[Libs-Or] Tribute to Dolores Judkins: A Librarian's Librarian

hleman at samhealth.org hleman at samhealth.org
Mon Oct 25 05:51:14 PDT 2010

Hi, all. I am passing the below along because Dolores Judkins of OHSU has been a huge help to librarians throughout our region and not just to medical ones. It was written for the Medical Library Association membership, but is also a case study in how to be an effective librarian and helpful colleague in general.

Here is what I wrote to the MLA:

Hello, all. Given how much admired and liked Dolores Judkins


is by her colleagues and mentees I had planned to nominate her for the Medical Library Association’s Virginia L. and William K. Beatty MLA Volunteer Service Award:


But it turns out that I blew it because Dolores (so like her to have served quietly and without fanfare) had served on the MLA’s nominations committee and therefore is now ineligible for the Beatty award.  Thus, her very service to the MLA means we cannot formally recognize her at least with the Beatty award.

But I wish to pass along the many letters I received (and the fact that offers to write letters in support of her nomination flooded in to my email inbox the very morning that I posted a request for such illustrates forcefully the esteem and affection in which she is held) in the support of the abortive nomination. I only wish I had sent the letter out to all of the MLA Chapters and not just to the PNC and to elsewhere in the library world and health sciences community and academe given the fact that many of the many librarians she has mentored over the years now work outside the Pacific Northwest and given that many of the people she has worked with in the MLA and in academia also live and work elsewhere. And that would not have even touched those in the non-library clinical and research realms, where Dolores has also assisted untold numbers of medical people and public health workers.

Many of the people who sent in tributes did it immediately and with eagerness to make sure to get comments in. Others wrote immediately to ask for more time so as to choose just the right wording to capture Dolores’ immense contribution and continuing contribution to health sciences librarianship in our region and elsewhere and to their own professional development and growth.

I was motivated to nominate Dolores because I had experienced firsthand as a library technical specialist Dolores’ support for our work in a small community hospital library. Dolores was always quick to help small medical libraries make the most of the generous help that her own Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) offered us and we were very grateful and lucky to have an advocate for our needs in tough budgetary times. I know for certain that her efforts raised the standards of medical care through better information provision in towns like my own little Corvallis, Oregon. Her efforts to help smaller institutions have helped to solidify OHSU’s reputation as a friend of medical people and patients throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Dolores also is personally a very kind, thoughtful person. I helped organize a symposium on Open Science and Dolores not only drove all the way up from Portland, Oregon to Redmond, Washington to attend it but the fact that she was to attend influenced many other librarians to also come, which I very much appreciated.

Dolores has also put in long hours as an organizer herself of conferences and her actions this year as one of the two primary organizers of the PNC annual conference were splendid. Not only did she help arrange the entire conference, but she helped moderate a lively session on research in the library sciences and gave a fascinating, edifying talk herself on her researches on the respective merits of Google, Google Scholar and PubMed. She is an engaging speaker able to draw on an impressive reservoir of knowledge in many aspects of search and library science. She shows by example how important it is to keep up on developments in our field and to share in various venues the results of our research. She is a role model extraordinaire.

And when my much beloved boss, Dorothy O’Brien, became ill and had to retire as library manager Dolores frequently asked about her and wished her well and was among the first to write a letter of condolence when she died, which was very comforting as it is hard to lose a mentor.

Dolores exemplifies the very best of the MLA vis-à-vis her dedication to the profession in terms of excellence in the field of librarianship. She is an outstanding member of the MLA who has encouraged many of us to become active participants in its events and sections and general operations.

Hope Leman, MLIS
Research Information Technologist
Center for Health Research and Quality
Samaritan Health Services
815 NW 9th Street Suite 203A
Corvallis, OR 97330
(541) 768-5712

Thanks, Hope.  I would be honored.  Dolores's contribution to the profession is extraordinary.

I have worked with Dolores for thirty-five years and could write a textbook on her accomplishments in furtherance of the mission of MLA and medical librarianship.  For the sake of brevity I will focus on just her contribution to PNC/MLA members:

The Pacific Northwest Chapter has a large geographical area with a small population - hence a small and somewhat isolated membership.  We have much to gain from MLA but knowing where and how to access resources and people is difficult, particularly for hospital librarians with modest budgets. Dolores has been our single best "go to" resource for more than 30 years.

Dolores is the most networked medical librarian I know in the Pacific Northwest.  Her interest and enthusiasm in our profession are endless and she forms strong alliances with hundreds of colleagues in MLA.  Dolores is generous and proactive in using her connections in  MLA to assist other librarians and libraries in the Northwest.  She helps job seekers, individuals who are interested in medical librarianship, mentors and trains novice librarians, helps hiring libraries identify potential candidates, connects hospital librarians with individuals, resources and programs in MLA.  She writes grants, develops programs and  brings life and energy to countless committees and work groups within MLA and PNC and makes the experience and the process more productive for all involved.

