To break down stereotypes about librarians

September 6, 2016
André  Nault

A wildlife biologist who professes to know a little about many things, André Nault initially pursued a career in library sciences to get better at sating his curiosity. Along the way he discovered how much he enjoys teaching others his tricks of the trade.

Nault, who is head of the Veterinary Medical Library and a liaison librarian for faculty, tackles his job in a nontraditional way. He is the only Health Sciences liaison who also has a faculty appointment, as adjunct assistant professor of veterinary clinical sciences.

Nault teaches courses, does admission interviews, participates in commencement, and conducts orientations for all veterinary DVM students, graduate students, interns, and residents. He also serves as a facilitator in a first-year inter-professional course for students across the Academic Health Center—anything to spread the word about libraries and what they offer.

He approaches his job with two other goals: reducing students’ debt and encouraging critical thinking. Knowing that veterinary medicine students often graduate with $120,000 to $200,000 in loans, Nault teams with faculty to find free or inexpensive library resources for students.

That might mean obtaining multiple editions of e-books or scanning book chapters for the reserves so that students don’t have to buy all of their books. Nault isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers and get creative.

“I have no sacred cows,” he adds. “The well-behaved librarian seldom makes history!”