NN/LM PNR Dragonfly: Thank You, Nancy!
nnlm at u.washington.edu
Fri Jun 7 11:19:40 PDT 2002
Thank You, Nancy!
By Neil Rambo
Associate Director, NN/LM PNR
Nancy Press has been a mainstay in the Regional Medical Library program
for the past 23 years. She is the longest serving RML staff member in the
country. She has served two regions with distinction.
Nancy began her career in health sciences librarianship as the Medical
Librarian at Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound's Eastside Hospital
in suburban Seattle, from 1977 to 1979. She then moved to Boston and found
her way to Harvard's Countway Library where she served as Program
Coordinator for the New England Regional Medical Library Service, from
1979-1982. Nancy returned to Seattle and has worked at the Pacific
Northwest Regional Medical Library ever since-June 1, 1982 through May 31,
Her first task for the PNRML was to write the proposal for the contract
that was then up for renewal, a job not for the faint hearted. She has
been instrumental in writing contract proposals ever since -through seven
different contract periods! That is a record that is unlikely to be
approached, let alone matched, by anyone.
Nancy has served in many roles throughout 20 years with PNRML:
*Education Coordinator, 1982-1989 (plus Preservation and Disaster Planning
Coordinator starting in 1987)
*Acting Associate Director, 1989
*Network Librarian, 1989-1997
*Acting Associate Director, 1998-1999
*Consumer Health Coordinator, 2000-2002
Some of the classes she developed and taught to colleagues around the
*Interlibrary Loan/DOCLINE/Loansome Doc workshops
*Expect the Worst: Disaster Planning for the Small Library (a preservation
class during which she had librarians put books into pails of water)
*Teaching the Adult Learner in the Library Setting (an MLA roster CE course)
A few of Nancy's many accomplishments:
*Helped bring DOCLINE to Canadian health libraries.
*Conducted, tallied and reported the PNC/MLA CE survey for the past 20
*Editor, and mainstay contributor to, the "Supplement" and "Dragonfly"
*Editor of the "Directory of Health Sciences Libraries Pacific Northwest
*Served on committees and as an officer for the Washington Medical
Librarians Association, PNC/MLA and MLA, as well as at the
University of Washington.
*Brought together a diverse Consumer Health advisory panel to guide
development of the NN/LM consumer health program in the Pacific
Nancy plans to take the summer off to enjoy her family. Fortunately the
library community will not be losing her as she will be Library Director
and faculty member-teaching history and religious studies-at the Mars Hill
Graduate School in the Seattle area.
The Pacific Northwest Region, and the National Network of Libraries of
Medicine, will miss Nancy's brilliance, her energy, and her strong
advocacy of all that she passionately believes in. We at the PNRML, and
all her colleagues, wish Nancy the best and hope her voice continues to be
part of our conversation.
Here are remembrances of Nancy Press from some of her colleagues:
"This is hard to choose what memory to convey. I guess I would just have
to say that I have a collection of memories of Nancy opening up her home
and her family to me on several occasions when I traveled from Montana to
Seattle for PNC business. In a very profound way, this was a welcoming and
encouragement to get involved in regional professional endeavors. But what
I remember most are some lovely dinners under her pewter chandelier,
visiting with her sons in the study, hearing of Nancy's California
childhood while lounging on her selfmade slipcovers, and sitting on her
navy leather chair in her kitchen, visiting about books on the Balkans
over morning coffee. I have always appreciated her sharing this, her
personal life, with me."
Janice Bacino, St. Peter's Hospital, Helena, MT
"Nancy was a wonderful mentor to me. She provided the best possible
training and support as I took responsibility for the DOCLINE coordinator
position that she'd held for so long, but at the same time she gave me
ample freedom of movement. Her enthusiasm for the consumer health
coordinator position that she built from the beginning--and her devotion
to the principles that it represented--have been an inspiration. Her
departure is a significant loss for our office, but I take a lot of
comfort knowing how excited she is to be running her own library. Thank
you for everything, Nancy!"
