Sharon Dennis, Assistant Director
I received my M.S. in Library and Information Science from Drexel University in 1983. My first professional positions included working reference desks in a public library, hospital library, and academic health sciences library. In 1986 I became Manager of the Microcomputer Laboratory at Hahnemann University (now Drexel University). Though it sounds quaint now, at the time offering a microcomputer facility to medical students was quite “radical.” I worked with medical school faculty and students to develop computer-based instruction tutorials related to biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, and environmental health. I enjoyed the camaraderie with the medical students as well as forming close long-term working relationships with several members of the medical school faculty.
In 1991 I moved to Utah and it was a natural fit for me to join the faculty of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at University of Utah, where the pioneering “Slice of Life” videodisc and associated tutorials were developed. From 1995-2000 I led a team that developed open source Web-based health sciences instructional tutorials. With funding from NSF from 2000-2004, along with collaborators at UCLA and University of Oklahoma, I was Co-Director for the Health Education Assets Library (HEAL) project, which now contains over 20,000 freely available learning objects.
In 2003 I became the Technology Coordinator for the NN/LM MidContinental Region at University of Utah, where I enjoyed the opportunity to “push the envelope” with new technologies and train other librarians about technology using a variety of computer-based systems such as Moodle and Adobe Connect. In 2007 I also became Technology Coordinator for the Pacific Southwest Region, working from University of Utah but sharing my job between the two regions.
Based on my long interest in computer-based learning and training, I led the effort by the Eccles Library to apply for the NTC contract in 2011. I’ve greatly enjoyed my time with NTC and it’s hard to believe it is already Year 3 of the contract!