Obituaries: Stephanie L. Normann, 1935-2011

By Kirkpatrick, Brett A. | Journal of the Medical Library Association, April 2012 | Go to article overview

Obituaries: Stephanie L. Normann, 1935-2011


Kirkpatrick, Brett A., Journal of the Medical Library Association


Stephanie L Normann, founding director of the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health Library, died in Houston, Texas, on July 10, 2011, after a brief illness. Stephanie had a distinguished career in medical library administration and health information sciences, supporting and enhancing public health research and practice. She served as the library's director from February 1970 through May 2001 and was the school's administrator for information resources from June 2001 until she retired in February 2002. As director, Stephanie had administrative responsibilities for planning, organizing, and directing the library, as well as preparing the library to use emerging and rapidly changing technologies. As administrator for information resources, she focused on developing public health informatics resources to support the school's faculty in their research and teaching missions.

Stephanie was born and reared in Philadelphia, and she earned her bachelor of arts degree in biology from Hood College in Maryland in 1956. Over the next several years, she worked at the Solar Fjiergy Research Institute in Golden, Colorado, and in the areas of cytology, genetics, and electron microscopy at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, and Wesleyan University's Department of Developmental Biology. She interlaced her work in scientific research labs with teaching general science to seventh and eighth graders in both Connecticut and Pennsylvania and took college-level coursework in topics as diverse as geomorphology, textile design, engineering, and meteorology. She also volunteered with the American Red Cross and became a Library of Congress-certified volunteer transcriber of braille in 1963. In 1968, she received a US Public Health Service Traineeship Award from the National Library of Medicine that allowed her to earn her master's of science in library science from Case Western Reserve University, with a concentration in medical librarianship and health sciences information.

During her library career in Houston, she was a founding director of the Texas Health Sciences Library Consortium, a member of the University of Texas (UT) System Advisory Committee on Library Affairs, and a member of the Texas Council of State University Librarians. She also served on the UT Health Sciences CenterHouston's Committee on the Status of Women and served for ten years on the Texas Medical Center's (Information Technology) Network Technical Advisory Group. Stephanie was awarded six successive AIDS Community Outreach Project awards from the National Library of Medicine to create and sustain the Houston AIDS Information Link (HAIL) that brought Internet connectivity and HIV/ ADDS online resources to Houston-based HIV/ AIDS service agencies, clinics, and libraries. She also taught basic computer and Internet skills to participants in HAIL; outreach workers in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded project, "Innovations in Syphilis Prevention"; and participants in the HIV advocacy training project, Project LEAP. …

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