ASIS&T Career Profile
Name:  K.T.L. Vaughan
Job Title:  Pharmacy Librarian and Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy; UNC Health Sciences Library and UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
 
Brief Career Biography: 
I started off life thinking I would be a biologist - preferably in plant systematics - but discovered early on that I was missing the lab rat gene... So I went to work in the Duke University science libraries while trying to figure out my career. It was in the stacks of the Chemistry Library that the library bug got me: I graduated from UNC SILS in 2001, had a fellowship in scholarly communication and research/information services at NC State University, and finally landed at the UNC Health Sciences Library in January of 2003. Here I am the librarian for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, where I teach information skills to PharmD and PhD students, work with faculty in clinical, teaching, and research programs, and generally serve as a joint member of the library's and school's faculties. I also manage the library's Media Design Studios, our high-end multimedia facility, and supervise our graduate assistant program.
 
Benefits of ASIS&T: 
ASIS&T affords me a chance to see what new ideas in development may be hitting the library/educational world in the future, and thus to prepare and drive them. Because of ASIS&T I am usually the most informed faculty member at both the library and the school on issues such as social networking, information retrieval theory, data curation and e-science, and the use of technology for education and research. Since joining as a student in 1999, I have met both luminaries in the field (I remember, with a bit of shame, the first time I said Hi to Nick Belkin!), but also regular people like myself who have a passion for pushing the envelope of information science. I find JASIST very interesting from a theoretical perspective - what are people studying now that I'll hear about from my dean next year? - and am proud that a small piece of my master's thesis was published there as my first "real" paper. SIG STI has been my home for many years - this is the only group of practicing and researching science "informationists" that I have found.
 
Advice for New Information Professionals: 
This is more about what I wish I'd known about ASIS&T: I am so glad that John Little, of Duke University, suggested to me that I attend the 1999 ASIS annual meeting. I went to the planning meeting for SIG STI and was immediately welcomed as a peer - and from there I have gotten a little more involved each year. Joining the SIG was the best thing I could have done, and I strongly urge new members to do the same. Go to the SIG Dutch Treat dinner, or the planning meeting, or just walk up and say hi to the moderator of a panel that's interesting. Go to the New Members/First Time Attendees Brunch, and get yourself a buddy. People are very friendly! If all else fails, come find me! You won't be the first, and you won't be the last. If you're not planning to attend the annual meeting, see if you have a local chapter that holds events, and go to them. Your SIG might have programs or a discussion list that you find interesting. The best way to get a lot out of this society, imho, is to participate in programs - even if it's just by making a new friend and going to things with him/her.