Thursday, November 19, 2009

Scott Adams, Health Sciences Librarian

November 20 is the centennial of the birth of Scott Adams (1909-1982), noted health sciences librarian, not the creator of the cartoon character Dilbert. Adams is the subject of the first entry in the Supplement to the Dictionary of American Library Biography. The entry was written by Estelle Brodman, an extraordinary health sciences librarian herself. Among his other positions, Adams worked for the Army Medical Library (now the National Library of Medicine), the Library of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). He was a major contributor to the development of the MEDLARS computer system at NLM. He is author of Medical Bibliography in an Age of Discontinuity (Medical Library Association, 1981). Included among an extensive list of accomplishments and positive comments, Brodman wrote the following: "Scott Adams was quick with new and innovative ideas - sometimes pursuing some unworthy ones uselessly. His tendency to procrastinate and leave large quantities of work to be done quickly irritated his assistants and lost him secretaries." Another indication that even our best have their faults. Happy birthday Scott Adams!

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