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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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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and social science indexes, including the “Women and Development” collection, which offered many items that were unpublished and unavailable elsewhere.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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Joe Matthews discusses adding value

Based on his new book about Adding Value, Joe Matthews notes that the concept of adding value is bandied about in the management, marketing, and strategic planning literature but is rarely broken down and discussed so that anyone can really understand the concept and, more importantly, learn how they can add value in the work that they do. With rules changing rapidly, it’s time for a look at how to adapt.

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