University of Houston Libraries welcomes Stefanie Lapka as the new health sciences librarian.
Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.
As the new health sciences librarian, I’ll be supporting multiple health programs at UH. My main responsibilities are the College of Nursing, the Graduate College of Social Work, and the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. I’ll be providing instruction, research, and collection development support to students and faculty across these programs. I aspire to be a visible, valued, and trusted health information expert. My goal is to serve education needs through strong inter-professional collaborations and partnerships while advancing scholarship and research. I look forward to contributing to new initiatives and services as the Health Sciences Library evolves to serve the University’s new and expanding programs.
Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?
I’m coming from a university in the very southern tip of South Texas where I was first an instruction librarian and health sciences liaison before joining the institution’s new medical school three years ago. I led the medical library’s education and instructional programs. My work centered on evidence-based medical education and training. I’m excited to bring my experiences establishing a library at a new medical school to the University Libraries as UH moves forward in establishing the College of Medicine and admitting the inaugural class in 2020.
I have a background in history and one of my primary interests is the history of medicine. I’m also interested in the medical and health humanities in general, and their application to health care education and practice. The arts and humanities offer different ways of thinking about human history, culture, behavior and experience which can be used to dissect, critique and influence healthcare practices and priorities.
What is your first impression of the University?
I’ve been very impressed with the University of Houston. The university has struck me as a vibrant, diverse, and forward-thinking community. There are so many excellent student success initiatives and a great spirit of diversity and inclusion on this campus. I’ve also been impressed by UH’s commitment to institutional growth and development. There is a lot of pride and excitement in the university, and I’m thrilled to be here! I’m also new to the city of Houston, and I love it!
What is your favorite hobby/book/movie/cuisine?
During free time and on weekends, I enjoy baking and listening to true crime podcasts-usually while baking! One of my intentions for this year to devote more time to reading, but my favorite novel will forever be The Lord of the Rings. I’m definitely something of a Tolkienite!