National Library Week, April 9-17, 2017
Trish Duffel, RPh, MA, is the Medical Librarian for the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Trish is located in the C.S. O'Brien Library on the Lower Level of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion.
How long have you worked at UIHC?
I’ve been at UIHC for nearly 26 years, I can’t see how that can be possible, but there it is. It was 1991 when I started working in the eye department with my shiny new Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.
Why did you become a librarian?
Librarianship is my second career. I was a pharmacist first and when that quit being fun and interesting, I went looking for something else. I wanted something that would take into account my love for digging out information, solving puzzles, and accumulating odd tidbits of esoteric knowledge. What better job for doing that?
What is your favorite part of your job?
I can say without hesitations that this job is very rarely boring. Every day is different. Generally, my favorite thing is whatever I’m doing at the moment. I guess if I absolutely have to pick, I like being “set loose” on a question. Give me a particularly obscure topic to find information on and I’m in heaven. This is especially true if I am given enough time and the resources to dig deeply into something. Sometimes I have to teach myself enough about something so that I recognize the answer when I find it. Conversely, this means I dislike being rushed, but sometimes that’s just the nature of the job.
I also love the people of this department; they are both fun and caring. This Department is very much like a family, extending from the occasional family spat to the love and concern families have for one another, with Iowa Eye being the annual family reunion.
What is your favorite book/author?
Boy, that’s a tough one. This week my answer is anything by J.R.R. Tolkien – including the Silmarillion and all of the things that Christopher Tolkien had posthumously published for his father. My dirty little secret is that I also like popular genre fiction, both romance and mysteries (and if you can combine them like J.D. Robb or Laurie R. King, all the better.)
What is a hobby (outside of books)?
Outside of books? There are things outside of books? Just joking, I like to write for my own entertainment on topics that I have picked (as opposed to topics I have been assigned). I usually attend some of the weekend classes conducted during the Summer Writing Festival (by the Iowa Writer’s Workshop). I tend to like sedentary “activities” which means I have to force myself to get out and be active but I do enjoy gardening, which is unfortunate because I seem to have a purple thumb, my yard is an embarrassment to the whole neighborhood.