S: Beth Wescott - Retirement February 2010
FC: Thoughts on the Occasion of Her Retirement | February 2010 | Beth Wescott
1: An elegant sufficiency, content, Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, Ease and alternate labour, useful life, Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven! — James Thomson, 1700-1748, Spring | by her friends, family and colleagues
2: Dear Beth, In your many years of service, you've surely opened new worlds for the people you've served - that's a pretty good professional legacy and one of which you can be proud. You'll be missed here at the HS/HSL and NN/LM, SE/A. Having worked with you as both a member library resource sharer and briefly as a co-worker in the RML, I'm grateful for your example as someone who breaks down barriers to information access from the technological to the literacy-based. Thank you for all you've done on the health literacy front, especially. Yours are big shoes to fill, but Terri and I plan to do you proud. I hope the coming years are rewarding ones for you and your family and wish you health, happiness and peace in your new adventure. Relax, enjoy...and be sure to tell some stories along the way. Best Wishes, Nancy Patterson
3: Congratulations, You are about to embark on a long-awaited phase of life. One that promises long lazy afternoons, travels to far away lands and doing whatever you want. Its been a long time coming and its finally here. Enjoy it. Best Wishes, Charniel E. McDaniels | Hi Beth, Congratulations on your very well deserved retirement and many thanks for all your support and contributions over the years. It has been comforting to know you were at the helm and always on course. We will miss you and extend our best wishes for a long and healthy retirement. Suzy Burrows
4: Beth, Thank you so much for all your help and for your commitment to the SE/A region. Thank you for helping me understand the importance of easy-to-read material and health literacy. I remember lining up in the conference room with you and Terri and starting an assembly line with all the materials for the SE/A Health Literacy Toolkits. All of our hard work paid off! I remember our time with the Maryland Christian Home School Association. You sat patiently at the table while I took a break to go to the car to pump because I was breastfeeding at the time. We had a great time at the exhibit. We both looked at each other when a women - who was glowing - tried to convince me to have 11 children. I don't know what my look projected, but I remember thinking she was nuts :-) Best of luck in your retirement. Thank you for teaching me and sharing your ideas. I am sure you are going to enjoy your retirement spending time with the people you love. I am so happy and excited for you! Mandy Meloy
5: To Beth's colleagues and friends: Beth will be sorely missed by the DOCLINE Coordinators and by myself in particular. I first met Beth in person during MLA 2001 - the beginning of a friendship I value highly. As a newcomer to the RML world and to DOCLINE, my goal was to emulate the good solid work Beth provided for SE/A. I have always admired her astute mind, her keen wit, and her engaging dedication to literacy. In DOCLINE teleconferences, Beth always provided sound analysis and sage advice of issues and decisions facing us. She always saw many sides of an issue, a fact that enriched our discussions time and time again. She knew so many people in her region - whether by email, phone, or her travels. If there was ever any way she could help a colleague, she was ready and willing as when she helped me with a literacy exercise for a library school class I was teaching. It was pure pleasure to share her happiness when she received MLA's President Award for her extraordinary and well-deserved work. Beth, I wish you the best as you retire from the NN/LM! Julie Kwan, Library Network Coordinator NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region
6: Dear Beth, When we first met, you taught me about public health information. Sandy Teitelbaum | Beth, I would like to say you have helped this solo librarian numerous times over the years and I always appreciated your time and patience. The person that takes your place is going to have big shoes to fill. I wish you the best as you retire. I hope you plan to travel and do all the things you could not find the time for when you worked. If you're ever traveling I-95 south as far down as North Carolina, please stop by Halifax Regional Medical Center and visit our small library. I would love to see you. Lynn Powell
7: A very effective teacher, that's what she is. When I started working in the Medical Library about eight years ago, Document Delivery On-Line seemed a formidable task. But with Beth, as our instructor, everything seemed so easy to understand and she was very understanding, answering even some insignificant questions from a non-library science major participant like me in the three classes I attended where she was a presenter. She had a ready answer and went all the way to explain each point with clarity and with examples. To me Beth is the face of DOCLINE. With her retirement, we will sorely miss a beloved teacher in the forthcoming classes. Ping S. Tagala | I wish Beth the very best in retirement and any new adventures she pursues in the future. Beth has supported so many libraries and their staff's with her work on DOCLINE, encouraging EFTS, and her other roles in health literacy and disaster planning. Her work on SEA Currents helped all of us stay current on activities in the region. Her dedication to the network and supporting colleagues will be missed! Wishing Beth the very best! Pat Thibodeau
8: Beth is a natural teacher. I had the opportunity to assist her with her Easy-To-Read class while I was fairly new on the job as the consumer health coordinator for NN/LM. It was a two-day class at a public library in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. It was a large class, but Beth held their attention and had almost 100% participation from attendees. Anyone who teaches knows that this isn't an easy task. She made the topic interesting and fun by engaging their imagination to crate easy-to-read documents. At a time when I was still using note cards for my classes, this made a great impressions on me and helped me establish my own teaching style. I know many librarians didn't come into the profession thinking they'd be taking on such a large teaching role and I was one of them. I consider myself an "accidental teacher," but Beth is the real deal. I'll miss you in the office Beth! I know retirement will not bring an end to your natural talents and that many lucky others will benefit and be inspired from your experience and knowledge. Thanks! Terri Ottosen
9: Beth, Congratulations and best wishes for your retirement. You will be missed! Mary Fran Prottsman | Dear Beth, Best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement! Your assistance over the years with DOCLINE issues has been invaluable. The training that you provided to the MRMC Library Conference attendees at Ft. Detrick in November 2009 was one of the highlights of that meeting. May retirement bring you time to devote yourself to your passions and interests. Congratulations and take care! Best Wishes, Leanna Bush | Beth is a passionate caring and knowledgeable person. She is librarian personified and I have valued her expertise and willingness to share. I will miss Beth's forthright attitude at future NN/LM meetings. Siobhan Champ-Blackwell
