February 17, 2018

Micki McIntyre | Movers & Shakers 2005

Service with Style


After a brief career in musical theater, Micki McIntyre entered the graduate library program at Columbia University, where she noticed a poster advertising free tuition to library employees. “There was a vacancy at the health sciences library, and that’s how a theater major became a medical librarian.”

She’s a medical librarian with flair. As reference librarian at the New York Academy of Medicine, McIntyre soon became adept at training people to use databases and the Internet, so the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), the state’s health sciences university, hired her to teach computer literacy and construct web pages. When UMDNJ officials decided to create a consumer health web site, McIntyre was the logical choice to design and manage it and to promote it to library and professional organizations and consumers. HealthyNJ, a collaborative effort of UMDNJ, the New Jersey State Library, New Jersey Library Association, and Verizon, debuted in September 2000.

She deliberately created a site that is starkly simple, easy to navigate, and downloads quickly, even on dial-up connections. Besides providing links to high-quality resources for specific conditions and for wellness, McIntyre fashioned pages for reference and for New Jersey – specific health information.

Later, she added a modest Spanish-language version. When use of that version skyrocketed, she partnered with La Sala Hispanoamericana at the Newark Public Library to translate the annotations and locate more authoritative Spanish-language resources.

McIntyre is always on the lookout for potential partners. “We try to keep an eye on trends and on folks who are leading the way,” she says. “We like to find others who are as passionate about projects as we are and willing to work with us.”

Maintaining web content is a challenge for one full-time librarian, but McIntyre enjoys her autonomy and the freedom to respond to emerging health concerns. By noon on September 13, 2001, she had located and posted information on terrorism, grief counseling, and post-traumatic stress.

McIntyre is also the ambassador for HealthyNJ. She makes presentations at library and educational media conferences, healthcare organizations, medical meetings, and some larger public libraries. She promotes the site at health fairs and educational sessions.

She’s definitely got the right personality for the job. McIntyre admits, “I am a ham, and I do enjoy public speaking, especially for an interested crowd.” And not just in her working hours. McIntyre’s off-duty service activities have included work with PetPALS, an organization that helps the chronically and terminally ill care for their pets, because animal companions are not only comforting but good medicine as well.

McIntyre radiates the serenity of someone who’s found her niche. She says, “I’ve been given a lot in my life, and I try to share that gift. With HealthNJ I feel that I have the perfect vehicle to help others.”



Current Position HealthyNJ Librarian (www.healthynj.org), Health Sciences Library, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and Adjunct Instructor, UMDNJ School of Public Health

Degree MLS, Columbia University, 1982

March 17 Regularly marches in St. Patrick’s Day parades in full Irish regalia. Known to travel miles for a good ceilidh