Susan Barnes, NN/LM PNR, Seattle, WA
"I first got to know Nancy when she taught a 3 day (I think) workshop on
teaching in Seattle sometime before 1984. We were just beginning to teach
end users, and Nancy's class was a wonderful way to learn how to teach,
especially for someone like me who never wanted to teach. We were her beta
test class, and not only was the class interesting, but it was fun as
well. I still use tips I picked up in her class. Thanks, Nancy."
Dolores Zegar Judkins, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
"Nancy has been a tremendous support since the day I met her. Whether she
was teaching a class, or presenting, or simply mingling at a meeting,
Nancy has always had a kind, positive word that never failed to make me
feel special. I will miss her."
Nancy Turrentine, Valley Medical Center, Renton, WA
"My first memory of Nancy was at my first PNC/MLA meeting in 1986 in
Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I had no idea who any of the people were. There in
the resort pool was a lovely young woman holding her baby - and she had
the longest hair I had ever seen. And everyone knew who she was. She was
Nancy Ottman Press. Some years later, at another PNC/MLA meeting, I took
Nancy's class, "Expect the Worst: Disaster Planning for the Small
Library." That class helped me go back to my library and write a
much-needed disaster plan. However, what made the biggest impression on me
was that she had LIBRARIANSPUTTING BOOKS INTO PAILS OF WATER. Nancy even
made disasters fun. Nancy has been my colleague in the RML and a friend
for the past ten years. I'll miss the exchange of ideas; Nancy's tireless
work on behalf of the RML, the region's librarians, and health consumers;
and good times on the road together. I won't miss her friendship. That
Maryanne Blake, NN/LM PNR, Seattle, WA
"Nancy came up to Vancouver during the winter '93 period, to attend a
meeting of BC folks interested in getting Docline going up here. Jim
Henderson had invited her, as I think he was having a bit of a hard time
overcoming that initial inertia to change. I'm a bit hazy on the exact
dates, and on who attended the meeting, but I recall there was a large
group of BC health libraries staff, and that it was a long meeting. Nancy
came up and spent an afternoon with us, giving us the benefit of her
experience, answering questions, encouraging and empowering us. I do
recall that her enthusiasm, and good sense of humour made the afternoon a
tremendous success - we did get Docline up and running in BC shortly
thereafter! And of course Docline has completely changed the face of
inter-library borrowing up here. It might have taken us a lot longer to
get the ball rolling without Nancy's encouragement."
Cathy Raiment, Children's & Women's Health Centre of British Columbia,
Vancouver, BC, Canada
"Cathy Rayment beat me to the draw on the help Nancy provided with
starting DOCLINE in Canada. Nancy made it seem all so easy, and maybe it
was, to her. Couldn't have done it without her, though."
"One of my treasures is a picture of all the people involved in starting
DOCLINE in Canada, taken in Chicago (or was it San Francisco) - includes
Nancy, Eve-Marie Lacroix, Nancy McCutcheon, Roz Leidermann, Karen Kraley,
and Diane Pammette (from CISTI) -- probably have a couple of the names a
bit wrong, but think that was all the people who came together to
celebrate. ... Nancy linked us all together, really."
"I also remember a dinner at Nancy's house during the Seattle MLA - a
great meal at a great spot - she included an interesting mix of people,
including two young Scottish librarians."
Jim Henderson, College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia,
Vancouver, BC, Canada
"Nancy was in my class at the UW library school, and even then I was
impressed by her professionalism and dedication. Those of us in rural
areas who try to offer high quality health information service have
benefitted greatly from Nancy's outreach and training programs; she's a
great teacher (as are her colleagues at the RML). I wish her all the best
in her new position."
