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Farewell to Margery Tibbetts

After 31 years of service, Margery Tibbetts, long time technical lead for UCe-Links and WorldCat Local, will retire from CDL, effective April 5, 2016. Margery started working in academic libraries her freshman year at Purdue University and continued working there until she graduated in Dec 1978. Current technology at the time included teletype machines and paper pick lists.

Before entering the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Margery worked for the Purdue University Catalog department doing copy cataloging using the early OCLC cataloging interface (that terminal model is now in the Smithsonian Museum of American History!) While at Purdue, she was mentored into the library profession by Mimi Drake (hats off to Mimi and her foresight in talent spotting).

Margery graduated in Dec 1983, receiving the equivalent of 2 degrees, one in traditional library services such as cataloging, reference and bibliographies, and the other in the then ‘emerging’ field of library automation. Margery sent her resume to the ALA placement service, and was recruited to DLA, CDL’s predecessor organization. And thus began her illustrious career at CDL.

A recap of Margery’s career is akin to pulling back a curtain to the dawn of the intersection between libraries and computers. Margery was instrumental in developing core services that have evolved over time, are still in place, heavily used, and reflect a lasting legacy to the digital library community.

Margery was part of all of the generations of Melvyl, from birth to the current 4th generation. For 1st generation Melvyl, she developed programs to prepare MARC records for ingest into the Melvyl database. Similarly, she helped create Melvyl Medline.

Margery was tech lead for Melvyl’s Z39.50 server (2nd generation). In addition to being used by the Melvyl Z39.50 client (MelWeb) the server was used by Z39.50 clients around the globe. The next incarnation for Melvyl was the transition to Aleph Melvyl, when the Abstract and Indexing databases that were part of 2nd generation Melvyl moved to vendor platforms.  In 2009, UC moved to Melvyl based on WorldCat Local (Melvyl 4th generation).  Margery is advising us and OCLC on our move to WorldCat Discovery (Melvyl 5th generation), which will happen after her retirement.

At the same time she was busily working on all of Melvyl’s incarnations, Margery played an active and important role in developing link resolver technology. She was part of the Elsevier Tulip and IEEE/IEL linking projects – the first forays into linking citations to the full text of articles – which was groundbreaking technology. She developed CDL’s link resolver based on a journal metadata database and knowledge of how to construct links to the full text of articles at the publisher site. This was a brand new concept at the time and became an active part of early e-journal licensing activity. Margery worked on UC-eLinks (SFX) from version 1.2 to version 4.8 and she worked with the UC-eLinks Admin liaison team so campuses could maintain their locally licensed resources in UC-eLinks.

The third leg of Margery’s career involves her deep involvement in electronic resource management at UC, from the first meeting at UCI in 2004 to Verde (consortia solution) to today’s Serial Solution 360 Resource Manager (CDL solution).

While we at CDL have greatly appreciated and respected Margery’s many technical accomplishments, we would like to acknowledge her other contributions to CDL. Margery has participated in all of our potlucks, dessert contests, Halloween parties, showers, retirements and every social occasion. She continually delights us with homemade pies, cakes, and homemade ice cream. Retired colleagues received homemade quilts; and many CDL staff babies received homemade gifts, too.

Margery will relocate back to the Midwest by year’s end, where she has plans for an active retirement. She’s purchased an 8 harness floor loom for weaving, and is already considering volunteer opportunities. She’ll continue knitting, beading, jewelry making and other crafts, and astonishing us with her creativity and skill.

We recognize Margery’s deep and abiding accomplishments to the University of California community and to the larger library community, and will miss her greatly.