Nisha Mody

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Health & Life Sciences Librarian
Los Angeles
When did you start in your current position?:
Apr 01, 2017
Years in LAUC: 
2

How did you become interested in librarianship?

I was working as a speech-language pathologist in an elementary school, and I realized that, while that work was a positive and rewarding field, I enjoyed being an information provider more than a clinician. I also enjoyed learning more about the critical librarianship movement. I found camaraderie with others interested in this movement as well. 

Describe the first time you worked in a library.

I first worked in at the UIC Library in Chicago while I was working as a speech-language pathologist. I had discovered librarianship as a career, and I was interested in learning more. Thankfully I was able to "try it out" by working at the reference desk once a week. I enjoyed answering questions and assisting patrons. However, I also had a newfound respect for the importance of public services within the field. I had no idea how the other side looked or felt, and I'm grateful for this experience.

What is your current or recent role in LAUC, either locally or systemwide?: 

I currently serve as a member on LAUC-LA's Program Committee.

What do you like best about being a UC librarian?

Being at a large institution as well as a large UC-wide system, I am afforded many opportunities to collaborate with my colleagues. For example, I was able to collaborate with the Film Librarian for a Neuroscience Meets Film instruction session. I have also been able to collaborate with other UC librarians on a UC-wide sexual harassment study.

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

The National Library of Medicine recently had a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on November 7, which focused upon improving women's health articles. Since the NNLM PSR is located at UCLA, I contacted the Consumer Health Librarian to combine our expertise with a joint UCLA Library/NNLM PSR Edit-a-thon. This was also co-sponsored by LAUC-LA! It was a great way to spread the word about these types of events and encourage librarians and students to improve health information. 

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

I had the honor to co-author a book chapter for "Pushing the Margins: Women of Color and Intersectionality in LIS" edited by Rose L. Chou and Annie Pho titled "The Other Asian: Reflections of South Asian Americans in Libraryland" with Lalitha Nataraj, Gayatri Singh, and Aditi Worcester. This was a beautiful discussion about our experiences as South Asian American in libraries and archives. It is also deposited in eScholarship: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8qg3g95g.

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

I entered librarianship through a critical lens. I am always trying to think of ways to use this lens with my work. I am hoping that this is something that is considered and implemented by libraries and librarians more and more. Through this lens, other types of initiatives and functions such as digital humanities, scholarly communication, instruction, and more can evolve in a way to dispel the myth of neutrality in libraries.

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

...I used to work as a speech-language pathologist.

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

It's hard to pick a favorite, but I read Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa. It is a powerful and unique narrative about living between cultures and identities that weaves essays and poems into a holistic story.

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

Twitter: @nishamody