Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library History: Part Six 2010's

Chapter 6, Notable Events, Faculty, & Staff

On October 4, 1971 the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library was dedicated, bringing health sciences library services to a permanent home at the University of Utah. From the beginning, we have been known for pioneering new ideas, new technologies, and innovative partnerships. This exhibition series will showcase our history, from the first health sciences library collection in 1908 to the present-day.

2010’s Table of Contents:

  1. Evolution of Space
  2. Changing Access
  3. Innovative Service
  4. Discovering Technology
  5. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  6. Notable Events, Faculty, & Staff

By Bryan E. Hull

is a real

The national prominence and visibility of the Eccles Library elevates the entire Health Sciences Center. The long tenure of the talented librarians and staff is remarkable. The Library supports all kinds of efforts including research, interdisciplinary education, clinical practice and community outreach.”

-Dr. A. Lorris Betz, eSynapse Newsletter, Volume 25 #3, 2010

I hope that I’m never afraid to
take the next step
, whatever it
is, that has to be done– and I
hope that I can see what that
next step is before I trip on it.”

Jean Shipman, Former Director, Eccles Library
Source: Jean Shipman Oral History

Jean Shipman Retires


“Under Jean Shipman’s leadership, the Eccles Library was transformed
into an ecosystem of innovation and interprofessional collaboration.
Today, it’s an almost exclusively digital hub of knowledge thanks to
Jean and her team. Jean’s contributions to innovation and research
and defining the role of librarians within these missions are equally notable.”

Vivian Lee, MD, Former Senior Vice President of Health Sciences,
Dean of School of Medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health

Catherine Soehner New Director


After serving as Interim Director of the Eccles Library following Jean Shipman’s retirement,
Catherine B. Soehner, MLS, BSN, was appointed Associate Dean for Research and
Director of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library in October 2019.

“Catherine Soehner is the right person for this important leadership position. The Eccles Library is a valuable resource for our health science colleges and schools, the School of Medicine, and our entire health care operation.”

Michael L. Good, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences


“We are delighted Catherine is continuing her role as our associate dean for research. She has tremendous ability for work within libraries as well as with faculty, students, and staff across campus.”

Alberta D. Comer, MLS, Dean and University Librarian

Catherine B. Soehner Appointed Director of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library Press Release →

45th Anniversary

On October 4, 2016, the Eccles Library celebrated its 45th Anniversary with a Luncheon featuring remarks from Ann Catleton Blackner, the daughter of Dr. Kenneth B. Castleton, and a Dinner featuring Spencer F. Eccles, the son of Spencer S. Eccles.

Spencer F. Eccles speaks at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library 45th Anniversary Dinner on October 4, 2016. Spencer F. Eccles speaks at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library 45th Anniversary Dinner on October 4, 2016.

A Lecture Series was also hosted as part of the 45th Anniversary highlighting major projects, accomplishments, and moments from the library’s history:

The History of Slice of Life
Suzanne S. Stensaas, Ph.D., Professor (Lecturer) Emeritus, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Utah

The History of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
Joan S. Stoddart, MALS, AHIP, FMLA, Librarian Emeritus, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah

The History of NOVEL (Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library)
Nancy T. Lombardo, MLS, AHIP, Associate Director, Digital Collections, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah

A Glimpse into the Future of Health Sciences Libraries
Jean P. Shipman, MSLS, AHIP, FMLA, Executive Director, Knowledge Management and Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library; Director for Information Transfer, Center for Medical Innovation, University of Utah

A physical exhibit was displayed in the library, highlighting each decade of the library’s history and served as the basis of this digital history exhibit series.

Peanut Allergy Video

For the 175th anniversary of the National Library of Medicine, the NLM   sponsored a video contest entitled “NLM & You.” The Eccles Library and the Department of Biomedical Informatics partnered to create James and the Peanut Allergy. Thanks to Nancy Lombardo, her son James, his school friends and Derek Cowan, the video producer and first time star in his own production, James and the Peanut Allergy won first place in the contest. It was shown as the kick­off event at the recent national Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN.

Layers of Medicine

The Eccles Health Sciences Library featured the Layers of Medicine exhibit of art created by medical school students enrolled in the Layers of Medicine course.

The course addresses the human elements of healthcare and medical training that are “layered” on top of scientific knowledge and clinical skills.  Course directors, Gretchen Case, PhD and Karly Pippitt, MD, FAAFP, emphasize the role ethics, humanities, communication, and gender play in giving and receiving medical care.

The  collection of artistic interpretations of the human side of medicine in which burnout,  death, disability, gender, ethics, the art of giving and receiving medical care, and much more are explored through art and artistic expression. The art project is assigned to the medical students to provide them an opportunity to personally and creatively explore the unique relationships and challenges of practicing medicine.

The Library was also pleased to receive student artworks to be permanently displayed in three locations: the Upper Level, West Entrance and Main Level, near the treadmill desks and the elevator.

