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CDL Departures May, June 2012

CDL reports with mixed feelings the upcoming retirements of three of our valued colleagues: John Ober, Margaret Low, and Claudia Woo.

John Ober began his stint as CDL Assistant Director for Education and Communications in 1998 and leaves us as Manager of Infrastructure and Applications Support, having held several other positions in between including Director of Scholarly Communications.  Prior to coming to CDL, he served as Development Librarian for Electronic Resources for the Center for Science, Technology and Information Resources/Library Learning Complex, California State University(CSU), Monterey Bay; and Acting Director, Library Systems, at UC Berkeley. As an Instructor at CSU Monterey and an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley, John taught courses on database management, networks and networked information, and the management of information technology

We will miss John’s intelligence, high standards, excellent judgment, writing skills, passion for scholarship, level-headedness, fairness, tact, moral compass and his wry sense of humor.  Many of his memos included final sections for “the insatiably curious” with tie-ins to perfectly matched and ironically titled country-western songs.  (A recent example had several with the words “share” and “point” in their titles following a memo about UCOP’s move to SharePoint.)

John leaves CDL May 24.  He and his wife Barbara will be moving to Chico where they plan to expand their gardening space, raise chickens, become involved in the civic life of Chico, and spend time with family.  In the spirit of the C-W song, “When You Leave Walk Out Backwards, So I’ll Think You’re Walking In”.   We will miss you, John, and wish you all the best!

Margaret Low will be retiring from the CDL on June 28 after 30 years of service to UC.  Margaret has been at CDL and its predecessor organization DLA (Division of Library Automation) since the early days and has made significant contributions throughout her valued years of service.  For the past several years Margaret has been a key member of the University of California Curation Center (UC3) team, most recently holding responsibilities for infrastructure, deployment, and operational support for all UC3 service offerings, as well as being the primary point of contact with CDL’s Infrastructure and Applications Support (IAS) and the ITS Unix group.  She has always brought to these activities great professionalism, collegiality, and unflagging good humor.

After CDL, Margaret plans to use her technical skills to host a personal website for her knitting, quilting and embroidery projects as well becoming more involved with the local craft communities.  She will be spending more time with her family in Southern California and planning long road trips. Since one of her many contributions to CDL was her organization of the coffee club, crucial to those early morning coffee drinkers, we wish you lots of good, strong coffee, Margaret!

Discovery & Delivery’s stalwart Claudia Woo is retiring on June 27.  Claudia started her career in library automation in 1981 working on the budget program.  In the late 1980s Claudia was responsible for the generation of the California Academic Library List of Serials (CALLS) on microfiche. After serials were added to the Melvyl database, and as Abstracting & Indexing (A&I) databases were added throughout the 1990s Claudia worked on her all time favorite program – SGGP, a generic table-driven program that could be configured to process a wide variety of bibliographic metadata records. The trick was to call generic routines in just the right order to accomplish almost any bibliographic metadata normalization.  With the retirement of the mainframe and the locally hosted Melvyl A&I databases Claudia played a leading role in sustaining Aleph Melvyl for nearly 10 years, as well as working on early metasearch programs like Searchlight and on VDX.

Claudia has also provided backup for many Discovery & Delivery systems. There is a growing folder on CDL’s shared server that speaks to Claudia’s contributions.

Claudia has been a wonderful colleague to us all and we admire the quiet good work she does in any community she enters.

Congratulations Claudia – we will miss you!

(Stephan Abrams, Lynne Cameron and Ellen Meltzer contributed to this piece.)