Carol Scherrer is not afraid to talk about how she got it wrong. One of Carol’s most-cited articles discusses how an outreach program in the beginning days of her Library of the Health Sciences – Chicago career encountered continual problems. “There can be a habit to talk about how we ‘did it right’ so I thought it would be interesting to talk about how we ‘did it wrong,’” Carol said of the article.
In her 14 years at LHS, Carol has also done a lot of things right in her role as Information Service Librarian and Associate Professor. As she noted, a second outreach program was undertaken, where things ran smoother and worked better. In addition, Carol and her Information Services staff have changed the way librarians interact with professional students. “Things have taken 180 degree turn in the time I’ve been here,” said Carol.
As she describes, the reference librarians have moved from the consultation room, to the reference desk, to the colleges. “The library has shifted from ‘just in case’ to ‘just on time’ with digitization to ‘just for you’ with librarians visiting their respective colleges. We’ve worked to be where the people are” Carol noted regarding this shift in librarian-patron interaction.
Carol finds this shift in librarianship paired with witnessing the physical changes of LHS to be some of the most exciting and fun aspects of her 14-year career. “I’m comfortable with when I’m choosing to leave” she said, and noted that she leaves a staff which works well together and supports one another. Carol imagines staying in touch with the friends she made during her 14 years at LHS. “LHS has been one of the best places to work,” Carol said. With her departure, Carol hopes a new vision will come to LHS and continue to adapt to the changing trends of librarianship.
“It was harder to decide to retire than I thought it would be,” Carol, whose last day at LHS will be April 30th, said. “I don’t know what retirement will mean,” she noted, but knows she has many options available. Carol now possesses the time to visit her four daughters and eight grandchildren spread across the country, or to take a trip to Ethiopia with her husband, who works there annually. She plans to take a year to decide what retirement will hold for her.