Newsletter of the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona

I am MLGSCA: Ivan Portillo

Posted on July 7, 2023 by Membership | 5 Comments

Name: Ivan Portillo
Institution: Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Irvine, CA
Title: Coordinator of Rinker Campus Library Services

Brief description of what you do/your responsibilities at your institution.

I oversee all library services at the Rinker Health Science Campus at Chapman University. We have two library spaces on campus, one at the Campus Center and a second called the Health Sciences Study Commons, a study space that houses our physical library collection. I also directly supervise a health sciences librarian and full-time library assistant. The three of us, including a few student assistants, help meet the information and research needs of faculty, students, and staff of the School of Pharmacy and Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.

Why is MLGSCA important to you?

MLGSCA is important because it has provided me with many connections to local librarians. I have worked in three health science/medical libraries in Southern California, some with fellow librarians and others without. With MLGSCA, even if I were to be a solo librarian again, I know I can reach out to a local librarian for guidance or support.

What was your first library job or professional position?

My first library job was as a student assistant at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library. My very first professional position was as the Head Librarian at Mt. Sierra College, an art school that is no longer active.

What has been the most interesting project you have worked on?

The most interesting project may be the one I’m currently working on: expanding library services at my campus. We’re opening a new building and a new library space, which will change how we serve our users. We’re also getting new AR/VR headsets, which satisfies my tech geek interests.

What do you consider to be the most pressing issues or trends in librarianship?

To adapt to the ever-changing landscape of information and how our users gather their information. With AI becoming more common to gather and create information, as librarians, we must keep up and learn how to teach our users how to best use this new technology. Librarians should also use these new technologies to our advantage for outreach, teaching purposes, or other practical uses.

What is something you have on your bucket list?

Ditto to Rikke’s response. Visit all 7 continents. I’ve been to 4 so far.

What is the best thing you have read/watched/listened to recently?

I recently wrapped up Succession on Max. It was very satisfying to watch and hope that I will never be in a similar situation.

Describe yourself in five words.

I am an outgoing introvert.

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud of my parents for coming to this country in the late ’70s from Mexico and El Salvador. Neither of them finished high school, but their ambition for a better life for themselves and our family has allowed me to be a first-generation college graduate. Now that I work in higher education, I mentor or help students in similar situations so that they can succeed as well.


5 Responses to “I am MLGSCA: Ivan Portillo”

  1. Judy Kraemer
    July 7th, 2023 @ 1:23 pm

    Thanks for participating in the I AM MLGSCA!
    It’s great to learn more about you. I’m sure many students will benefit from your mentorship. What a difference you are making in this world!
    🙂 Judy

  2. Erin Moore
    July 7th, 2023 @ 2:00 pm

    Nice to meet you, Ivan! Outgoing introvert – great description and very relatable:)

  3. Andrea Harrow
    July 7th, 2023 @ 2:59 pm

    Thank you Ivan! I appreciate you, your brief story, and your willingness to give back to our community.

  4. Janet Crum
    July 10th, 2023 @ 3:07 pm

    Thanks, Ivan! I love “outgoing introvert” – that describes me too.

  5. Angela Murrell
    August 4th, 2023 @ 9:12 am

    Hi Ivan, great to learn more about you! That’s very cool that your library is getting the VR headsets.

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