Changing Lives in the Library

Medical Center librarian finds deep meaning in teaching research skills

 Brandi Tuttle with her son Lincoln at the beginning of a 150-mile, two-day bike ride to raise money for multiple sclerosis.  Photo courtesy of Brandi Tuttle
Brandi Tuttle with her son Lincoln at the beginning of a 150-mile, two-day bike ride to raise money for multiple sclerosis. Photo courtesy of Brandi Tuttle

Name:  Brandi Tuttle

Position: Research and Education Librarian at the Medical Center Library

Years at Duke: 8

What I do at Duke: There is no typical day for me. I am the liaison to Duke's Physician Assistant program, so I teach those students how to search and appraise the literature to make evidence based decisions with their patients. I also work as an on-call reference librarian at the Medical Center Library. We get everything from students who need help researching a topic for a paper to patients who walk in having just been diagnosed with a disease they don't even know how to spell. I get the opportunity to help our clinicians and researchers find, organize, and share information and data in a variety of ways.

To start a conversation with me, ask about: Biking. I often commute five miles to work on my new road bike, sometimes with kid in tow. In September, I biked 150 miles over two days with BikeMS to raise money for multiple sclerosis.  

If I had $5 million: I would want to do something to better the world, but the very first thing I'd do would be hire a financial advisor. 

My first ever paid job: I took over a paper route in my hometown of Effingham, Illinois, between third and fourth grade. Ever since then, I've always had some sort of paying job. 

My dream job: I'd love to host a travel show like Samantha Brown's "Passport to Europe" program on the Travel Channel.  It would be the opportunity to combine travel and education, which are two things I love. 

What I love about Duke: Working on such a beautiful campus. My favorite place is the West campus quad, with the stone and gothic architecture, the bustle of students, and the trees showing the changing seasons. 

If I could have one superpower, it would be: The ability to make more superpowers soI wouldn't have to choose just one.

When I'm not at work, I like to: Hang out with my husband and four-year-old son, Lincoln, or train for triathlons. I did my second sprint or short triathlon this past summer and realized I need to spend more time in the pool.

Something unique in my office: I have a Thera Cane for massaging my neck and back. It looks like a Little Bo Peep cane with knobs. It feels really good - especially after I've done a long bike ride on the weekend.

The most memorable moment at work: I don't have just one moment, but when I walk through the hospital and see the patients and healthcare workers, I am reminded how meaningful my work is. 

The book I am reading now: Between reading books on training for triathlons, I've set myself a goal of reading the books that have been nominated for Duke's incoming freshmen summer reading program. 

Something most people don't know about me:  Along with my other passions, I'm a percussionist, although I've been temporarily on hiatus from playing with the Durham Community Concert Band while training for triathlons.