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Florida’s Librarian of the Year Hails from AdventHealth University

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Jessica Daly Headshot
Jessica Daly, AdventHealth University librarian and assistant professor

Jessica Daly, AdventHealth University librarian and assistant professor, is Florida’s Librarian of the Year, named by the Florida Health Sciences Library Association.

“I’ve won different awards in my career for my work as a librarian. This award is very special because it is only for health sciences libraries,” said Daly. “This is truly an award from our peers, from librarians and other medical libraries. I think when your peers who do the same work acknowledge the contributions you’ve made, it makes it extra special.”

Carrie Adams, IDT, MA, LIS, MA, head of awards for the Florida Health Sciences Library Association, shares her admiration of Daly.

“Jessica Daly evidences the impact a librarian can have on their community,” Adams said. “One word that I continually saw when reading letters of support for her was ‘Champion.’ I believe this is an undeniable description of Jessica: She has touched so many with her efforts to improve health and knowledge for professionals, students and patients. We at the Florida Health Sciences Library Association are proud to honor Jessica.”

Daly, who holds a master’s degree in library science, has many responsibilities that have grown over her years in the profession. She currently serves as head of collections and electronic resources and head of library outreach and marketing at the school’s R.A. Williams Library.

“Being the head of both areas goes hand in hand. On the collections side, I make sure we have everything the students and faculty need. But what I noticed was that we had this wonderful collection and all these amazing resources, but our faculty and students were not aware of all that was available to them.”

Pet Therapy
Weekly pet therapy at the AHU library

Thanks to Daly’s marketing efforts, the library is known for its weekly Free Popcorn Days, monthly health literacy programs, pet therapy, expanded audio offerings and more.

“I love sitting down with people across campus and just helping them understand how we can support them. A lot of faculty and staff have become very active through a program that I started called Library Champions, where faculty who use the library become our spokespeople. We’re now embarking on student ambassadors. Projects like these are really where I feel I can get creative and execute ideas out of the box. Outreach and marketing are very important.”

Daly’s career started in elementary education and she later made the jump to school librarian. Daly advanced to academic libraries in 2013, working at the university level. She would ultimately move into the health field as a consumer health librarian, where she was a medical research librarian for patients and families learning about unfamiliar diagnoses and treatment plans. Combining her work experience, she became a passionate advocate for health literacy, making sure the community understands medical terminology and wellness treatment plans.

“I became a trainer and an advocate for health literacy and did a lot out in the community. I was doing that for five years. Ultimately, I was approached by AdventHealth University in Orlando. The beauty of my position with them is that it combines my academic experience with my work as a research librarian in a medical hospital.”

Daly credits her love of sharing knowledge as a driver for her passion.

“I think one of my favorite things that I get to do is actually work with faculty and with students. I love collaborating with people. I love empowering them with the resources and the knowledge they need. I love working in class with students. I was recently working with a small group of occupational therapy students and their professor and I helped them to better understand health literacy and how to communicate better with their patients.”

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