Deborah Lynn “Debbie” Dickson

Debbie Dickson

With many fond memories of good times shared and insights passed from one to another, we mark the passing of an APLIC stalwart and President of the Board in 2014. Debbie’s willingness to share was second to none and endeared her to so many of her colleagues.

Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) has posted a lovely remembrance.

Lori Delaney has asked that anyone who has pictures of Debbie get in touch with her to coordinate possibly sending these to the family.

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Bangladesh is now the world’s leading user of the WHO full-text journals database and Research4Life eResources, thanks to the Icddrb library staff advocacy and training.

Seated: Nazim Uddin, M. Al Mamun. Standing L to R: Shafiur Rahman, Syeda Humaira Quadri, Harun-or-Rashid Khandaker

More information about their services

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Ruth Sandor, CDE, University of Wisconsin – APLIC-I leader

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Tara Murray: Former APLIC-I member now Director of Information Services/Librarian at the American Philatelic Society (stamps!)

I first joined APLIC-I when I started my job as Information Core Director at Penn State’s Population Research Institute. I was a new professional – just a year out from receiving my MLIS – and new to the field of population. My colleagues in APLIC helped me understand the information needs of demographers and helped me locate difficult-to-find articles and documents, but perhaps most importantly they gave me a network of other information professionals to talk to.

My first exposure to conference planning came during my first APLIC-I conference, in Atlanta in 2002. I remember listening to discussions about the conference’s theme, programming, and social events and having my eyes opened to what it takes to plan a successful event. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would go on to work on many events in the following years, from planning APLIC board meetings and conferences, to hosting events for my local SLA chapter, to coordinating an international postal history symposium in my current job.

I’ve been involved in many other professional organizations, but APLIC-I always stands out for two reasons: the small size of the organization allowed me to really get to know the other members, and the diversity of the membership – including many different kinds of information professionals in many different settings – exposed me to new ideas and ways of doing things

The possibilities of digital information are transforming the way we work. Documents that were never searchable can be searched. Datasets can be combined. Huge amounts of data can be accessible from a desktop. This opens up powerful new opportunities, but also many questions about ethics, privacy, security, and intellectual property.

On the other hand, I think personal relationships will be even more important. We can no longer expect that users will come to the library – either its physical or virtual presence. Libraries and librarians need to become more embedded in their users’ lives and work. It is crucial for information professionals to act as part of teams within their organizations, rather than as cost centers. All that said, and despite the potential of digital information, I’ve yet to see a technology as adaptable and long-living as print on paper, and I don’t see books going away any time soon.

I came to the American Philatelic Research Library in July 2010, after spending nine years as an information services director for the Population Research Institute at nearby Penn State University. I’m active in the Special Libraries Association (SLA) (Cabinet Chair, 2014; Secretary, 2015) and Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) and serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Library Administration. The world’s largest library dedicated to stamp collecting and postal history, it is just 11 miles from Penn State’s campus so I still live in State College. Philatelists are incredible researchers and writers, and most place a high value on libraries. It’s refreshing to work in a place where the library is considered so integral to the larger organization. In 2016, we opened a new 19,000-square-foot library, and I was deeply involved in the design, construction, and moving. Believe it or not, I still use census data in this job – we do censuses of stamps!

I’ve been very active with the Special Libraries Association, and recently served on the board of directors and as secretary. I always enjoy seeing friends from APLIC at conferences. I also serve on the editorial board for the Journal of Library Administration, editing a column on special libraries. I’d love to get a contribution for the column from an APLIC member – if you have an idea, please get in touch with me! Tara Murray

Outside of work, I’ve gotten even more into running. In 2010, I ran a 50-mile race, and I’m getting ready to run the Boston Marathon for the ninth time this April. I’m excited to be raising money for Centre Volunteers in Medicine, a local organization providing medical, dental, and case management services to people without health insurance.




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Nykia Perez Kibler’s Aplic history photos

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Historic APLIC-I photos shared from Anne Ilacqua

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APLIC Conference tour photos – dates, places, names needed

APLIC members in front of the Boston Public Library

2011 Washington DC Urban Institute tour

LOC Tour

Oswald Tower at Penn State, home of the Population Research Institute. From left to right, Lori Delaney, Claire Twose, Yan Fu, Julia Cleaver, Tara Murray, Kay Willson, Joann Donatiello, Kiet Bang. I think this was an APLIC board meeting


University of Michigan, maybe ICPSR’s offices






APLIC at New Orleans Public Library, 2008

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H. Neil Zimmerman

In celebration of APLIC-I 50th Anniversary, we are posting profiles of many of our retired former members.  We are also seeking current contact information for colleagues who should be appearing in this blog or attending our Chicago Conference April 24-26 2017.  Please contact Jean Sack with former member information / your profile!