PNC/MLA is a lifeline for hospital librarians in the Northwest and Dolores is one key reason why it has made such a crucial difference to us.  She has been a strong leader in PNC/MLA for decades and has twice spearheaded initiatives that won the MLA/Majors Chapter Project of the Year award  (2004 - Survey software for all membership; 2009 - Expert Searching Webinars).  Both projects empowered area hospital librarians with enhanced and new skills.

Carolyn Adams | Reference Librarian I Good Samaritan Library I
1015 NW  22nd Ave  Portland OR 97210

Dolores is the epitome of a mentor.  (Mentor: a wise and trusted counselor or teacher). I think there is nothing about medical librarianship that she doesn't know, and she is always more than willing to share her tools and knowledge.  For the length of my 20+ year career, she has been very involved as a teacher and volunteer for MLA at the chapter level.  Just as one example, I so appreciated the online seminar she taught with Andrew Hamilton in 2008: Awakening the Searcher Within. It was a great educational experience and I could probably watch it repeatedly and learn something new every time.

We are fortunate to have Dolores in our MLA chapter!

Brynn Beals, MLS, AHIP
Library Program Manager
Franciscan Health System
St. Joseph Medical Center
MS 01-62
PO Box 2197
1717 S. J Street
Tacoma WA 98401-2197

I really appreciate how Dolores went out of her way to introduce me to the community of librarians in the Pacific Northwest.  Through her, I have become an active member of the Oregon Health Sciences Library Association and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association.  Dolores knows everyone and everything about health sciences librarianship in this part of the country and her knowledge and expertise have been invaluable to me.

Chris Shaffer, MS, AHIP
University Librarian and Associate Professor
Oregon Health & Science University Library

Hi Hope,
You picked a good one! Dolores helped me with Survey Monkey when I could not make it to PNC but wanted to try it. She was very generous in helping me and then when I enrolled in the class in Seattle the next year she really helped me go to the next level, in making my user surveys better with good planning and execution.

I loved the short series she did on being an expert searcher with a colleague. The way they demonstrated using features on the RML Rendezvous really helped me expand my searching skills, I truly became dissatisfied with "ONE & DONE" searching and have often revised my strategy based on the idea that the search process is never complete, but you need to have considered multiple mesh headings and text words to cover the concept your patron is seeking.

Kathy Fatkin RN, MLS, AHIP
Medical Librarian, Researcher & Evidence-Based Practice Coordinator Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center 3100 Channing Way, PO Box 2077 Idaho Falls ID 83403-2077

Phone 208-529-6077
Fax 208-529-7014

Hope - what a great idea! Thank you for taking this on and honoring one of the PNW's best medical librarians. Here's my paragraph:

For over three decades, Dolores Zegar Judkins has quietly and kindly mentored, shaped, encouraged, and taught medical librarians, at the local, regional, and national levels. In the beginning, those of us fortunate enough to live in the Pacific Northwest were able to utilize Dolores' vast expanse of knowledge while keeping her all to ourselves.

However, she soon began teaching classes for MLA and her delightful style (comfortable, witty, approachable, and just oh-so-smart) became sought after across the country. I firmly believe that the health of residents in Oregon, Washington, and other parts of Region 6 has been positively impacted by Dolores' ability to teach not only librarians, but healthcare providers, medical staff, and community members where and how to look for appropriate, accurate information.

If a librarian is having difficulty with a reference question, Dolores is always willing to analyze it with you; giving kudos on what has already been tried and expanding one's own thought process to try a new tangent. On a personal note, Dolores helped me make sense of library school, and I can always count on her to recommend a really great book to read! I most heartily encourage her nomination for the Medical Library Association's Virginia L. and William K. Beatty Volunteer Service Award.


Madelyn Hall, M.Ed., MLS l Medical Librarian Medical Center Library/Education Department P.O. Box 1600 Southwest Washington Medical Center l Vancouver, WA

Dolores is the only reason why I applied for the Woods Hole BioMedical Informatics Fellowship.  I was fortunate to be accepted.  That program was a career-enhancing move for me.  Because of my experience and knowledge gained at Woods Hole, I'm now actively involved with a health information exchange in northwestern Montana.

I am the only medical librarian on this very large working group and I am part of the one and only hospital with a medical library out of the rest of the participating facilities.  My role has increased the visibility of medical librarianship within the clinical staff of the participating small hospitals and clinics.  There has been a lot of education going on since not many committee members were aware of the services medical librarians provide.  Some of them didn't even know that such a type of library even existed.  And since then, we have been getting outside referrals to the library for information services.

I'm very grateful for Dolores finally convincing me to apply for the Woods Hole BioMedical Informatics Fellowship.  I truly would not have gone down this path if she hadn't been persistently encouraging me to attend.  And therefore, if she hadn't done that, many clinical staff in this area of Montana may have never learned about medical library services.  And I wouldn't have been as successful.

Also, Dolores spearheaded the mentoring group for our regional chapter.
I'm an avid mentor for MLA, mentoring new and aspiring medical librarians in all different places in the US.  I'm tickled that Dolores brought the benefits of mentoring "home" to our regional chapter.
Because of her work with this, I feel there are more local mentors and mentees than there would have been otherwise.

