Saturday April 21st 2018




Posts Tagged ‘retirement’

Tony Harvell Retires

Tony Harvell

This past January Tony Harvell retired after almost 38 years  as an information professional.  His career as a Government Documents librarian started at Ohio University in 1975, later at Miami University in Ohio.  He worked at the University of Florida (1981-1983) and later at the University of Miami (1983-1991). While at the University of Miami, he received his MA in Latin American Studies and began working as Latin American Bibliographer there.

In 1991 he moved to California to the University of San Diego to be Head of Reference and Librarian for Latin American & Iberian Studies. Tony was  later promoted to Head of Collection Management. In 2003 he became Head of Acquisitions at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD), with Latin American Studies always at his side, even if not always as part of his formal duties.  At SALALM’s 59th annual conference (2004), Tony earned the Jose Toribio Medina Award awarded for the best reference work that year (Latin American Dramatists since 1945: a Bio-bibliographical Guide).

In 2009, he was promoted to Distinguished Librarian status at UCSD, the highest rank for the librarian series at the University of California. More recently, Tony assumed the role of Latin American and Iberian Humanities Librarian at UCSD and chaired the California Cooperative Collection Development Group (CALAFIA).

Tony’s first SALALM conference was in 1987 in Miami. Throughout those 25 years, he was an active member serving in various committees. Many of us remember his quick wit and humor, which could make even the driest meeting more enjoyable.  He plans to travel, learn Italian and spend many a sunny day at the beach. Our CALAFIA colleagues and I wish him well on his “jubilación.”

Adán Griego
Stanford University

Lesbia O. Varona and Esperanza B. de Varona Retire

Dear Friends of the Cuban Heritage Collection,

We write to you to inform you of the retirements of two of the University of Miami Libraries’ most distinguished Professors and colleagues Lesbia O. Varona, Associate Professor and Esperanza B. de Varona, Professor and the Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection. Both have informed us of their intention to retire from the University faculty May 31, 2013.


Lesbia O. Varona

Associate Professor Lesbia O. Varona

The work of innumerable students and scholars of Cuba has been enriched by the generosity and expertise of Lesbia O. Varona. She has supported their work by building deep and comprehensive collections and through her tireless efforts as a reference librarian, always on the trail of just the source needed to answer the thousands of research questions that have crossed her desk. Mrs. Varona began her career in research libraries in Havana, Cuba at the Bibliotheca Nacional José Marti, Cuba’s national library, where she worked until 1966. After her arrival in Miami Mrs. Varona joined the staff of the Otto G. Richter Library and has continued to do so over the past four decades. After completing a BA in Spanish at the University of Miami and a master’s in library science at Florida State University, Mrs. Varona became a University of Miami Faculty member with her appointment as Serials Librarian in the Periodicals and Government Publications Department and was soon promoted to Head of Microforms and Reserves, a position she held for ten years. Mrs. Varona currently serves as the Libraries’ Reference Librarian and Cuban and Latin American Bibliographer for the Cuban Heritage Collection and has received distinction as a bibliographer due to her part in building the Libraries’ renown and comprehensive Latin American and Cuban holdings. Mrs. Varona is also known for her extensive scholarly knowledge of literature, the performing arts, theater, and the humanities which she has also used to build rich and deep resources at the University and to support the research of innumerable students and scholars. Mrs. Varona has been an active member of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) and is an active participant in the cultural life of South Florida.

Professor Esperanza B. de Varona, the Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection

Mrs. Esperanza B. de Varona has contributed unparalleled leadership, creativity, and service and has worked effortlessly as a librarian and archivist to build and establish the Cuban Heritage Collection as one of the most comprehensive internationally recognized archives in the world. Mrs. de Varona’s career at the University of Miami has spanned 40 years and included extensive work and service to the Libraries most specifically to its special collections. Mrs. de Varona led the initiative to build the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion and also worked in partnership to secure the Collection’s most recent grant award from The Goizueta Foundation that has supports the acquisition, processing, and digitization of materials and the creation of the undergraduate scholars and graduate fellows research programs. Mrs. de Varona’s reputation and influence have attracted many valuable collections to the University, and she has acted as an outstanding ambassador for the Libraries and the University.

