Welcome Amy Reyes, NNLM PSR's Community Engagement Librarian

Please join us in welcoming Amy Reyes to the UCLA Library. As our Network of the National Library of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region (NNLM PSR) Community Engagement Librarian, she is the main point of contact for outreach and education, and will be based at the Biomedical Library once it is safe to return to campus. She is currently working remotely and can be reached by email.

We asked Amy a few questions about herself and her professional aspirations.   
What goals/hopes do you have for this year as NNLM PSR’s new Community Engagement Librarian?

I am looking forward to connecting to the work of UCLA and the NNLM, getting to know the libraries of the Pacific Southwest Region members as well as the other librarians at UCLA. As the current grant cycle is wrapping up, I hope to help the RML find and fund some great health engagement projects. COVID-19 has really highlighted the urgent need for access to quality health information, and I look forward to being part of that. I’m especially excited to be part of the All of Us program, which I think is one of the most important research programs ever undertaken, especially because of its focus on communities that have thus far been under-represented in medical research. I think that the data from All of Us will be helping physicians and consumers make better health decisions for many years to come.

How has your prior experience prepared you for this role at the UCLA Library/NNLM PSR?

I started my career in public libraries, therefore I know first-hand the challenges of public library work. From programming and outreach to collection development and circulation, I have been fortunate to do a bit of everything, and I think that broad base of knowledge and experience will serve me well, especially working with our public library partners. Over the last few years, I have also been working on a 2nd bachelors in Biology (Biomedical Science), inspired in part by the students I worked with in after-school STEM programs and in part by the loss of a loved one, I went back to school to pursue my own dreams of doing more in the sciences, especially health science. Above all, I love learning and I hope that passion for knowledge is something I can share and spark in others.

What projects will you be tackling first? 

I think my top priority is just to familiarize myself with the staff and systems in place at both UCLA and within the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Network. As more and more libraries are opening with services like curbside, I will be helping libraries reactivate things like the NNLM Reading Club programs in COVID-safe ways, while still supporting and promoting our virtual programming.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to? What do you like to do outside of work?  

I have lately been on a quest for the perfect “cozy” book for the fall, the literary equivalent of a cozy blanket and a cup of tea. Until I find that perfect cozy book, I’m watching cozy TV and listening to cozy music and podcasts like The Great British Baking Show (Bakeoff) and The Anthropocene Reviewed.

We are delighted to have Amy at the UCLA Library. You can contact her at abreyes@library.ucla.edu