Levi Dolan joins the Ruth Lilly Medical Library as a second-year NLM Associate Fellow
Safar Saydshoev Sep 10, 2021
Tell us about yourself and your professional experience?
I am from central Missouri, and began library school with the idea that I would just take a class to try it out, without risking too much financially. As I was introduced to librarianship, I quickly found that its emphasis on promoting the public good by making necessary information as accessible as possible was definitely the right professional fit for me. I was fortunate to be able to take advantage of many opportunities for training and work experience within the library world, which eventually led me here.
What is your role at the Ruth Lilly Medical Library and what will be your main responsibilities?
I am being hosted at RLML as a second-year Associate Fellow for the National Library of Medicine. I will be focusing on data science and data services-related work during my time here. The first big project I will work on involves working toward automating elements of the systematic review process.
What are your goals for the position and what are you most excited about when it comes to this new role?
I want to be a part of improving how we deal with data-related education and research questions in specialized biomedical domains. I am excited about how well-developed open source tools to support computational solutions for this kind of work are becoming, and I look forward to continuing to learn how to integrate them into the services that medical librarians offer.
Outside of your professional role, what are some of your hobbies and interests?
Back in Missouri, where I am from, I was a beekeeper and loved the ongoing process of observation and experimentation involved in beekeeping. We have now moved to an apartment, so I won’t be doing that this year, but I picked up a flyer about the Indianapolis beekeeping club in the public library this week, so maybe I will wind up finding someone who could use some support.
What motivated you to be a medical librarian?
As a student, I became interested in medical librarianship initially through the excellence of the librarians I met at the University of Missouri’s health sciences library. The more I learned about what medical librarians do, the more I could see this is a great professional area to find opportunities for impactful work, involving things like health disparities, open science, and reproducibility, which are all of interest to me.
Do you have any areas of interest academically to continue to research and study, and what might those be?
This year, I am planning to learn more about how to work toward Natural Language Processing solutions to support librarians and researchers. There is a lot to be done in implementing existing technologies to support the ways librarians work with databases, and I want to be a part of that. And I am interested in how we can grow into automating more sophisticated interpretations of research metrics, so that we can more quickly grasp where the weight of evidence lies. I will keep looking for ways to get computers to better support data curation and presentation, so that research data collected with such care and at such great cost can do its very best work for us.