In Memoriam (Cecile Kramer)
Cecile E. Kramer, director of the Northwestern medical school library from 1975â91, died January 25 in Boca Raton, Florida, at age 80. She had been in declining health for the last year.
Ms. Kramer came to Northwestern from Columbia University’s health sciences library. A native of New York City, she began working as a secretary at Columbia in 1944, right out of high school. She advanced in the health sciences library to become an assistant director while earning her undergraduate degree at the College of the City of New York and a master’s degree in library science at Columbia. She completed all the course work for her doctorate in library science.
Active in the Medical Library Association (MLA), Ms. Kramer served as a continuing education course instructor for human services management and editor of the MLA News as well as holding leadership roles in the New York-New Jersey chapter. She was named an MLA fellow in 1993.
Galter Health Science Library Director James Shedlock, who succeeded Ms. Kramer and worked with her for six years, says, “Cele was very proud of her accomplishments at Northwestern. She worked diligently to build the medical library’s collections of books and journals. While she was not shy about being a ‘book person,’ Cele promoted the use of information technology whenever she could. She made a point of hiring young librarians who would apply the latest trends in technology as a means of providing quality services to Northwestern users.”
Ms. Kramer introduced intermediary MEDLINE search services in the late 1970s and was instrumental in starting and developing the Barnes Learning Resources Center with Ed Tawyea, now university librarian at Thomas Jefferson University. She consulted with the late John McGowan, Northwestern University librarian from 1971â91, about how to bring the automation advances he was developing with the library staff in Evanston to the Chicago campus. She also worked closely with then-Dean Harry N. Beaty, MD, and the school’s fund-raising staff to attract the late Jack and Dollie Galter as donors to support the renovation and expansion of the medical library.
Just as planning for the new library got under way, Ms. Kramer retired in 1991 and moved to Florida to be near her family. In retirement, she worked at the libraries of Florida Atlantic University and took great pride in providing quality information services to undergraduate students, many of whom were following her model of going to school while working full time.
Survivors include a brother, Joseph; two nieces; three great-nieces; and one great-nephew. The family has requested memorials be sent to the Florida Atlantic University Libraries, www.fau.edu (FAU Foundation), or the Hospice of Palm Beach County, www.hpbc.com.