My Lessons in Leadership: California Library Leadership Institute 2016

May 25, 2016

by Heather Lanctot

I had the honor of applying, and being accepted, to the 2016 California Library Leadership Institute which was held in San Jose, California, from March 9 to 14. There were 32 attendees at the institute from a variety of libraries throughout the state. Each attendee brought a different resume, cadre of experience and point-of-view to the institute, which resulted in meaningful conversations and different approaches to problem solving. This experience was not only empowering, but it also contained a lot of invaluable information about leadership skills and resources.


Brainstorm from the first day: “What makes a good leader?” – first three pages of ideas


Brainstorm continued – we filled five pages!

Read the rest of this entry »


Welcome Heather Lanctot, Library Assistant III!

November 10, 2015

Photo by Fred Lee, Creative Services

Please join us in welcoming Heather Lanctot as Library Assistant III in the department of Library Services.  Heather comes to City of Hope with experience specific to research support, archives, and cataloging.  In her most recent position with History Works, Inc., she was a Librarian/Researcher and provided reference services, cataloged books and historical materials, and conducted in-depth historical research for litigation support.  Heather’s expertise also includes: skills in Drupal, XML, HTML and CSS; budget reconciliation; and library planning and organization.

Heather received her BA in Music and MA in Musicology from University of Oregon, and her MLIS with an emphasis in Archives and Records Management from San Jose State University in May 2015. She is located in the Graff Library building and can be reached via email at and via phone at x64981.

We are very excited to have Heather on board and part of Library Services!

Staff Spotlight: Laura Brown, MLS

January 12, 2015
by Susan Koscielski; edited by Andrea Lynch

Laura Brown became City of Hope’s first Clinical Librarian almost four years ago.  She enjoys the thrill of literature searching and the excitement of getting what you want on the first try.  She finds supporting systematic reviews her most rewarding new challenge because of the rigor and attention to detail that’s required.  Laura also recently started a service for patients interested in participating in clinical trials. If City of Hope does not have a relevant trial, she will search with the patient-specific information and provide a list of potential studies to the clinician that their patient may benefit from.

In her own words, Laura “strive(s) to make sure that our clinicians base their care on the best evidence available, hop[ing] that this increases the quality of care that patients coming to COH receive” and that this in turn “helps fuel the creativity…to keep improving the quality of care.”

Laura’s previous position was at Loma Linda University where she was the Chair of Reference Services at Loma Linda University Del E. Webb Library as well as the liaison for the Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.  At Loma Linda, Laura served on patient and nursing teams including Organization-Wide Learning, Patient Education, and Nursing Research.

A Lincoln, Nebraska native, Laura grew up where tornados are a regular occurrence.  She says she “still prefers tornados to earthquakes” because she likes having the earth be stable under her feet.  Laura is the daughter of a grade school teacher and an Annapolis grad who became a Chaplin before going into the lay ministry field. Her brother is a physician, specializing in pediatric autism spectrum care.  Laura shares her home with her 19-year-old African Grey Parrot, and is a big Cornhusker football fan. Since she has lived in Southern California for many years, she adopted the Dodgers as her football off-season “methadone.”

Staff Spotlight: Hilda Perez

September 15, 2014
by Susan Koscielski and Andrea Lynch

Hilda PerezHilda Perez has worked in the Lee Graff Medical and Scientific Library at City of Hope for over 20 years. She came to City of Hope from Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte, where she was a Certified Nurse Assistant for 8 years.

Hilda is our point of contact when other libraries need to borrow materials from our collection. Her excellent service to other libraries ensures that when we need something from them we receive high-quality and fast service in return. Hilda also invoices the hospitals and other institutions we charge for our interlibrary loan service as well as checks-in print serial issues and gathers data for our space usage study.

Hilda was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and came to live in California at the age of ten.  When she was young, she lived with her beloved sister Antonia, who was like a second mother.  Hilda has a son and a daughter of whom she is very proud; she has eight grandchildren. Hilda said “[b]eing a grandmother is probably the most fulfilling part of life so far.”

Staff Spotlight: Judy Kraemer, MLIS, MBA

February 18, 2014

JudyKThis month we take the opportunity to spotlight the newest member of our service team.  Judy Kraemer joined us on January 6 to temporarily ease our staffing shortage.  We are extremely lucky to have found someone with such a wealth of experience and talent.  Judy Kraemer has worked in clinical, academic, and corporate medical and information technology settings for over 20 years. Most recently she served as the library director at Long Beach Memorial/Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach where she helped facilitate the achievement of their American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet designation.  Judy is also an active member of the Medical Library Association (MLA) and the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona. She serves as the MLA Liaison to the Joint Commission and represents MLA members at the Annual Joint Commission Association Liaison Forum in Chicago.

As a temporary librarian, Judy supports all aspects of library customer service. Working with Andrea Lynch and Laura Brown, Library Services librarians, on clinical and research staff information inquiries she has already conducted research and patient care literature searchesShe also met with and learned about the important work of the Unplanned Readmissions Task Force at their January meeting. Judy is impressed with the integration of librarians into the committee structure at City of Hope and knows that librarians will facilitate evidence-based knowledge discovery and integration into committee performance improvement work.  Judy has already showed her value as facilitator of integrating evidence-based knowledge into the clinical and research practice at COH.  “I am excited to help the COH Staff discover evidence-based knowledge to facilitate important patient care, clinical practice, and innovative research decisions.”

