Spotlight: Min-Lin Fang

August 30, 2013

Min-Lin Fang began working at UC San Francisco in 1993 as a temporary reference librarian at the UCSF Library. Twenty years later, she serves as the Library’s Education and Information Consultant for Nursing and Social & Behavioral Sciences, providing key teaching and research support to the campus community. 

When and why did you come to work at UCSF?

I chose to work at UCSF because it’s a leading medical center and a prestigious research institution.

While I was working at the University of Illinois, Chicago, my husband was accepted as a resident at UCSF. We were so excited to move to San Francisco. He got into his dream residency program, and I started looking into a research/education librarian position at the UCSF Library, which had a reputation for innovative projects.

On my second day in San Francisco, I visited the Library to see if there were any open positions. There were none, but four months later, I was offered and accepted a temporary position as a reference librarian. Six months later, I interviewed for a permanent position.

What do you do at UCSF and how is it connected to the UCSF mission?

I teach evidence-based literature-searching classes for various programs – Nursing, Physical Therapy, Dietetics and occasionally Medicine. I also teach classes on reference management tools like EndNote and RefWorks, which help streamline the writing process.

To establish a better way of starting research, I create online guides in specific subjects – nursing, grants resources, faculty services and RefWorks. In addition, I give one-on-one consultations, helping nursing students to prepare for their comprehensive exams and faculty/residents in Medicine to conduct literature searches for systematic reviews.

In the last two years, my focus has expanded to include the nurses and nursing researchers at the UCSF Medical Center and beyond. I teach them how to search evidence-based literature and how to use point-of-care resources such as JBI, Cochrane and UptoDate. I am very grateful to be part of a team that helped UCSF nursing achieve Magnet Status for Excellence in Patient Care and Innovation last year.

In addition, I contribute to the California Health Benefits Review Program at the UC Office of the President, which provides the state Legislature with independent analyses of medical effectiveness and financial and public health impact of proposed health benefit mandates and repeals.

In collaboration with experts from the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and multi-UC campuses, I conduct extensive literature searches for the team to conduct systematic analyses. These analyses summarize sound scientific evidence to assist the California State Legislators make important evidence-based health benefit policy. It’s very exciting to be involved in the legislative process, and I consider it a really important part of my job.

If you chose another career path outside UCSF what would it be?

I can’t think of working anywhere else.  I love living and working in San Francisco. If I didn’t work for the UCSF Library, I’d like to work for the UCSF Center for Educational Partnerships.

What’s something that members of the UCSF community would be surprised to know about you?

I spend a lot of my spare time doing volunteer and charity work.

Shortly after my kids left for college, I put my energy into my work with the Tzu Chi (Compassion and Relief) Foundation, an international humanitarian community-based nonprofit that helps in international disasters and local people in need. Through Tzu Chi, I’ve mentored college students from China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Leading a group of college students to volunteer at the MLK Middle School in Bayview-Hunters Point, we help the teens raise environmental awareness, develop compassion for others and practice gratitude. Starting this year, we are helping new immigrant families and kids adjust to the education system and community in San Francisco.

People who know you might not be surprised that you’re so generous with your time. Tell us something really surprising about you.

Anderson Cooper is my favorite. I love him!