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Latitudes May 26th, 2020
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Joyce Backus, NLM Associate Director for Library Operations, Announces Retirement!

Posted by on September 5th, 2019 Posted in: Announcements, General

After nearly 36 years of service at NLM, Joyce Backus will retire on February 29, 2020. She issued the following statement announcing the news:


I began my career at NLM as graduate student 36 years ago this October, and after careful consideration, I have decided to retire this February 29, 2020. During these many years, I have had the honor to serve with so many smart and engaged staff whose dedication inspires me to do my best work. NLM is an organization that knows its mission well and executes it for the benefit of people the world over. Working here for nearly 36 years means I’ve been privileged to work a group of professionals, some of whom have departed from NLM and some who remain, but all who have contributed to NLM’s legacy of nearly two centuries of high performing systems, processes and products. After so many years in public service, I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life and having more time to embrace the joys and adventures of life with family and friends.

NLM has been a wonderful place for me to contribute to the foundational work we do to support the study, research and practice of medicine the world over. I was privileged to have been part of so many projects over the years from the first the first NLM web site, HyperDOC, the first Locator OPAC, Grateful Med, MedlinePlus, and more recently, building our literature collection through the journals of MEDLINE and PMC. I have witnessed NLM staff innovate our products using stakeholder feedback and new technology and ending products when needed, while staying true to our mission to deliver the best possible information. Our users trust us to do that every day and we deliver on that trust.

It was my honor to serve under long-time director Dr. Lindberg who brought NLM into this century, and now to be part of Dr. Patti Brennan’s leadership team. I have worked to sponsor changes that will enable each of you to continue the transformation of NLM. During my remaining time I’ll be focusing on some key goals that include finalizing the new Board of Regents Collections and Preservation Policy, completing the integration of SIS staff, programs and services, hiring staff in key LO positions, and completing the final plans for transforming the public and staff spaces of building 38. I will be working with Patti Brennan, Jerry Sheehan, and Dianne Babski to ensure a smooth leadership transition. NLM has a great team in place and I look forward to hearing about your future successes while I enjoy “Chapter 2.”

Associate Director for Library Operations

Image of the author ABOUT Alan Carr
Alan Carr is the Associate Director, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region, based at UCLA.

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This project is funded by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement Number UG4LM012341 with the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library.

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