Judy knows that the greatest challenge of medical librarianship is

“…getting clinicians, researchers and faculty to ask librarians for help. Librarians are on the COH Team to apply their expert research knowledge and information organization skills to help facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. Keeping current on the use of many online databases and organizational tools is the librarian’s job. Keeping current is almost impossible for anyone who does not use these databases and tools on a regular basis. Librarian conducted research using online databases can help COH Team members save time and improve discovered knowledge accuracy. Many COH Team members, especially those providing direct patient care, do not have time to dedicate to the discovery of evidence-based knowledge. They need to make a habit of telling Graff Librarians about their information needs and let the librarians do what they do best – uncover needed knowledge and deliver it to the requester in a timely fashion.”

On the personal side:  Judy is a Southern California native (although she spent the first year of her life in Bangkok, Thailand) and spent her younger years traveling internationally with her family. Her favorite travel destination so far is Egypt. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and two German Shepherds. Her pups were both difficult to place rescues from German Shepherd Rescue Orange County and are now wonderful family members and playmates for neighborhood children (please consider adopting a rescued dog when looking for your new best friend).  Judy’s daughters are Girl Scouts;  Judy is an active Girl Scout leader and Girl Scouts of Orange County volunteer so “buy Girl Scout cookies – they make great gifts and freeze well for summer enjoyment!” In her free time, Judy loves sailing with family and friends. She was an alternate member of the second All Women TransPac Team and helped lead the team’s successful TransPac campaign. You can find Judy and her family sailing out of Newport Beach and Long Beach harbors on the weekends and over in Catalina as much as possible.

We are very grateful to have this opportunity to work with Judy.

Staff Spotlight: Susan Koscielski

November 18, 2013

Here’s our second installment of profiling a member of the library/archives stSusan Koscielskiaff, so you can get to know the people behind our services.  This month we highlight Susan Koscielski. You probably know Susan by name, but here’s her picture so you can put her face with the name of the person who’s delivering your document delivery and interlibrary loan requests, as well as search results and journal tables of contents.

Prior to coming to COH as an employee, Susan was already familiar with COH because her children were patients of Dr. David Comings. Susan is a Library Assistant III, with over 24 years working at City of Hope (COH) in the library.  Her major job duties include document delivery, cataloging, managing the electronic tables of contents service, and in her words “assisting patrons anyway I am able.” As she puts it:

“There are very few jobs I haven’t done in the library.  When I started working here we only had one computer to download some interlibrary loan (ILL) requests…  We still had a card catalog though it was no longer being added to because the director at the time was expecting computers; and ILL requests were filled by snail mail.  We photocopied everything and re-shelving took hours to do.  I prepared journal issues to be bound monthly, an average of forty to seventy volumes at a time.  New issues of journals arrived daily by mail, sometimes over fifty a day which I hand typed a list to put out for patrons so they would know what came in that day.  Then I copied the table of contents of each journal not once but as many as needed for as many people I had on a my distribution lists; just like I do today but now it is all electronic tables of contents… Patrons circled the articles they wanted and mailed those back to me and I would get the journal, figure out how many of each article I needed, copy, collate, etc. … I was also responsible for moving the collection; if something ran out of room I had to make room for future volumes.  I think I may have moved the entire collection at least three times.”

Susan also performs literature searches and has been doing so for many years. She is now using EndNote, a bibliographic management tool, to supply the results. She wrote, “I like finding things; it’s a challenge like a treasure hunt.” She remembers “doing searches using indexes and going through references and back into the index.”

This year, Susan has added to her work activities, working with the Spiritual Care Department and library and campus events. She coordinated the 2013 Back to School and Library Open House event and displayed her collection of Japanese art and collectibles at Diversity Day. In addition, Susan has been an ambassador with the “Hope Starts with Us” Event Committee since 2010.

On a personal note, Susan is an artist. She’s learning how to play the bass on “Paul,” her violin bass similar to Paul McCartney’s instrument. She has painted most of her life and likes to work in acrylic. She is “currently working on a portrait of [her] little Yorkshire terriers.”

Staff Spotlight : Sam Garcia

September 23, 2013

COH_7368-Edit This article marks the beginning of a new blog feature: the staff spotlight.  Once a month or so, we will profile a member of the library/archives staff, so you can get to know the people behind the services.  This month we highlight Sam Garcia.

Sam Garcia is a front line team member for Library Services.  She is usually the first person you see when you enter the library and frequently the only stop you will need to make for your information needs.  Her eight years of service means she pretty much knows where everything is buried (or stashed), and she loves helping patrons find the materials they need or solve any problems they are having in the library.  As she explains it, “If a patron comes in wanting a specific title or article I help them search our collection to see if we have it in our collections. If it is not, then I help our patrons find articles and books that are not in our collection by requesting them from other libraries. I also assist with any EndNote problems that our patrons may encounter such as importing new references or creating new references manually.”

Sam’s talents aren’t limited to the physical library she is also an electronic whiz.  Along with being the first string problem solver for EndNote, troubleshoots library software, and manages the Kindles that are loaned to patients in the infusion clinics.

Sam’s efforts are key to keeping the day-to-day operations of the library running smoothly.