Head Librarian Liz Strother Retires

Earlier this year, the LSU School of Dentistry (LSUSD) bid farewell to friend, colleague, and head librarian, Elizabeth Strother. She officially retired in January after 34 years of service.

A native of Detroit, Liz received her bachelor of arts in French and masters in library science from the University of Michigan. She came to New Orleans in 1972 to work at the UNO library. In December 1978, she became the second head librarian of the dental school.

Elizabeth Strother, AMLS, MBA

In addition to managing the library, teaching, and providing reference assistance, Liz’s contributions extended far beyond her role as librarian. She edited faculty journal articles, contributed as a writer and editor to online and print school publications, coordinated the digital textbook collection for dental students, managed the school archives and a collection of antique dental instruments, and served on numerous academic committees.

Liz also guided the library through a myriad of transformations including the arrival of the Internet as a research tool, digitization of the card catalog, renovations of the library space, and the closure of the library for two years after Hurricane Katrina. Following the storm, Liz worked determinedly to provide library services and research assistance to the Louisiana dental community.

Her academic achievements are equally impressive. She is one of only two librarians in the history of the LSUHSC libraries to have been promoted to the rank of librarian (equivalent to full professor). She has authored or co-authored 16 articles in the Journal of the Medical Library Association, Journal of Dental Education, Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Journal of the History of Dentistry, General Dentistry, and Journal of the Louisiana Dental Association. She also co-authored, with Julie Schiavo, the chapter on dentistry in The Medical Library Association’s Master Guide to Authoritative Information Resources in the Health Sciences, published by Neal-Schuman in 2011.

Liz was creator, director, and principal lecturer of the first-year dental course, Dental Information Management Skills (now Introduction to Evidence-Based Dentistry). She also provided instruction to advanced education students, and since 2010, has lectured to students and dentists on the history of dentistry. School-wide, Liz served on the curriculum and admissions committees, chaired the faculty development and faculty retreat committees, and served as a delegate and secretary-treasurer of the Faculty Assembly. A member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the honorary dental society, she served as president of the LSUSD chapter in 2008.

Her role in the library profession includes serving as secretary/treasurer and chair of the Dental Section of the Medical Library Association, chairing the Bylaws Committee of the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association, and holding various positions in the Louisiana Library Association. In 2001 she received the LSUHSC Pfizer Award for Excellence. In 2009 she was recipient of the Lucy B. Foote Award from the Louisiana Library Association Subject Specialists Section.

In March 2013, Liz was awarded the status of emeritus professor. As a gratis faculty member, she will continue to assist the Office of the Dean with editing, writing, and website support. “Liz has served the school in so many extraordinary ways that it’s difficult to determine how we will be able to get along without her presence on a full-time basis,” said Dean Henry Gremillion. “However, we’re grateful that she’ll stay connected as a gratis faculty member. I cannot thank her enough for all she has done for the school.”

Liz is married to Garland Strother, retired director of the St. Charles Parish Library. Shortly after Liz’s retirement, they spent a month in Merida, in the Mexican state of Yucatan, to enjoy the language, culture, music, and food.

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Last Update 4/2013