Mrs. de Varona’s service to the University and the Profession are also extensive. She served as a member of the UM Academic Personnel Board, as a founding member and later president of the Society of Florida Archivists, and as a member of the State Historical Records Advisory Board as appointed by three consecutive governors. She is a member of the Society of American Archivists, the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM), and an honorary member of the Beta Phi Mu, the International Library and Information Studies Honor Society. Mrs. de Varona has spoken at many national and international conferences and events and has received many honors and awards to include the Floridiana Award, presented by the Cuban Women’s Club in 1994; the International Award from the Asociación Cultural con Cuba en la Distancia in Cádiz, Spain in 2003; an Award of Excellence from the Society of Florida Archivists in 2004; a Proclamation by Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners naming Friday, May 14, 2004 as Esperanza B. de Varona Day; and the “Tributo a la Mujer Hispanic Award” in the category of education by the magazine Vanidades, the world’s leading Spanish-language women’s lifestyle magazine in 2006. In 2009 Mrs. de Varona was also honored as one of the recipients of the Sara Hopkins Woodruff Spectrum Awards for Women awarded by the American Red Cross, receiving the JN McArthur Education Award. Mrs. de Varona has mentored women and Hispanics during her long career and tirelessly promotes the preservation and dissemination of diverse cultures and histories in the community. Mrs. de Varona has worked to build an archive that will serve for generations and leaves a legacy that will support the research of scholars and students internationally for years to come.

We are very pleased to add that both Lesbia and Esperanza will continue to be active in the Cuban Heritage Collection as volunteers so their colleagues, the Libraries, researchers, and the community will continue to benefit from their invaluable experience as we move forward. Their service to the University and their efforts in support of the Libraries and the profession are significant. It is impossible to adequately thank them for their contributions.

Please join us in congratulating them on their distinguished careers and service and wishing them all the best in their retirement.


William D. Walker
Dean and University Librarian
University of Miami Libraries

Yolanda Cooper
Deputy University Librarian
University of Miami Libraries


Jean Dickson Retires

Jean Dickson, University at Buffalo Librarian Extraordinaire, began her Title F leave in early July as a prelude to her January, 2012 retirement.  We will plan an event honoring and celebrating Jean sometime in the fall.  Jean will be in her office in Lockwood on occasion, and will spend the next six months working on special projects related to the Polish Collection and her ongoing research in music.  Jean has been a force in the Libraries for so long that it is difficult to summarize it all here, but I will try to highlight some of the many outstanding contributions she’s made.

Jean’s degrees and studies show the true nature of her lifelong learning and the wide range of her interests.  She holds a B.A. from Cornell and an M.A. in Library Science from the University of Chicago.  She has taken coursework in Spanish, Polish, and Russian at Middlebury College, University at Buffalo (UB), and Jaggelonian University (Krakow, Poland).  As an undergraduate, Jean pursued an Exchange fellowship in Gottingen, Germany.  All of these experiences and studies prepared her well for her future responsibilities in the UB Libraries, where she is the “go to” person for many world languages and literatures.

Jean began her career as a librarian at Northwestern University, where she was a Monograph Cataloger.  She arrived at UB in 1986 as a Monograph Cataloger in CTS.  In 1988, the Libraries were fortunate to have her join Lockwood Library, where she is the liaison to the Romance Languages and Literatures and Linguistics departments and the Caribbean Cultural Studies Program and the Curator of the Polish Collection.  Jean excels in her liaison role, and has developed strong relationships with a variety of faculty and students with whom she has consulted on collections, research and library resources.  Jean is also an incredible reference librarian – she works well with everyone who asks for help, and she does not rest until she finds the answers.  As Curator of the Polish Collection, Jean has overseen the expansion of the collection, initiated interesting digitization efforts and increased outreach to the community.  Jean also works well with students in the classroom, where she teaches a range of students from first-year students to Ph.D. candidates.  In recent years, Jean began presenting orientation sessions for international students, a group which greatly values her involvement, accessibility and expertise.  Jean is also a prolific author and researcher.  She has written articles and book chapters and made presentations at national and international conferences about musicians, online catalogs, authority control, Polish authors and mandolins.  Jean has also served on numerous library, university and UUP committees over the years.

Jean’s private life shows almost as many interests as her professional life.  She is an accomplished musician who can be found playing in a variety of local venues.  Her garden is legendary and she is always quick to share gardening tips as well as her incredibly good homegrown fruits and vegetables with colleagues.  She is an avid traveler.  Those of us fortunate to work with Jean on a daily basis will miss her sense of humor, the raspberries from her garden, her intellectual vigor, her wide range of interests and knowledge and her political musings.  I am confident that Jean’s retirement will be full and very busy, and I wish her many happy times with family and friends.  Jean’s granddaughter will be the special recipient of more of Jean’s time, and I know they will enjoy all of it.

Best of luck, Jean, and thanks for all you’ve done for the Libraries.  We look forward to celebrating with you in the fall!


Margaret R. Wells
University at Buffalo

 [This was re-posted from the UB Libraries Distribution List with the author’s permission.]

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