View from the 5th – June 2016


June 2016 –  Celebrating the Past, Anticipating the Future


Another academic year is drawing to a close in Chapel Hill, and with it comes an annual time to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and eagerly look forward to new things to come in the next year. This past year has been especially significant for me while serving as Interim Director of the Health Sciences Library. That role has provided me so many new opportunities to meet with colleagues across campus, to strengthen partnerships with the health affairs schools and UNC Health Care, and to learn even more about a place where I’ve been working for over 30 years! I particularly appreciate the HSL staff’s willingness to accept my leadership, and am proud of their continuous efforts to provide excellent, user focused service.

While I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Interim Director, I am very excited to be handing over the reins of leadership to Dr. Nandita Mani on July 1. You’ll get to know more about Nandita, her past work, and her vision for the HSL in this issue. You’ll also get a chance to join me in reflecting on the past academic year through our Year In Review photo album. Finally, you’ll learn about the HSL’s role in helping the School of Medicine open a new regional campus in Wilmington.

It’s been a great pleasure to lead the HSL this past year. I certainly couldn’t have done it without all the support of my wonderful colleagues, but I also couldn’t have done as much without the support of generous donors like you. Thank you for helping make this another great year at the HSL!


Christie Degener

Interim Director, Health Sciences Library

In this Issue:

Five questions with HSL’s new director Nandita Mani

2015-2016 Year in Pictures

As Medical School Footprint Expands, So Does Library’s Role 

Five questions with HSL’s new director Nandita Mani

Dr. Nandita Mani has been appointed as the Director of the Health Sciences Library and Associate University Librarian for the Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, effective July 1.


In this new role, Dr. Mani will report to the University Librarian and Associate Provost for University Libraries and serve on the University Library Administrative Council, contributing to library- and campus-wide leadership. She will be responsible for leadership and general administration of the Health Sciences Library, including budget management, planning and policy formulation, oversight and innovative development of the Library’s user services, collection development programs, cooperative activities, and outreach to the five Health Affairs schools and the hospital, facilities and infrastructure, and technology innovation. Dr. Mani will lead and participate in fundraising and revenue development including contracts, grants, and other sources. The Director will be responsible for leading, supporting and developing a dynamic staff and for exemplifying innovative, collaborative, service-oriented practices, and she will also participate in university-wide programs as appropriate and may represent the entire library system locally, regionally, and nationally.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Mani served as the Assistant Director, Academic & Clinical Engagement at the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is also the Managing Editor for the journal Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease. She was previously a Medical Librarian and Coordinator of Education and Consumer Health at the Henry Ford Hospital’s Sladen Library in Detroit, Michigan.

Dr. Mani holds a PhD in Instructional Technology and an MLIS from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and a BA in Psychology from Concordia University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

1. What career experiences, skills and background helped prepare you to lead the UNC Health Sciences Library?

My career has spanned roles including that of a Systems Analyst, Information Services & Medical Librarian, and Assistant Director for Academic & Clinical Engagement. In each of those roles I have sought continual personal and professional growth working in academic and clinical environments by capitalizing on my background in computer systems technology, library and information science, and education. I pursued doctoral studies in Instructional Technology due to my interest in further understanding and integrating pedagogy in the learning environment and examining institutions and organizations from a performance improvement perspective. Carving out a dualistic path enabled me to garner skills, knowledge, and expertise that I could use to help identify and lead new strategic initiatives, hone my leadership skills, and work at a strategic level to develop meaningful partnerships. The leadership skills I have acquired have been instrumental and have allowed me to integrate my own style of leading from strengths. This approach allows me to help my team identify opportunities for growth and personal development, while simultaneously identifying areas that will further the library’s connections and address organizational goals. All of these varied experiences and opportunities have been critical in my preparation to effectively lead the HSL at Carolina.

2. What attracted you to this position and to Carolina?

The dual nature of this position will allow me to work in a senior leadership role where I would be able to lead a robust team and engage with a variety of stakeholders, all with the purpose of contributing towards a positive mission and enabling the library to expand its reach. The idea of being able to strategically work with and build relationships across the health affairs schools, within the UNC Library system, and with community partners was a huge motivating factor for me, and one that I felt would be a perfect fit for my skillset. In terms of being attracted to Carolina? What’s not to like! The University has always been a leader in public higher education while continuously striving to excel. The UNC Libraries are engaged in many exciting initiatives. Carolina being part of the research triangle demonstrates a collaborative atmosphere. The people are welcoming and have a true community spirit…and it doesn’t hurt that the weather is a lot milder than in Michigan!!