Opitz Collection

John Opitz, MD, Professor of  Pediatrics and a world authority in medical genetics, donated an amazing collection of original books and manuscripts to the library’s history of medicine collection.

Materials that were donated to Eccles Library by Dr. Opitz included:

  • A 1725 edition of “De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body), originally written and illustrated by Andreas Vesalius and one of the most influential books on human anatomy
  • An 1848 letter about barnacles written by Charles Darwin
  • An 1866 reprint of the first paper on Mendalian Genetics, written by Gregor Mendel, the founder of the science of genetics
  • A less-than-flattering report card that Mendel signed and issued to a student for the 1860-61 school year

Dozens of other books and documents will be donated, including a 1538 Latin translation of the collected works of Aristotle.

Conferences, Lectures, & Classes

Priscilla M. Mayden Lecture Series

The annual Priscilla M. Mayden Lecture was established in honor of Priscilla Maltby Mayden (1918-2011), recognizing her service to the University of Utah as Director of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library from 1967 – 1984. This lectureship has allowed the Eccles Library to invite knowledgeable and exciting speakers to discuss the myriad of ways technology and medicine interact to the benefit of the library and medical professions.

  • 2010- Genetics/Genomics and Biomedical Informatics: Two Rivers Merging
  • 2011- From Usability to User Experience
  • 2012- eScience and the Evolution of Library Services
  • 2013- Health Literacy: A Vital Pathway to Healthcare Transformation
  • 2014- The Potential for Research to Advance Evidence-Based Care for Women Veterans
  • 2016- Do we need to Transform Creativity?
  • 2017- Scholarly Communications in Japan
  • 2019- Towards the Rehabilitation of Domestic Violence Offenders using Virtual Reality


InfoFair is an annual event hosted by the Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, held beginning in 1983 with the goal of providing up-to-date health sciences information. For over thirty-five years, InfoFair has showcased cutting-edge computer technology and educated users on computer services, applications, and resources.

Library & Information Technology Forum (LIFT)

The purpose of the Library and Information Technology Forum was to inform the University of Utah community about electronic information resources, and current trends in the use of computers and online technologies for accessing these resources. The Forum was co-sponsored by the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library and the Media-On-Demand committee and coordinated by librarian Jeanne Le Ber, MLIS.

MCMLA Conferences

In 2013, the Eccles Library hosted the Annual Meeting of the MidContinental Chapter of the Medical Library Association.


Research Reproducibility

The reproducibility of research became a topic of focus for library faculty in the mid-2010’s. Two conferences, weekly grand rounds, and short courses were offered by the library to help researchers “reproduce the results and create new work based on the research.”

Native Voices Lecture Series and Events

Honoring the Native tradition of oral history, the National Library of Medicine gathered a multitude of healing voices from across the country so that one may hear their stories in their own words. Healers, elders and other key figures describe how epidemics, loss of land, loss of lives, and the inhibition of culture in the 19th and 20th centuries affect the health of Native individuals and communities today. “Native Voices” presented an inspiring story of endurance, resilience, and self-determination in a traveling exhibit, hosted at the Eccles Library in 2015.

The Office of the Associate Vice President for Health Equity and Inclusion, University of Utah Health Sciences and the American Indian Resource Center, University of Utah helped host a lecture series that coincided with the exhibit.


2011 Staff & Faculty

Faculty & Staff

Faculty during the 2010’s

(Listed chronologically based on start date)

  • Mary Youngkin (1974-2011)
  • Joan M. Stoddart (1978-2014)
  • Jeanne Le Ber (1979-2015)
  • Joan M. Gregory (1987-Present)
  • Sharon Dennis (1992-2015)
  • Nancy T. Lombardo (1995-Present)
  • Claire Hamasu (2001-2018)
  • Alice Weber (2001-2015)
  • John Bramble (2002-Present)
  • Sally Patrick (2003-2012)
  • Jean P. Shipman (2008-2017)
  • R. Todd Vandenbark (2009-2012)
  • Kathleen Amos (2009-2010)
  • Christy Jarvis (2011-Present)
  • Abby Adamczyk (2011-2014)
  • Amy Honisett (2011-2013)
  • Sharon Brown (2011-2013)
  • Rebecca Brown (2012-Present)
  • Jessica Van Der Volgen (2013-Present)
  • Erin Wimmer (2013-2017)
  • Tallie Casucci (2013-2018)
  • Melissa Rethlefsen (2014-2018)
  • May Ryan (2015-2015)
  • Darell Schmick (2015-2016)
  • Cheryl Rowan (2015-2016)
  • Mellanye Lackey (2015-2018)
  • Michelle Fiander (2016-2017)
  • Shirley Zhao (2016-2021)
  • Maureen Knapp (2017-Present)
  • Brandon Patterson (2017-Present)
  • Tisha Mentnech (2017-2019)
  • George Strawley (2018-Present)
  • Natalena (Nena) Schvaneveldt (2018-Present)
  • Shawn Steidinger (2018-Present)
  • Elizabeth Frakes (2019-Present)

