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An interview with Sana Siddiqui, School of Public Health Librarian

By February 21, 2024February 23rd, 2024No Comments

Sana Siddiqui, MPH

As the Director of the Health Sciences Libraries, I am happy to introduce Sana Siddiqui (they/them) to our team as our School of Public Health (SPH) Librarian. In this role, Sana advances the teaching, research, and learning initiatives of SPH by connecting people with information. 

Before joining the Health Sciences Libraries, Sana received their Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota with focus on Administration and Policy. They also received their BA in Physiology with a minor in Public Health from UMN. Their work experience includes serving as the Prevention and Policy Coordinator for the American Indian Cancer Foundation where they developed, shared, and evaluated culturally tailored resources, led public health campaigns, and expanded the organization’s accessibility and inclusivity initiatives. 

Now that Sana has been in their role for a few months. I had the distinct opportunity to connect with Sana to learn more about their experience at the Health Sciences Libraries so far. Here’s what Sana shared:

Q: What excites you most about your job as a Public Health Librarian?

SS: I love understanding today’s research landscape through the students, staff, and faculty that I support. I love to be informed about what people are concerned, passionate, or curious about. What are the important questions being asked now? What are the questions we aren’t asking? What is being left unsaid and therefore unresearched?

Q: What do you see as the role of a librarian in advancing public health research?

SS: I see librarians as either knowledge imparters or knowledge gatekeepers — there is a choice here. In my role, I am practicing imparting knowledge so researchers can go forward and ask their questions. There’s a lot of power and responsibility in this role, but also great joy in being able to break down barriers for researchers around the literature search process. Being able to demystify or enlighten researchers on this process allows for better research, and, hopefully, a more equitable understanding of what impacts the community and world. 

Q: Can you tell us more about where you find passion outside of work and how it informs your approach to librarianship.

SS: I grew up with the importance around the definition of being a neighbor and being a part of a neighborhood. So, for me, this means I am plugged into and prioritize mutual aid work in my neighborhood — be that supporting neighbors in grocery runs or getting them connected to communal resources. I also come from immigrant communities that place that definition of neighbor in a global sense. I want to stay informed and aware of my place in global movement and solidarity work. As a librarian in the health sciences, this is deeply connected to the way I engage in relationship building, support students and faculty with their questions about their own communities, and understand the stories and people behind the numbers and academic or traditional research language. It’s all about relationships, I say! 

Q:  What would you like others to know about you as you continue building relationships with the School of Public Health and our broader community?  

SS: I love language – be it poetry, research, or continuing to learn and practice my mother tongue. I love to understand how we build worlds with language and vice versa. Also, you will almost always find me outside work under a tree, by the water, or looking up at the moon.

Connect with Sana:

Sana Siddiqui, MPH
Public Health Librarian
Health Sciences Libraries

Erinn Aspinall

Author Erinn Aspinall

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