NIH Library Services Informationists


A special liaison or librarian-in-context program that augments your information resources, saves you and your staff time, and most importantly, enhances the quality of research and patient care. The informationist provides personalized, on-site information services for your team.

For more information contact Victoria Riese at or 301-496-1157.

Look for existing groups working with Informationists.

Publications on the Informationist Program.

image of Chris Belter

Chris Belter

Chris Belter joined the NIH Library in 2014. He received a Masters in Library Science from the University of Maryland and a BA in Religion from Shenandoah University. Prior to joining the NIH Library, he was a public services librarian at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Central Library, where he used bibliometrics to analyze and evaluate portions of NOAA’s publication portfolio. His published research focuses on how bibliometrics can expand and enhance the services provided by librarians.

At the NIH Library, Chris provides expertise in bibliometrics and other methods of quantitative assessment to support NIH institutes, centers, and programs in conducting portfolio analysis. He advises on bibliometric methodology and the role of bibliometrics in portfolio analysis, provides training on bibliometric tools and techniques, and analyzes publications produced by NIH’s intramural and extramural research programs.

image of Medha Bhagwat

Medha Bhagwat

Medha Bhagwat earned her PhD in biochemistry in December 1994 from the University of Maryland at College Park. Medha did her postdoctoral training at NIDDK, NIH on the structure-function studies of bacteriophage T4 RNase H.

Medha joined the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in 1998 in the GenBank database. From 2000 to 2008, she offered a variety of bioinformatics training at NCBI. She taught at the NCBI Core-Bioinformatics Facility, which trains the representatives from the NIH institutes in the use of the NCBI bioinformatics tools in 9-week sessions. Medha also developed and taught several 2 hour mini-courses which describe the effective usage of a set of bioinformatics tools. The courses were taught more than 400 times to about 12,000 participants.

Medha has published several articles on her research and book chapters on bioinformatics classes/protocols.

Medha joined the NIH Library in February 2009 to develop the Bioinformatics Support Program for NIH staff. Medha's diverse background and strong experience in biochemistry, molecular biology and bioinformatics is ideal for both basic and translational research.

image of Barbara Brandys

Barbara Brandys

Barbara Brandys joined the NIH Library in 1997 and became an Informationist in 2004.

Barbara provides information services to:

  • CC Pharmacy Department
  • NCI Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, Project Management Office
  • NHLBI Imaging Probe Development Center
  • NICHD Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology Branch/Center for Research for Mothers and Children
  • NIDA Intramural Program
  • NIH Chemists and Toxicologists
  • NICHD Section on Bacterial Disease Pathogenesis and Immunity

Barbara has an undergraduate degree in chemistry and has worked as a chemist at W.R. Grace and has worked as a science teacher. Barbara speaks several languages including English, Hebrew, and Polish and works as a volunteer translator in the Clinical Center.


image of Lonelyss Charles
Lonelyss Charles

Lonelyss Charles joined the National Institutes of Health Library in 2014. Prior to joining NIH, she was the Network Librarian for Upstate New York Department of Veteran Affairs. Select earlier positions included contract librarian for the World Health Organization, contract librarian for the American Urological Association, and National Library of Medicine Fellow.

Ms. Charles serves:


  • ​NCCIH 
  • NIA 
  • ACL 
  • ACF 
  • NEI


image of Diane Cooper

Diane Cooper

Diane Cooper has a Master's Degree in Library Science from the University of Kentucky, and a BA degree in English from Kentucky Wesleyan College. She is certified by the Medical Library Association at the Distinguished Level.

Diane has extensive experience in the corporate environment. She has worked for United HealthCare, Magellan Health Services, and Parexel Inc., a global bio/pharmaceutical services organization. She also has medical center experience, having worked in a Veterans Administration Medical Center and at the University of California, Davis medical library. In addition, she was librarian for the research laboratory of the National Institutes of Drug Abuse and Addiction, Addiction Research Center, at Lexington, Kentucky.

Diane joined the NIH Library in July, 2003. As an Informationist, Diane works with:

  • Endocrinology services of the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases;
  • Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Branch, Center for Developmental Biology and Perinatal Medicine in the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development; and the
  • Indian Health Service headquarters and clinics and health care providers across the US.


image of Josh Duberman

Josh Duberman

Josh Duberman has been an Informationist/ Research Librarian at the NIH Library since May 2005. He has a Masters in Library Studies and a bachelor's degree in chemistry, with 18 years of information research experience at Applied Biosystems Inc. (ABI), SRI International, and as a consultant. Previously, he was a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and at Chevron Research. He has several patents, and has written numerous articles for professional publications about the information industry, searching techniques and information resources.

His areas of expertise and research include intellectual property, chemistry, biotechnology, pharmaceutics, engineering, competitive intelligence and technology transfer resources, and information retrieval issues.

image of Lisa Federer
Lisa Federer

Lisa Federer joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library in 2013. She received her Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011 and also holds an MA in English and BAs in English and French from the University of North Texas. Prior to joining the NIH Library, she worked at the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library.

