I am never bored and am surrounded by other wonderful library employees.
I am investigating occurrences of Tonsillitis and then killing any bad bacteria or virus with my ray gun as Dr. Edgar McGuire looks on. (Neyda’s “ray gun” is actually the Burton Pistolite used to examine the tongue, larynx, pharynx and frontal sinuses.)