Off-Campus Access

About the Personal Librarian Program

What is the Personal Librarian Program?

The Personal Librarian (PL) program was conceived in 1996 as a way to reach out to students in the medical center. The PL program matches students with a librarian as they matriculate – a relationship that is maintained throughout the student’s journey at Yale.

Your personal librarian serves as a single point of contact for the library- a “go-to” person for all things library-related. We can even help with things that aren’t library-specific. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll try to find out who can address your question.

Your personal librarian will contact you several times throughout the year to let you know about new and exciting resources or services in the library. How much or how little you choose to avail yourself of the program is entirely up to you. We’re here for you if and when you need us.

Don't know who your Personal Librarian is?

  • Medical students can search online to find the name of their personal librarian
  • Jan Glover and Judy Spak are personal librarians for Physician Associate Program students
  • Janene Batten is personal librarian for School of Nursing students
  • Rolando Garcia-Milian is personal librarian for Combined Graduate Program in the Biological & Biomedical Sciences students
  • Kate Nyhan is personal librarian for School of Public Health students.

All others should contact Judy Spak, coordinator for the Personal Librarian Program.

How can my Personal Librarian help me?

Your personal librarian will:

Keep you informed with:
  • Periodic email messages highlighting new resources and programs specifically for students and/or a monthly email Medical Library Newsletter – if you sign up for it
  • Notices and timely reminders (like extended library hours around USMLE study time)
Answer your questions about:
  • Library services (like Document Delivery or Circulation – or who can do what for you)
  • Policies
  • Procedures
Assist with finding information for your research (thesis, clinical or other) by helping you:
  • Articulate a good research or clinical question
  • Identify the best sources
  • Search strategies and tips
  • Create personal library using bibliographic management software (EndNote, RefWorks)
Obtain resources/materials:
  • Smooth the way for finding journal articles or books that are not owned by the Yale Library System
Support you when you’re not around [on vacation or abroad doing research]
  • Triage your VPN problems and refer you to ITS for additional help.
  • When you’re away, contact your PL for assistance in getting access to the materials that you need.
Consult with us when:
  • You don’t know where to start
  • You can’t think what to do next

If we can’t answer your question we’ll find someone who can!

Things we don’t do [but we’ll help you figure out who can]:

  • Your Personal Librarian won’t photocopy for you
  • We can ‘t set up computer accounts for you (ie., email or NetIDs)
  • A critical part of your medical education is to develop life-long learning skills, so we’ll help you start your research and give you advice but we can’t do the research for you.