By Laura J. Hall

Library Leader

Melissa Rethlefsen Named to Head UNM Health Sciences Library & Informatics Center

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center is pleased to announce that Melissa L. Rethlefsen, MSLS, AHIP, has accepted the position of executive director for the Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center (HSLIC) to begin January 1, 2021.

Rethlefsen joins UNM with more than 20 years of experience advancing initiatives for academic health sciences libraries. She comes to New Mexico from University of Florida in Gainesville, where she has served as the associate dean for George A. Smathers Libraries and Fackler Director for Health Science Center Libraries.melissa-rethlefsen.jpg

Rethlefsen is passionate about the critical role that biomedical librarians play in improving the quality of health care, research and education through integrating curricula with the health care environment and research teams.

“The Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center is a unique and important resource to the state of New Mexico as the only publicly accessible academic health sciences library,” Rethlefsen said. “I'm excited to work with the HSLIC team and colleagues across the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center to fulfill this vital role.”

Richard S. Larson, MD, PhD, UNM’s executive vice chancellor for Health Sciences, hailed Rethlefsen’s qualifications for the position. “I’m very pleased to have such an accomplished faculty member join us here at UNM and lead our Health Sciences library,” Larson said.

Prior to Rethlefsen’s experience in Florida, she worked at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah, Mayo Clinic's Learning Resource Center, the Minnesota Department of Health RN Barr Library and the University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library.

Rethlefsen has received recognition for her work in medical librarianship, including the Estelle Brodman Award for Academic Medical Librarian of the Year in 2015. She received her master's degree from the University of North Texas, and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts in English and history from the University of Minnesota.

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