As a Research Data Informationist at the NIH Library, Lisa provides support in the management, organization, and re-use of biomedical research data. She advises on organization and description of data, consults on the writing of data management plans, assists in the development of tools for facilitating access to research data, and provides instruction on best practices in data management.

image of Doug Joubert
Douglas Joubert

Doug Joubert joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library in 2004. He is the Informationist for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health (ORDGMH). In this role, Doug provides his clients with the following services in support of NIH and HHS missions:

  • Provides comprehensive searching of the scientific and grey literature
  • Develops and conducts individual or group instruction on how to search, collect, and manage scientific and public data, both online and in-person
  • Creates research or news alerts to keep up-to-date on research or topics of interest
  • Assists with manuscript preparation (e.g., selecting an appropriate journal, formatting the paper and references, receiving support for paper submission and more)
  • Consults on special projects involving the locating, organizing, analyzing, and synthesizing of information or data

As part of his duties at the NIH Library, he identifies and provides guidance on the effective use of emerging technologies and social media, and recommends strategies to capitalize on them. Practice areas include public health, social media, teaching, and technology.

image of Alicia Livinski

Alicia Livinski

Alicia Livinski joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library in 2007. Alicia supports the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Office of Global Health Affairs (OGHA) within the Office of the Secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). At NIH, she works with the Division of International Epidemiology and Population Studies in the Fogarty International Center. She provides a variety of information management and research services.

Prior to joining NIH, she worked for 5 years as the Information and Communications Advisor with the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood on international maternal health and advocacy programs. Alicia has a MA in Library & Information Science from the University of South Florida in Tampa; Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine with a focus in food security and humanitarian crisis management; and a bachelor's degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL in international relations.

Her professional interests include: use of social technologies in libraries and public health; health information access; international health; and access to research by developing country healthcare providers and researchers.

Image of Ya-Ling Lu
Ya-Ling Lu

Ya-Ling Lu joined the NIH Library in May 2014 from the faculty of the Department of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University, where she taught courses and conducted research in the areas of information-related behavior and user services. Ya-Ling has an undergraduate and master’s degree from Tamkang University in Taipei, Taiwan. She earned her MLIS and PhD from UCLA.

At the NIH Library, Ya-Ling provides support in the area of bibliometric analysis and user services. Her other professional interests include information behaviors of users and non-users, bibliotherapy, and children’s literature.

image of Karen Smith

Karen Smith

Karen Smith has been a biomedical librarian at NIH since 1994, and joined the Informationist program in 2003. She received her Masters of Library Science from the University of Alabama in 1985.

As a Clinical Informationist, she works with the Pain & Palliative Care Consult Service, the NIAAA Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies, and several branches within the NHLBI intramural program.

image of Nancy Terry

Nancy Terry

Nancy Terry began working in the NIH Library in 1995 as a Biomedical Librarian and joined the Informationist program in 2005. In addition to a Masters Degree in Library Science (MLS), Ms. Terry received a BA in psychology from the University of Maryland.

Before coming to the NIH Library she worked for five years as a clinical medical librarian and instructor at the George Washington University Medical Center and for ten years as a clinical medical librarian at the Washington Hospital Center.

As an Informationist for the NIH Library, Nancy works with the NHLBI Center for the Application of Research Discoveries, NIDCD Division of Scientific Programs, and for the Office of the Secretary, an HHS agency served by the NIH Library.


 image of Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson joined the NIH Library in 2015. Holly comes to the NIH Library from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Associate Fellowship program where she trained at the NLM and at the Johns Hopkins University Welch Medical Library. Prior to her training with NLM, she worked at the NYU Health Sciences Library, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Library, and the University of California San Diego Biomedical Library.

Holly provides information services to: the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute of Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), and the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics (NCI-DCEG).

image of Judith Welsh

Judith Welsh

As an NIH Library Clinical Informationist, Judy provides research assistance and information management services to the Clinical Center Critical Care Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine, and Nursing Departments. She also serves as the Point of Contact for the NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR) and the NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG).  Professional interests include assisting in the preparation of systematic reviews including the selection of appropriate databases, development of comprehensive search strategies, and completion of initial and updated literature searches.  She also advises on best practices and provides instruction for individuals and groups new to the systematic review process.

Judy earned a Masters of Library Science degree from UCLA and BSN from Cornell University-New York Hospital School of Nursing.​

image of Lynn Young

Lynn Young

Lynn Young has over twenty years of experience in the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. She received her Ph.D. in physics from Purdue University where she studied vibrational modes of DNA. She worked in the field of structure-based drug design at NCI-Frederick and most recently worked in the Division of Computational Bioscience at the Center for Information Technology at NIH.

There she analyzed microarray data; developed web applications; led the development of the genomics component of the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR); and coordinated ontology development for NDAR. Lynn joined the NIH Library in August of 2010 to provide bioinformatics training, consulting, and programming.


Publications on the Informationist Program

  1. Clark, C. (2005, Nov-Dec). The 'embedded librarian': NIH informationists become team players. NIH Catalyst, 13, 14-15.
  2. Clark, C. (2007, Nov-Dec). The embedded librarian: NIH informationists click into chemistry and tech transfer. NIH Catalyst, 15, 12-13.
  3. .The informationist: building evidence for an emerging health profession. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 98(2), 147-156.
  4. Rankin, J. A., Grefsheim, S. F., & Canto, C.C. (2008). The emerging informationist specialty: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 96(3), 194-206.
  5. Robison, R. R. (2008). Informationist education. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 27(3), 339-347.
  6. Robison, R. R., Ryan, M. E., & Cooper, I. D. (2009). Inquiring Informationists: A Qualitative Exploration of Our Role. Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice, 4(1), 4-16.
  7. Whitmore, S. C., Grefsheim, S. F., & Rankin, J. A. (2008). Informationist programme in support of biomedical research: a programme description and preliminary findings of an evaluation. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 25(2), 135-141.
  8. The Embedded Librarian: Making and Leading the Team [video]. FLICC Brown Bag Series. October 5, 2005.

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