Neil was a founding officer of APLIC, the Association of Population/Family Planning Libraries and Information Centers in the 1970s. He developed and implemented a program to provide academic books to libraries in developing countries. As an active participant in the APLIC-I listserv, Neil both requested and routinely provided hard-to-find documents for other colleagues.

Neil Zimmerman, Population Council Librarian, retired at the end of February 2017.  In more than four decades of service, Neil has shown unwavering commitment to providing the best library collections and services for the Council’s researchers and editors. Neil joined the Council in 1974 as its first professional librarian, coordinating acquisitions and information requests. In 1985, he catalogued and expanded access to major periodical and social science indexes, including the “Women and Development” collection, which offered many items that were unpublished and unavailable elsewhere.

Spurred in part by changes in the scholarly and publishing environments, Neil created an online catalog in the late 1990s to integrate the library’s records with WorldCat, the world’s database of library collections. This allows the Council to connect with resources in libraries globally through interlibrary loan. Over the last 12 years, Neil has built a robust service for journal articles and has supplied access to more than 18,000 articles for staff in all offices. Most recently, Neil led an initiative to digitize legacy publications, including the Council’s annual report collection.

His Population Council colleagues In New York gave Neil a hearty thank you for his exceptional service and leadership, and celebrated Neil’s accomplishments at a reception on Tuesday, 28 February. Those who were not able to attend extended their best wishes and remarks to

What will Neil do after “retirement”? Neil’s love of the outdoors can be traced back more than 35 years—to a raffle, a car and little bit of luck.

“It all started in 1974 when I won a car in a raffle and didn’t know what to do with the thing,” Zimmerman said. “I was lucky enough to be in New York, which has a wealth of open space, so I started going camping with friends.” Those camping trips familiarized Zimmerman, now 67, with the maps of the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference, an organization he ultimately joined, and then served as president from 1987 to 2001. During his time with the Trail Conference, the organization published a Shawangunk trail map, which acquainted Zimmerman with a core area for OSI’s landscape protection efforts.  “Week after week, as we came up to check for the accuracy of the maps, we were blown away by the beauty of the Shawangunks,” he said. He has since moved to Accord, NY, in the heart of the region, and is now president of the Friends of the Shawangunks.

Excerpt from


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Margaret (Peggy) D’Adamo

In celebration of APLIC-I 50th Anniversary, we are posting profiles of many of our retired former members.  We are also seeking current contact information for colleagues who should be appearing in this blog or attending our Chicago Conference April 24-26 2017.  Please contact Jean Sack with former member information / your profile!

I joined APLIC-I when I was working at JHU/CCP.  I don’t think my colleagues helped me directly since my job at the time was somewhat unique.  However I valued the community of like-minded librarians.

[Find Peggy! Was this photo of APLIC-I taken during the Chicago conference ?  We invite APLIC-I to name the 10 friends in your comments]

I valued belonging to APLIC-I for being part of a community of librarians who work in population and RH and who share many of the same challenges and priorities. Now I am concerned that librarians will be less valued as people access digital tools and resources in the future.

Since leaving JHU/CCP and joining as KM/IT Adviser at USAID/GH/PRH/PEC, I have had lots of great experiences at USAID with travel to many different places including a focus on work in South Sudan and West Africa.

Margaret (Peggy) D’Adamo


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Ruth Sandor

In celebration of APLIC-I 50th Anniversary, we are posting profiles of many of our retired former members.  We are also seeking current contact information for colleagues who should be appearing in this blog or attending our Chicago Conference April 24-26 2017.  Please contact Jean Sack with former member information / your profile!

In 1970 I was hired as the first professional information specialist at the Center for Demography, Department of Sociology, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The Director of the Center told me there was an organization of other population information specialists and more or less ordered me to join and attend a meeting at Chapel Hill.

I went, was astounded at the depth of knowledge of the field and delighted to have colleagues with whom to consult.

The fact that APLIC met in conjunction with PAA raised my standing with my professorial team at Wisconsin.  Some of the other NIH-funded population research centers did not have libraries nor information professionals, and it became a recruiting tool for Wisconsin.  As our grads dispersed, they pushed for such services.  Or called for assistance.

Speakers and workshops, along with networking, were valuable features of APLIC.

If I were to write of the value of belonging to APLIC-I in haiku

Kolbe, Green, Zuga

Hankinson and Zimmerman

Reservoirs of pop knowledge

In envisaging our information field progressing into the next 50 years:  The basics remain the same: selection of solid dependable information, storage and retrievability, and using reliable criteria.  Subject specialist do not often have the training to use the tools in the way that information specialists do.

What fascinating places, jobs, life-experiences have you had in the years since you were an APLIC-I member? I have reinvented myself as a watercolor artist.  I spend half of the year in the middle of a forest in a small cottage with no internet signal, and the other half in a glass condo in the center of the state’s capitol city. Common to both places: a great public library.

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