Marisa Méndez-Brady

Research Support Librarian, Humanities and Social Sciences Division
When did you start in your current position?:
Sep 01, 2017
Years in LAUC: 

How did you become interested in librarianship?

I sort of stumbled into this career actually. I worked as a student worker when I was an undergraduate at Haverford College. When I graduated, I moved to Austin, TX and started working as a library assistant at the Tarlton Law Library at UT at night and at a law firm during the day. After about a year in both positions I realized that what I loved about librarianship is being able to both help people and also learn something new every day. I quit my law firm job, started working for the public library during the day, and then got my act together to apply to a graduate program at the School of Information at UT Austin. The rest is history!


Describe the first time you worked in a library.

The first time I worked in a library was at as an undergraduate at Haverford College at Magill Library. Magill Library was the type of library that inspires such awe, and part of the original building actually used to be for religious service, as Haverford is a Quaker college. 
While at Magill Library I had the opportunity to work with amazing librarians and library workers, who always went out of their way to help. If they could help a patron they always would, regardless of the nature of the question. Being encouraged to go out of my way to help people was the best part of my first library experience, and really helped me see how crucial academic libraries are to institutional life. 
What is your current or recent role in LAUC, either locally or systemwide?: 
I'm a new member of LAUC, but am looking forward to becoming involved in the future.


What do you like best about being a UC librarian?

My favorite part about being a UC librarian is my UC colleagues. I love having access to this incredibly network of amazingly talented people!


Describe a recent or current project on which you are working.

A recent project I've been working on is instructional design for citations that integrates scholarly communication into more traditional information literacy approaches. I started this project while completing a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design at the University of Maine, when I created an online module that focuses on foundational underpinnings of citations as a communicative structure. I've used aspects of this module in various instructional settings, and now that I'm at UCLA I've been working closely with colleagues to continue working on this project.
In fact, a colleague of mine, Simon Lee, and I have been collaborating on workshops and with other units outside of the library to help facilitate a deeper engagement with citations. We believe that in order for learners to have a firm grasp of why citations are important in the first place, focus on instructional approaches that strip back digital tools to focus on the mechanisms underlying citations as a form of scholarly communications. Look out for our presentation on the topic at the California Conference on Library Instruction (CCLI) in June 2018!   

Describe your recent professional work outside of work, such as association work, writing, research, or anything else.

Brown, J., Ferretti, J., Leung, S., Méndez-Brady, M. (2018, forthcoming). We Here: Speaking Our Truth. Library Trends. In press. 
 Bonnet, J., Méndez-Brady, M., Beauregard, B. (2018, forthcoming). If You Bake it, They Will Come: Selling Altmetrics Like Hot Cakes. The Library Outreach Cookbook. In Press. 

What would you like the next big thing in libraries to be?

A stronger focus on the social justice aspects of librarianship. As this recent debate on neutrality at ALA showed, there are many librarians who are hanging onto the idea that libraries are neutral, yet institutions are rooted in inequity and people have biases. I would love to see a professional acceptance that libraries aren't neutral so we can begin doing the hard work of addressing inequities that have been allowed to exist and propagate.


Complete this statement: "One surprising fact about me is...”

I was classically trained on the French Horn and my husband, who is a composer, recently wrote a composition that featured me. He's an experimental composer so it doesn't quite sound like a brass instrument, but it was a really fun collaboration all the same.

Can you recommend a book or movie or tell us your favorite book or movie and why?

There are so many! I suppose my favorite film is Jacques Audiard's film "The Beat that my Heart Skipped." It traces the journey of a man who was a child prodigy at the piano; he gave it up to pursue a different path, and the the film focuses on him beginning to pursue his dreams of being a classical pianist again. I really love this movie because it speaks to anyone who has ever given up on a a creative pursuit and tries to get back into it.

Please note your website or social media site, if you would like to share

My personal website is: and you can find me on Twitter @msmendezbrady