3. What are you most looking forward to as part of your new role as director of the UNC Health Sciences Library?

I am really looking forward to getting to know my team; delving into what people are interested in and carving out new opportunities so that people have room to grow and extend their potential. I am also eager to build deeper connections with our health affairs schools and the other libraries, while strategically thinking about the areas in which we are primed and ready to grow. I can’t wait to further tell the HSL story about what we do, why we do it, and how our work positively contributes to the University and community as a whole.

4. Tell us about some of your other professional activities? How do you juggle so many different roles?

I have found that pursuing varied opportunities has provided me greater perspective for how the library can partner in the academic, clinical, and research enterprises. I have been able to build partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally by pursuing roles in the research and scholarship arena (i.e., being Managing Editor for Advances in Chronic Disease and co-investigator for the grant-funded Chronic Kidney Disease Surveillance project alongside faculty from the CDC, UCSF, and UM). These activities have afforded me the opportunity to continuously share how library expertise in areas such as systematic reviews, publishing and authorship, and utilization of technology can contribute to partner goals. I also like to participate in organizations such as Educause and the Medical Library Association to stay abreast of new developments, issues, and challenges in higher education and health science library environments. Participating in a variety of arenas helps me devise new ways the library can further integrate with and remain highly valued by our partners. Juggling multiple roles can be tricky, but setting realistic goals for what you can accomplish is always helpful in being able to successfully handle multiple priorities.

5. How do you feel about becoming a Tar Heel?

Becoming a Tar Heel means that I have the privilege of working with a diverse community of students, staff, faculty, alumni, donors, and North Carolinians, who share the same goals of contributing to public service, striving for excellence and innovation in the research and academic arenas, and in fostering an environment that helps build the next generation of leaders. I’m very excited to work with other Tar Heels to investigate innovative ways to enhance access to and utilization of information and resources, determine how the Library can further partner in the academic and research enterprise, and identify ways to further contribute to local, national, and international conversations about information access, dissemination, and integration. I am also excited to be part of the Tar Heel community outside of academics and my children especially can’t wait to shop for Tar Heel merchandise, so rest assured, blue and white will hang proudly in our home!! My family and I are very much sports fans so we can’t wait to cheer on the Heels!

^ to top

2015-2016 Year in Pictures

The 2015-2016 academic year has been a busy one at the HSL! Please enjoy a small sample of pictures from our many events, exhibits, and staff accomplishments.

^ to top

As Medical School Footprint Expands, So Does Library’s Role

In March 2016 the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced the launch of its third regional campus at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) in Wilmington, NC. The Wilmington campus joins regional campuses in Asheville and Charlotte, both established in 2010. In addition, the School of Pharmacy has a regional campus in Asheville.

Students in Wilmington, like those in Asheville and Charlotte, will be trained in the full range of clinical clerkships, including internal medicine, surgery, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry, and other specialties. Approximately 50 students from the third-year class are selected to spend their third and fourth year clinical education at one of the regional campuses.

One key player in facilitating this regional approach is the Health Sciences Library (HSL) at Carolina. The HSL makes sure students, faculty, and preceptors at the regional sites have the same access to electronic resources, as well as consultation and other librarian services as their peers in Chapel Hill. Lara Handler, HSL Medical School Liaison Librarian, coordinates support for the medical curriculum with Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Librarians at the three campuses as well as the other two major clinical sites, which are at the Greensboro and Wake AHECs.

“Supporting the regional campus expansion plans of the Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy is important, but complicated work,” said Christie Degener, Interim Director of the HSL. “But our team of talented librarians make sure that students and faculty at these regional sites have the same library experience as they would in Chapel Hill.”

The HSL provides information resources and in-house created guides that are curated to specifically support each of the clinical rotations that third and fourth year medical students perform at the regional campuses. HSL librarians also provide consultations over the phone and online when students or faculty have more in-depth support.

^ to top

Last modified: 03/30/21