A medical librarian in Kenya shows why her job has become “very addictive”

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015

Nasra-Gathoni-featuredNasra Gathoni wasn’t sure she would make a career in Library Sciences when she began her undergraduate studies 15 years ago. With few electronic information resources available in Kenya at that time, she worried that “traditional librarianship would be boring.” An internship as a hospital librarian with access to online health and biomedical journals through Research4Life transformed her view of the profession.

“Doctors would ask me to search for the latest evidence-based information to improve or save the life of a patient,” she explained. “I could get hundreds of online journal articles for free with the click of a finger. The excitement was amazing.”

Nasra has been librarian at Aga Khan University Hospital since 2005 and recently completed her second term as President of the Association for Health information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA). She describes herself as a “multitasker” whose duties include resource acquisition, information literacy training, facilitating access to Research4Life resources and conducting literature searches for a variety of library users. “As much as we know that some have problems using the resources, we notice that they don’t automatically apply for the training sessions,” she explained. “We are always looking for more innovative ways to get more people to come for training.”