Miriam Libbey          Who was Miriam Libbey?

Each year at our annual meeting, GHSLA invites an eminent professional in medical librarianship to deliver the Miriam Libbey Lecture. But who was Miriam Libbey, and why was she so important to our profession? In order to answer that question for some of our newer members, as well as all medical librarians who want to know more one of the most influential figures in our profession, we invite you to learn more here by reading Mildred Langner’s tribute to Miriam Libbey, reprinted from the BMLA, or by attending one of our meetings to enjoy presentations from librarians inspired by Ms. Libbey’s enduring example.


The Miriam H. Libbey Lectureship was established in 1991 by the Georgia Health Sciences Library Association (GHSLA) to support an annual lecture in honor of Miriam Hawkins Libbey, former Librarian of the A. W. Calhoun Medical Library of Emory University, Fellow of the Medical Library Association, and instructor of the courses in medical librarianship at the Emory University Division of Library and Information Management.

1st (1991): Savannah, GA
Tom Basler, “Yesterday & Today – Pride in Georgia Health Sciences Librarianship”

At the time of his presentation in March 1991, Dr. Basler was completing his long tenure as Professor and Director of Libraries at the Robert B. Greenblatt Library, Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. In April 1991, he began his current position as Director of Libraries and Learning Resource Centers, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

2nd (1992): Unicoi State Park, Helen, GA
Patti Corbett, “Bibliography by the Yard”

In 1992, Ms. Corbett was Regional Account Manager for CD Plus. Her career with the company has continued, and she is now Product Manager, Corporate Services at Ovid Technologies, Inc.

3rd (1993): Jekyll Island, GA
Eloise Foster, “Leadership & Learning: Lifelong Exploration”

Ms. Foster was, and still is, Director of the AHA Resource Center at the American Hospital Association in Chicago. In addition to this position, she is also the Director of the National Information Center for Health Services Administration.

4th (1994): Joint Meeting with SCHL, Terrace Garden Inn, Atlanta, GA
T. Mark Hodges, “One Score and Four Personal and Professional Recollections on Miriam Libbey and Medical Librarianship 1970-1994″

At the time of the presentation, Mr. Hodges was Director of the Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He retired in June 1995, having served at Vanderbilt since 1972, and now has the title of Professor of Medical Information Emeritus. A Fellow of MLA since 1995, he was the MLA Janet Doe Lecturer in 1997 and received the MLA Marcia C. Noyes Award in 1999.

5th (1995): Radisson Hotel, Macon, GA
Jane A. Lambremont, “Miriam Libbey: From a Distance”

In 1995, Ms. Lambremont was Chief of Library Services at the VA Medical Center in Alexandria, Louisiana. She became a Fellow of MLA in 1996. She retired in January of 1998, and is currently a part-time consumer health librarian at a hospital in Baton Rouge.

6th (1996): Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, GA
Holly Shipp Buchanan, “Metalibrarians and the Crossroads of Metamorphosis and Metanoia”

At the time of her presentation, Dr. Buchanan was Associate Professor and Director of Libraries at the Robert B. Greenblatt Library, Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. In August 1997, she began her present position as Associate Professor, School of Medicine, and Director of Health Sciences Center Library and Computer Services, University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

7th (1997): Radisson Riverfront Hotel, Augusta, GA
Fred Roper, “Knowledge and Skills to Thrive in the 21st Century”

Since 1974, Dr. Roper has been Dean of the College of Library & Information Science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He was named a MLA Fellow in 1997, received the 1998 MLA Marcia C. Noyes Award, and was the 1999 recipient of the Special Library Association’s John Cotton Dana Award.

8th (1998): Joint Meeting with FHSLA, Riverfront Hilton & Towers, Jacksonville, FL
Ken Robichaux & Bob Holder, “Communications, Partnerships, and Libraries & Vendors”

Mr. Robichaux is, and was in 1998, Sales Coordinator for Majors Scientific Books, Inc. covering the states of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Mr. Holder was Southern Marketing Manager for Blackwell Information Services. He has since retired and now resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

9th (1999): Unicoi State Park & Lodge, Helen, GA
Tom Singarella, “Where Did Digital Technology Come From and Where is it Going?”

Since 1994, Dr. Singarella has held the position of Professor and Director, Health Sciences Library and Biocommunications Center at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

10th (2000): Sea Palms, St. Simons Island, GA
Carol Burns, “A Life of Learning”

Ms. Burns served as the Director of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library of Emory University.

11th (2001): Columbus Hilton, Columbus, GA
Jocelyn Rankin, “Libraries Reaching Out–Lifeline to Our States and the World”

Dr. Rankin served as the Director of the Mercer University School of Medicine from its founding in 1982. At the time of this presentation, she had recently retired from Mercer and had begun serving as Chief, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Information Center.