10: Beth, you are a good colleague and friend. I appreciate our talks and your passion for health literacy. I'm glad that I was able to attend one of your classes on health literacy in Charleston, South Carolina. You also helped by being willing to talk. I wish you well in your retirement. Be well, enjoy life (and your grandchildren) and prosper. Best wishes, another Beth (Layton) | Beth, I will miss our chats about our families. I hope you have a wonderful and healthy retirement and are able to spend lots of time with your beloved grandchildren. Colette Becker
16: For my sister Beth on the occasion of her retirement at age 66 from Jo with Admiration At the May 2007 annual meeting of the Medical Library Association, Beth was awarded the Medical Library Association President's Award, for Exceptional Work in Health Literacy. I greatly regretted that I was unable to be in the audience to applaud when she accepted the fitting tribute. I saw it as not just for her work for NN/LM over the previous year, but for her dedicated and exceptional work to improve literacy, spanning a 43-year career to that point. The much-deserved professional accolade and affirmation reflected Beth's life-long commitment to expanding and enhancing people's lives by providing them with information and insight they needed to improve their own lives and those of others they touched. From 1964, when she began as the school librarian at Ridgeway Elementary School in Anne Arundel County, while finishing her under-graduate degree at night, to the present, Beth put her heart and many talents into every job she held. She constantly sought ways to best serve her students, audiences or clientele, over a wide-ranging number of places of employment and volunteer work. A common thread, for more than a decade of those early jobs, was her commitment to children's literature and the improvement of public and school libraries in that particular field. | That passion spurred Beth to earn her Master of Library Science at the University of Maryland College Park, which she received in December 1973. Her older son had started kindergarten that fall and his brother was three years old. Just two years later her husband died suddenly. Over the next half-dozen years Beth took various teaching jobs that allowed her maximum time at home to care for her young sons, one of whom had frequent medical problems and repeated hospitalizations. | In 1979 Beth went back to a full time desk job, doing billing for Cardiology Associates in downtown Baltimore, while looking for another library position. The nearby University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Medicine hired her in 1981 to be their Academic Coordinator/Departmental Librarian in the Department of Epidemiology, where she served capably for the next six years. She was coming up the learning curve on the of issues of medical libraries and the needs of their users. | Beth's career changed focus back to working at the Carroll County Public Library's Eldersburg branch as Children's Librarian for over two years. In 1990 she accepted the position of Client Services Assistant Administrator at Health Education Resources Organization (HERO), where her responsibilities covered a wide range of tasks. By educating HERO clients in the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, she touched countless lives in Baltimore City and lost many beloved clients to that dreaded and then deadly disease.
17: Beth took what she had learned at HERO, about the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic, with her in 1991 when she became the Acquisitions Librarian at the National AIDS Clearing House, which was operated under a CDC contract. Two years later she was promoted to the role of Resource Center LIbrarian. Her commitment there and efforts worldwide were Herculean in scope. Seven years later with the loss of that contract by Aspen Systems, Beth accepted a cutting edge position at the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as their Knowledge Manager. She has been working at NN/LM since 1999. Beth also worked part-time evenings and weekends from 1989 to 1999 at the Woodlawn Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library as a Generalist Librarian because of her enjoyment of working with the public, especially children. I couldn't be prouder of my sister Beth's accomplishments and contributions for better than 10 years as NN/LM, SE/A Region Network Access Coordinator. Her initial work on Disaster Preparedness proved prescient almost immediately, during the hurricane Katrina tragedy. Opening the door to public health forays into this heretofore overlooked but crucial field was typical of Beth's penchant for being ahead of her time. I believe she could have an entire next career in this field alone, as a trainer for proper protection of business, government, educational and medical facilities and employees. Beth's extensive travel throughout 10-states and the Caribbean, to cover NN/LM's Southeastern/Atlantic Region, afforded her several opportunities to visit our elderly mother in Winter Park, FL, over a six year period. Though Mom did not live long enough to see Beth reach this milestone of retirement, I know how grateful she was to have extra visits from Beth once or twice a year, using her private or vacation time while already in the Orlando region on NN/LM business. One time, Beth arranged a layover in Dallas on a flight back from a west coast business obligation for work and it was great to have her be able to visit at our home in Greenville, TX. On that trip her plane ticket was stolen from her in the L.A. airport after going through security. The airline would not check the plane to see who had taken her seat nor allow her to board, even though she had adequate ID and had already checked in. Beth paid for a second ticket and got on the next flight to Dallas, having no chance to notify us of the change. Another time she attended a Medical Library Association meeting in downtown Dallas and extended her stay with vacation days, to spend a long weekend at our house in Richardson, meeting my grandchildren for the first time. Though visits with Mom and me were a plus, I was particularly pleased that Beth was able to have her son Erik accompany her on a trip to Alaska, giving them a unique travel opportunity and exceptional mother/son time. Beth has been invited to be a Pre-conference presenter at the 2004 Alaska Health Summit in Anchorage in late November. Her topic was Easy to Read Health and Wellness Information, a subject near and dear to her heart. Beth's typically creative, enthusiastic and conscientious performance has served countless people well for better than four decades. She deserves recognition for having had an auspicious and caring career, making significant contributions to improving people's lives, with health and other information outreach. I wish for her a relaxing and rewarding next chapter in an already fascinating and fruitful career and life. I send my love and best wishes for her.
19: We Will Miss You!! | This book was created especially for Beth by her friend and colleague Colette Becker with contributions by her family, friends and colleagues