Staff during the 2010’s

(Listed chronologically based on start date)

  • Nancy Litz (1975-Present)
  • Mike Thelin (1980-Present)
  • Niloofar Bakhti (1984-2019)
  • Mary McFarland (1985-Present)
  • Laura Jones (1989-2017)
  • Camille Salmond (1991-Present)
  • Sherelyn Sandberg (1995-Present)
  • Susan Roberts (1996-2011)
  • Derek Cowan (1996-2019)
  • Nathan Memmott (1997-Present)
  • Jeff Weiler (1997-2003, 2008-Present)
  • Amy Birks (1997-2016)
  • Kenda Connors (2000-Present)
  • Hang Wi H Wong (2000-2014)
  • Julie Quilter (2003-2013)
  • Ray Balhorn (2003-2014)
  • Robert Lin Yang (2004-Present)
  • Suzanne Sawyer (2005-Present)
  • Shelby Morris Mitra (2005-2016)
  • Shelli King (2005-2019)
  • David Jones (2006-Present)
  • Stephen Mossbarger (2006-Present)
  • Trang T. Tran (2007-2016)
  • Jessica (Sy) Maestas (2008-Present)
  • Yuan C. (Sandy) Drollinger (2008-2011)
  • Christina Sophia Arbuckle (2008-2011)
  • Paul Alexander (2009-2015)
  • Bryan E. Hull (2010-Present)
  • Michael M. Graybill (2010-2011)
  • Peter Stevens Jones (2010-2013)
  • Lindee Radtke (2011-2013)
  • Matthew Steadman (2011-2018)
  • Lin Chen (2011-2012)
  • Jeffrey Folsom (2012-Present)
  • Robert Millsap (2012-Present)
  • Blake Plumb (2012-2013)
  • Noelle Cranmer (2012-2019)
  • Russel Henricksen (2013-2013)
  • Matthew Bruce Vaughan (2013-2014)
  • Sarah Dickey (2014-Present)
  • Teriann Tester-Kamaunu (2014-Present)
  • Gage Baron (2014-2019)
  • Mark Keller (2015-Present)
  • Chad Johnson (2015-2018)
  • Nicole Paulsen (2015-Present)
  • Lisa Spencer (2015-2017)
  • Barbara Anne Ulmer (2015-2016)
  • Heidi Greenberg (2016-Present)
  • Alison Mortensen-Hayes (2016-Present)
  • Elizabeth Kelly (2016-2017)
  • Samantha Nunn (2016-Present)
  • Donna Baluchi (2016-Present)
  • Peter Strohmeyer (2017-Present)
  • Carmin Smoot (2017-Present)
  • Remzi Kizilboga (2018-2021)
  • Mikio Moriyasu (2018-Present)
  • Michelle Foulger (2019-Present)

2015 Staff & Faculty


author by
Bryan E. Hull

design by
Bryan E. Hull

media by
Bryan E. Hull
Carmin Smoot

series production
Bryan E. Hull
Carmin Smoot

additional materials courtesy of
Donna Baluchi
Brandon Patterson
Christy Jarvis
Alison Mortensen-Hayes
Bob Millsap
Nena Schvaneveldt
Nancy T. Lombardo

evolving space
Exterior Eccles Library Flower Bed Photo by Joan M. Gregory
Health Sciences Campus Illustration by University of Utah Health Public Affairs
Eccles Library Architectural Sketches by Gage Baron
Gold Certification Graphics by Peter Strohmeyer, Modified by Bryan E. Hull

changing access
Journal Jettison Recruitment Video by Derek Cowan
Synapse Level Event Photos by Brent Uberty

innovative service
Digital Publishing Logo by Peter Strohmeyer
VR Pizza Icon by Taylor Jacobsen
Epic Integration Timeline by Donna Baluchi

photography by
Bryan E. Hull

additional photography by
Peter S. Strohmeyer
Chad L. Johnson

icons by
gem by SC, sparkles by Paul Verhulst, USA by Tanguy Keryhuel, Blueprint by Andrei Yushchenko, Ruler by barurezeki, Storage by Gregor Cresnar, Access by Gem Designs, Walking by A184, Book by Nafiz2019, Computer by Miss Jannes, Phone by Made x Made Icons, Tablet by unlimicon, dots line by IconTrack, clock by Atif Arshad, Free by Alice Design, Technology by priyanka, Technology by Icongeek26, education by DPIcons, service by Adrien Coquet, vr by Pascal Heß, Skeleton by Fariha Begum, 3D printing by Andrei Yushchenko, Scale by Vectorstall, Fist by corpus delicti, event by Lyhn, Restroom by Hasanudin from the Noun Project