Mindy Thuna is a librarian, but it’s a good thing she’s not much of a shusher. As the new AstraZeneca Science Liaison Librarian at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, Thuna’s job will be to spread the word about UTM’s expertise in science information.
AstraZeneca Canada, a Mississauga-based pharmaceutical company, established the science liaison librarianship earlier this year with a $250,000 gift. Thuna, who works at the UTM library, will provide reference services, offer instruction to classes and help develop the library’s science collection. She will also support relationships between UTM faculty and Mississauga’s thriving pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health-care sector. “We believe this librarianship is a key element in building an educated and prosperous community in Mississauga,” says Michael Cloutier, president and CEO of AstraZeneca Canada.
Today’s science librarians are information sleuths, sorting through mountains of information and teaching students, faculty and community members how to do the same. “We needed a librarian with strong science credentials,” says UTM chief librarian Mary Ann Mavrinac. “And Mindy is perfect for the job.”
After earning an undergraduate degree in paleontology and a master’s in vertebrate morphology, Thuna taught at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont. She worked at Fossil Butte National Monument in Wyoming, where she designed educational programs for the general public and schools, and later spent six months in public education at the National Museum of Kenya. “I like to take complicated concepts and make them easier for others to understand,” she says.