Carol Cahill, Port Townsend Public Library, Port Townsend, WA
"Although I had met her earilier, my first clear memory of Nancy is as the
instructor of a class on AACR2, in 1980 in Boston. Surely Nancy is a
fabulous instructor if she could get me to sit through a whole day of
"technical processing" content like that! Truth is that reminiscing about
Seattle with Nancy was the highlight of that class for me. The following
year, by happy coincidence, we both found ourselves in the RML, and the
rest is history. Nancy is my dearest friend and colleague, and I've
enjoyed her collaboration, advice, humor, suggestions, and occasional
admonishment for twenty years! More than "bouncing ideas" off each
other--we've quite literally bounced erasers and rubberbands off each
other! I treasure the memories of her pregnancies, kids' stories, work
trips, adventures, ups and downs. Best of all, I know she's excited about
her new job but that we'll keep sharing the important stuff!"
Linda Milgrom, NN/LM PNR, Seattle, WA
"Sometime several decades ago, I worked with Nancy Press, Steve Teich and
others to develop and put on a CE class which was called Rx for Success!
This project was where I first learned about course development and
teaching adult learning. In order to be an official course instructor, I
also had to take the MLA CE (two-days) on teaching and principles of adult
learning. ( Nancy was the instructor of that class which was given in
wonderful Butte, Montana.) Rx for Success provided me with a chance to
crystalize a lot of my thinking about corporate culture and how to work in
an organization. I believe it contributed, in a very real way, to my
ability to hold onto a job in a small rural hospital for 23 years."
"As a RAC member, I was entertained in Nancy's home several times. These
were always fun occasions and good times with colleagues. You could always
count on wonderful food and the chance to meet new people. In case you
think these RAC evenings were stodgy affairs - one night at Nancy's I
scored a ticket and a ride to Bruce Springsteen's "Tunnel of Love" tour
just 24 hours before show time. So besides being a treasured colleague
Nancy is also firmly established in my personal rock history."
"Nancy has always seemed to me a somewhat mysterious creature. How does
she do all that work for the RML, and travel, and manage a beautiful home
and family in the same 24 hours I struggle through every day? Also, during
many CE classes provided by Nancy over the years, as the day or half day
class was drawing to a close, I found myself wondering: how can she travel
so far, get up so early, teach this class and still look so good? Her
skirts never even wrinkled! "
Susan Long, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA
"I was invited to participate in the NN/LM Consumer Advisory Panel that
Nancy chaired. She hosted a meeting in February 2001 in Seattle at the UW
campus and drew her diverse panel of representatives together. We spent a
gracious evening in her home the night we all arrived. The next day was
the meeting day. Late that morning, the 6.8 earthquake hit and we shared
the small space under the table. After the quake we quickly recessed to
assess damage and to contact our loved ones. We reconvened and decided to
carry on with our meeting, since most of us from out of town were unable
to leave, since transportation was shut down. Nancy joked how "our agenda
was so important, we shook Seattle". Talk about grace under pressure!"
Michele Spatz, Planetree Health Resource Center, The Dalles, OR
"I have lots of Nancy stories, many about how she was so welcoming, so
helpful, so encouraging. Perhaps the best is that she had me to her home
for lunch when I was new to Tacoma. I think I had only been there a
couple of weeks. She also invited Cathy Burroughs and we had a very
pleasant time talking about work but also about outside interests. I was
lonely at the time as Bob and Alex were still in Canada and Nancy
reached out with friendship beyond the work setting. It was warm and
gracious and helped to ease me through my first month in Tacoma."
Lea Starr, University of British Columbia Libraries, Vancouver, BC,
"I would like just like to say how much I have admired the gracious
intelligence that Nancy has brought to so many matters, professional and
personal. It is hard to imagine the RML without her, but it is wonderful
that she will continue to be part of the wider regional library
An anonymous friend
Dragonfly, Spring 2002 - Volume 33, Number 2
Dragonfly is the newsletter of the National Network of Libraries of
Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region. Produced by NN/LM PNR, under NLM
Contract N01-LM-1-3516. Maryanne Blake, Editor, blakema at u.washington.edu.
Michael Boer, Publication Manager, boerm at u.washington.edu. Dragonfly
is transmitted by e-mail via HLIB-NW and PNRNews.
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