12th (2002): Crowne Plaza Ravinia, Atlanta, GA
Linda Garr Markwell, “Medical Librarianship: Where it Started and Where it is Going?”

Ms. Markwell serves as the Head, Branch Library Services for Emory University Health Sciences Center Library, Grady Branch, Atlanta. At the time of this presentation, Ms. Markwell was serving on the Board of Directors of MLA, and is an active member in the Southern Chapter of MLA.

13th (2003): Savannah Marriott Riverfront, Savannah, GA
Jan LaBeause, “SHHH. Your Image is Showing: Hollywood Looks at Librarians.”

Ms. LaBeause is the Director of the Mercer University School of Medicine Library & Peyton T. Anderson Learning Resources Center. She also served for many years as the director of the Georgia Interactive Network for Medical Information (GaIN) consortium.

14th (2004): Lake Lanier Islands, GA
Marilyn Barry, “What Did They Know? And When Did They Know It? Progress in Helping Clinicians Reach Decisions”

Ms. Barry is Director of the Health Sciences Library, DeKalb Medical Center, Decatur GA.

15th (2005): Georgia Center for Continuing Education, Athens, GA
Mary Fielder, “Evolution in Real Time: Darwin’s Librarians”

Ms. Fielder is Librarian at Three Rivers AHEC, Columbus GA.

16th (2006): Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, GA
Mary Fran Prottsman, “Where are They Now? Libbey’s Legacies”

Ms. Prottsman is a librarian with the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Information Technology in Silver Spring, MD.

17th (2007): Brasstown Valley Resort, Young Harris, GA
Sandra Franklin, “Impacting Change in Your Environment: Do You Make a Difference?”

Ms. Franklin is library director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library at Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

18th (2008): Lake Blackshear Resort, Cordele, GA
Sharon Cann, “A Librarian’s Career in Georgia”

Ms. Cann is the retired library director of the Georgia Baptist School of Nursing Library, Atlanta, GA.

19th (2009): Foundry Park Inn, Athens, GA
Stephen Koplan, “Information Literacy: Where It’s Been, Where It Is, and Where It Goes Next”

Mr. Koplan is curriculum coordinator for the Library & Information Technology Certificate Program at Georgia Perimeter College.

20th (2010): Merriott Hotel, Augusta, GA
Lauren Benevich, “Remembering a Career”

Ms. Benevich is a retired librarian for Solvey Pharmaceuticals, now Abbott Laboratories, in Marietta, GA.

21th (2011): Desoto Hilton Hotel, Savannah, GA
Eugenia Abbey, “Medical Librarianship–From Medical Library to College Library”

Ms. Abbey is a librarian/assistant professor at Georgia Perimeter College.

22nd (2012): Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center, Atlanta, GA
T. Scott Plutchak, “Lost Opportunities: A Decade of the OA Wars”

Mr. Plutchak is Director of the UAB Lister Hill Library.

23rd (2013): Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, GA
Rosalind K. Lett

Ms. Lett is Associate Director Huntsville Madison County Public Library.

24th (2014): Barnsley Gardens Resort, Adairsville, GA
Joe Swanson, Jr., “Miriam Libbey: Librarian or Informationist?”

Mr. Swanson is Director of the Morehouse School of Medicine Library

2015: Macon, GA – No Lecture Presented

25th (2016):  Courtyard by Marriott, Decatur, GA
Miriam Libbey Panel, “The Importance of Increasing the Health Knowledge of Your Community”

Panel Members
Preston Burt, Health Communications Specialist, Environmental Health Tracking Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Laura Hauser, DeKalb County Public Library Literacy Services Director
Dr. Glenda Knight, executive director of Cutting Edge Health Options & co-chair of the Diabetes Community Action Coalition

26th (2017): Graduate Athens Hotel and Conference Center, Athens, GA
Miriam Libbey Panel, “Creating Alliances / Strengthening Resources”

Panel Members
Lori Graham, Medical Librarian and CME Coordinator at Tanner Medical Center, Carrollton, Georgia
Sharon Leslie, Public Health and Health Sciences Librarian, Georgia State University
Wanda Thomas, Clinical Reference Librarian, Skelton Medical Library, Mercer University School of Medicine

27th (2018): Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA, in conjunction with the Medical Library Association annual meeting
Jonathan Eldredge, “The Relationship between Evidence and Decision Making”

Dr. Eldredge is an Associate Professor University of New Mexico School of Medicine Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center.

28th (2019): James Madison Inn and Conference Center, Madison, GA
Holly Goodson Rubio, Director of Institutional Research, Augusta University.

29th (2020): Hotel Indigo Atlanta, Vinings, GA
Shannon Jones, TBA

Ms. Jones is the Director of Libraries at the Medical University of South Carolina.