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GW’s Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library Taps Laura Evans Abate to Serve as Director

The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SHMS) has tapped Laura Evans Abate to serve as director of the GW Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library. Abate, who has served in the interim role since January, officially took on this role on July 1, 2022.

“As a longtime member of the Himmelfarb staff, we are thrilled that Laura has taken on his new role. We are looking forward to her continued leadership and enthusiasm for this important resource at GW SMHS,” said Richard Simons, MD, senior associate dean for MD Programs.

In this role, Abate is responsible for overall library operations, including overseeing the library staff, strategic planning, budgeting, and outreach, with a major focus on integrating library services into the teaching, clinical, and research missions for the Milken Institute for Public Health at GW, the School of Nursing, and SMHS, as well as support on-site and distance faculty, staff, and students. She also will coordinate services with affiliates such as Children’s National Hospital and assist with accreditation activities for all three schools. Abate is also responsible for the expansion of the library’s virtual presence and collections, as well as the potential conversion of traditional library space into a study/collaborative center. Like her predecessors, Abate will serve on the SMHS Educational Technology Group and the Faculty Senate Committee on Libraries, as well as other groups as appointed.

Prior to serving as director, Abate served in many positions at Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library. Most recently, she was the Associate Director of Library Operations, overseeing collection development; acquisitions, serials, cataloging, and authority control; collection maintenance; library systems; document delivery; the institutional repository; and web services. In prior positions, her work focused on the promotion and utilization of electronic resources, off-campus access systems and troubleshooting, assessment of emerging technologies in information delivery, and use of information resources to support evidence-based practice.

Abate has also served as the Head of Library Operations, the Electronic Resources and Instructional Librarian, and Reference and Instructional Librarian. Prior to her time at GW, she was an information specialist at the United Information Systems serving the National Cancer Institute PDQ/CANCERLIT Service Center.

“I am thrilled to take on this new role at Himmelfarb Library and enhance the library's support of education, research, and clinical care across GW's medicine and health sciences, public health, and nursing programs. While the resources and technology that we use evolve and change, I hope to maintain the library's core values of service to our GW community, creative approaches, and collaborative solutions," said Abate.

For any questions or inquiries about Himmelfarb Library, you can contact Laura Abate at leabate@gwu.edu.