As Penn Libraries begins to implement a new Strategic Plan, Barbara Cavanaugh will be taking on a larger role in planning for the future of Penn’s health sciences and STEM libraries in her position as Assistant University Librarian for Health Sciences & STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Libraries. Her duties as Director of the Biomedical Library, which she has held since 2009, will be assumed by Hannah Rutledge on June 1st.
In her new role, Barbara will continue strategic oversight of Penn’s Health Sciences & STEM libraries. This includes the Biomedical Library (Medicine, Nursing, Biology, Engineering, and more); Chemistry Library; Dental Medicine Library; Math/Physics/Astronomy Library; and Veterinary Medicine Libraries. With more than 30 years of health sciences library experience, she has developed and led a highly skilled team of librarians in the provision of specialized services, including, but not limited to, systematic reviews of the literature, bioinformatics database support, knowledge management, bibliometric analysis, and 3D printing. “Barbara has been an impactful leader in the Penn Libraries since her time as Head of the Veterinary Library. We’re all pleased to see her take on a larger leadership role in the library,” said Richard Griscom, Associate University Librarian for Departmental Libraries.
Barbara began her career at the Medical Library, Historic Library, and Archives inside the nation’s first hospital, the Pennsylvania Hospital, and continues to serve on its library advisory board. She also ran the School of Nursing and Medical Staff Libraries at Roxborough Memorial Hospital. She came to Penn in 1993 as the Health Sciences Libraries Liaison. In 2001, she became Head of Veterinary Libraries, and in 2003, she was a recipient of the Veterinary Medical Student Government’s Commendation Award. As head of the Veterinary Libraries, she played a pivotal role in planning the School’s new, cutting-edge facility, the Steven W. Atwood Library & Information Commons. In 2009, Barbara was asked to lead the four health sciences libraries, and in 2016 her role was expanded to include all six STEM libraries.
She is an active member of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries and the Medical Library Association. She was involved in projects funded by the Elsevier Foundation to support the information and medical education needs of Penn programs in Botswana and Guatemala. She has a BA in English from Temple University and an MS in Library and Information Science from Drexel University.
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