Margaret "Jean" Rouse, Head Cataloger of the Library, retired on July 1st after 45 years of service. A native of Poplarville, MS, Jean received a B.A. in English from Millsaps College and attended graduate school at LSU in Baton Rouge. She relocated to New Orleans as a young adult and quickly fell in love with the Big Easy's lifestyle. She has called New Orleans home ever since.
Jean's career at LSUHSC began in 1960 when she was hired as a Library Clerk working half-time in the Cataloging department and half-time in Public Services. Jean's skills eventually were needed full time in Cataloging as the Library began reclassification of its monographs from Dewey Decimal to the National Library of Medicine system. It is here that Jean trained for years under the Library's original cataloger, Bea Jacobs. Upon Bea's retirement, Jean became the second person in the Library's history to head the Cataloging Department. She began supervising book processing for the main Isché Library, the Dental Branch, and the Pennington Information Center in Baton Rouge. Her long tenure has provided the Library with a unique advantage. Jean's consistent application of cataloging principles and her keen attention to detail have resulted in a superbly organized catalog that greatly enhances the ease with which the Library's patrons can locate cataloged materials.
In addition to her cataloging duties, Jean has been instrumental in helping guide the Library through many changes, large and small. She and her team barcoded the entire monograph collection twice in anticipation of an online circulation system; in 1989, she rolled up her sleeves and played a major role in the relocation of the Isché Library from 1542 Tulane Ave. to its current location in the Resource Center; and lastly, her proudest accomplishment was overseeing the conversion of the Library's catalog and cataloging process from a paper system to an online format. As the Library progressed, Jean's experience and knowledge proved to be an invaluable asset to newer staff members who constantly turned to her for guidance.
Throughout her career, Jean's dedication to librarianship and her tireless work ethic have earned her ample recognition. At LSUHSC, she attained the rank of Instructor in 1967 and earned an appointment to Assistant Professor in 1984. In addition to attending numerous continuing education classes and workshops, Jean is also a member of the South Central Chapter/Medical Library Association as well as the Health Sciences Library Association of Louisiana. In 1998, Jean became the first librarian to be honored by the LSUHSC Foundation with the Pfizer Award for Excellence in Education, Research, and Patient Care. This award was in recognition of her outstanding level of service and commitment to the LSUHSC community.
Jean's retirement plans appear to be no less active than her career. She maintains a current membership in the Chi Omega Alumnae Association of New Orleans and regularly participates in its activities. To increase her community involvement, she recently joined the New Orleans Museum of Art Volunteer Committee and has been charged with keeping local hotels and inns abreast of the museum's offerings. Jean also keeps in daily contact with her devoted family and friends both here and in her native Mississippi. If any spare time remains, you will probably find her listening to local jazz artists, floating in her pool, or watching her beloved sports teams, LSU, Ole Miss and of course, the Saints.
The Library is fortunate, indeed, to have had Jean Rouse on its staff for the past 45 years. To honor the occasion of her retirement, three books on the history of medicine were added to the Library's collection: Doctoring the South (link removed), Bleeding Blue and Gray (link removed), and American Surgical Instruments (link removed). Since Jean particularly enjoyed cataloging historical items, she gladly processed these books as her last duty as Cataloger. Jean's presence in the Library will certainly be missed by all; we wish her the very best as she begins her long overdue retirement.
-- JoAnn McKendall (link removed)