So, it's safe to say that Dolores has had a hand in many librarians'
careers.  As I'm mentoring, I find myself grinning as I relay the same message to some of my mentees... "You should seriously consider applying for the BioMedical Informatics program..."

The other thing that's so cool about Dolores is the "Awakening the
Searcher Within" series.    I still wish this was an ongoing program.
Hope, hopefully someone else has written about this!


Dolores singlehandedly wrote up one of our chapter projects which resulted in the PNC receiving the Chapter Award (again!)  That was sooooo cool!

Heidi Sue Adams, MS, AHIP | Lead Medical Librarian | Kalispell Regional Medical Center | Medical Library | 310 Sunnyview Lane | Kalispell MT 59901 |

I have known Dolores since 2003, and I credit her with drawing me into medical librarianship, as well as nudging me toward leadership roles in the profession.  Her great gift, beyond a voracious curiosity and her skill as a librarian, is her intrinsic drive to connect : people with people, people with jobs, people with roles and opportunities.  While her C.V. highlights her own professional excellence and service to the profession, it fails to capture what Dolores has contributed throughout our region as a connector and a catalyst for others’ success.  I can’t imagine anyone who more thoroughly embodies MLA’s mission to foster excellence in the professional achievement and leadership of health sciences librarians.

Noelle Stello, MSLIS
Chair, PNC/MLA (2010)
Associate Librarian
National College of Natural Medicine
049 SW Porter St. | Portland OR | 97201

Dolores Judkins is a remarkable asset to the profession of medical/health sciences librarianship.  She is the 'go to' woman when it comes to serving the PNC/MLA, MLA and librarians throughout the US.  It is difficult to know where to begin to list her accomplishments.  I worked with Dolores at OHSU for 14 years and have continued to work with her for the last decade as well.

Dolores has amazing spirit and unceasing amounts of energy to give to the profession.  She has served in nearly every position on the PNC/MLA Board, providing outstanding leadership during her tenure as chair and beyond.  She followed me as the Chapter Council Representative and showed her enthusiasm and dedication at the national level.  Dolores is the person responsible for bringing the PNC/MLA subscription to surveymonkey to the membership; not only  that, but she and I worked together to create a course on survey construction for librarians and taught it in several venues throughout the West.

Dolores is the quintessential professional 'giver'.  She has planned so many chapter meetings that it is difficult to count.  She has chaired or co-chaired the meeting planning for the chapter meetings in Oregon as far back as I can remember, at least for 25 years.  She is an active participant in the state group, OHSLA (Oregon Health Sciences Libraries' Association) and was very active in the Portland group (PAHSL--Portland Area Health Sciences Librarians) before it merged with OHSLA a few years ago.

Dolores has been a hospital librarian and a university librarian, so she brings great perspective to her current role as head of Research and Reference at OHSU.  She has always been outspoken in support of the needs of hospital librarians and has advocated for them at the state level.  She has created or co-created several programs which benefit hospital librarians, conducting outreach to hospital librarians, conducting training sessions for all types of librarians and giving generously to those from the community who have sought her guidance.

Dolores and I have worked together to develop an Evidence-based Practice course for nursing librarians.  We have taught it a number of times to librarians throughout the country, including at MLA in Chicago a couple of years ago.  Dolores is a stellar teacher.  She combines wit and creativity with in-depth knowledge and teaching skills.

Professor Patrice O'Donovan, AMLS, AHIP
Portland Campus Library Director, Linfield College
1015 NW 22nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97210

Dolores Judkins emulates a true librarian mentor she is first to step up and assist with a difficult search, planning a PNC meeting, CE classes, a rush ILL, etc.  It makes no difference who asks the question or what the request involves Dolores is always there to assist.  Her knowledge base is widespread, credible and forth giving a solid pillar of the Medical Library Association.


Sandra Hight, Librarian
Kissler Library & Research Center
office (208)367- 2271
fax (208)367-2702

Mailing Address:
1055 N. Curtis Road
Boise, ID  83706

Dolores has been an incredible resource for the
region for years and I'm happy to comment based on her contributions during my many years as RML Director!


Sherrilynne Fuller, Ph.D.
Biomedical and Health Informatics
School of Medicine and
Department of Health Services (Adj)
School of Public Health

Co-Director, Center for Public Health Informatics University of Washington BOX 35-4943 Seattle, Washington  98105
206-491-6380 (mobile)
206-616-5249 (FAX)
I have the good fortune to work under Dolores Judkins and have seen firsthand how her contributions elevate those around her.  I’m very impressed by her ability to encourage people to try new things and stretch themselves professionally.  Several years ago she asked me about my experience with and interest in writing grant proposals.  To be perfectly honest, grant writing wasn’t something to which I’d given a lot of thought.  After talking with her further and with the promise of her coaching, I decided to write my first grant proposals.  Several months later we learned that both proposals were funded.  Her encouragement was instrumental in making this happen and helped me become more comfortable with the grant writing process.  She is the epitome of what a good mentor should be and I feel very lucky that my professional path crossed hers.
Todd Hannon
OHSU Library
Reference & Instruction Librarian

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