Who's Using the NCI-Frederick Scientific Library?

Written by Dr. Lucy Anderson
September 2010


The scientific literature flows bumptiously past us, in myriad fast-moving streams from all directions, none with a pace or a clarity that permits ready filtration. Yet, the goodies in these non-stopping currents must somehow be netted. Enter, a Stream Master: the Scientific Library. In my 28 years here, I have often pursued several diverse projects simultaneously - finish the old stuff, even while developing something new. For each topic, the literature must be captured systematically. The Scientific Library makes this feasible. Earlier, it was: go to the library, take the journals on my list to a carrel, leaf through, mark the articles to copy. For years, the ever-willing Larry Claggett made the job go faster, by doing the actual copying. (In those days, the library was often jammed, with lines for the copiers!) I loved those quiet hours of scholarly mining. The Scientific Library made the process efficient: a well-chosen journal selection, almost every title I needed; and a fastidiously kept collection, with no missing issues. Darlene’s speed and accuracy in re-shelving was matched only by her cheerfulness. Of the many small libraries I have used, none other has been so effective at providing adequate journal selection, intact collection, and pleasant, knowledgeable staff. These days, all is revealed on-line; the Scientific Library again makes efficient usage possible, with clear, organized web sites and access to voluminous collections.

Also I have been grateful for occasions when I needed materials or information in a hurry, e.g. for an imminent study section. Whoever I found in the Library responded immediately to my breathless needs, and found what was required. In addition, the Scientific Library presents many unique programs and offerings that contribute greatly to campus morale. I have attended and enjoyed some of these occasionally and would have been to more if time had permitted.

Scientific Library, and your exceptional staff, I will miss you greatly in my upcoming retirement. Let’s call it au revoir. I will be in from time to time.