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Library Bulletin Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Library -- New Orleans
Library Bids Farewell
This summer, the Library saw the departure of three long-term staff members, Wilba Swearingen, Elizabeth Dean, and JoAnn Spadoni. When added together, these three women have provided over eighty years of dedicated service to the LSUHSC Libraries. Retiring within weeks of each other, their daily absence is profoundly felt.
Wilba Swearingen, Director of Libraries, began her career at LSUMC in 1971 when she helped open the university's new Dental Library. In 1974, she moved to Wisconsin where she earned her Master of Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and established her professional career as a librarian and publisher's representative. In 1988, Wilba returned to LSUHSC and, after serving as Associate Director for ten years, was appointed to Director of Libraries in 1998. Wilba's career of distinguished service spans 23 years. She was instrumental in guiding the Library through many milestones, including its 1989 relocation to the Resource Center and, most importantly, its successful return from Baton Rouge to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Her emphasis on people and service proved to be a guiding force behind the daily operations of the Library as well as an admirable motivation for the Library's staff. In 2005, Wilba was honored by the LSUHSC Foundation with the Pfizer Award for Excellence in Education, Research and Patient Care. Wilba retired from service on July 31, 2008, but her commitment to librarianship continues. She is a valued member of numerous professional organizations including the American Library Association, the Medical Library Association, and the South Central Chapter of the MLA. Wilba is also a member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals at the Distinguished Level, the Academy's highest honor.
Elizabeth Dean received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of New Orleans and, in 1976, began her long career at LSUMC. Elizabeth started working at the Library as an Associate in the Technical Services area, first in the Serials department and later in Acquisitions. The skills she acquired there prepared her for her move, in 1985, to become the Library's Assistant to the Director. It is here that Elizabeth truly excelled. Her superb organizational skills, along with her extensive knowledge of Library functions, enabled her to become one of the Library's most valuable staff members. When problems arose which seemed to have no solutions, the staff consistently turned to Elizabeth for help. During the Katrina relocation, her assistance to both staff and to the continued operations of the Library was immeasurable. Outside the Library, Elizabeth was equally admired by all those who had contact with her. In 1999, Elizabeth received the Pfizer Award in recognition of her commendable service to not only the Library, but the campus wide community as well. Elizabeth retired from LSUHSC on July 16, 2008 after a remarkable thirty-two years of dedicated service.
JoAnn Spadoni joined the Library staff in November 1982. With a bachelor's degree in Elementary and Special Education from Xavier University, JoAnn previously worked as a special education teacher in the Orleans Parish school system and also as a Library Associate in the Technical Services section of the Tulane Medical Center Library. She started her career at LSUMC as a Serials Associate and, in 1985, transferred to the Interlibrary Loans department. JoAnn's experience in Interlibrary Loans grew along with the department. She helped transform it from a manual, paper dependent system to the computer driven operation that it is today. Throughout this evolution, her primary goal was to provide efficient service to the Library's patrons while also fulfilling the information requests of a worldwide network of libraries. Though her role was not always a visible one, her contribution to the Library was significant. In 2003, JoAnn was selected as a recipient of the Pfizer Award for her years of dedicated service to the LSUHSC community. After a commendable twenty six year career, JoAnn retired from the Library on August 15, 2008.
How fortunate the Libraries were to have had Wilba, Elizabeth and JoAnn among its ranks. Though no longer a part of the Libraries' daily operations, their presence will remain in the Libraries for years to come. We gratefully thank them for their many years of distinguished service and wish them well in their future endeavors. So long ladies, you will be truly missed.
-- JoAnn McKendall (link removed)