Diana McDuffee to retire January 1, 2019

Diana McDuffee, assistant director for community engagement, AHEC and outreach services, will retire from the Health Sciences Library at the University Libraries, effective January 1, 2019, after 28 years of service. Her last work day will be December 21, 2018.

Interview by Judy Panitch of the UNC-CH University Libraries

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

I am originally from Louisville, Kentucky, but I moved to Chapel Hill in 1974, so I have actually lived in Chapel Hill and Carrboro longer than I lived in Louisville.

In Kentucky the passion for college basketball may exceed what it is in North Carolina. I grew up rooting for the University of Louisville Cardinals. The Tar Heels are now my number one team and U of L is my second team. As a Cardinals fan I got my first glimpse of Tar Heel basketball when I attended the 1969 NCAA Final Four, played on the Cardinals home court. The Tar Heels were one of the four teams that year.

Louisville is the home of the Kentucky Derby and I used to have a Derby Party every year. That tradition has passed to my daughter.

What is your professional background? How did you end up at Carolina?

I began working in the Louisville Free Public Library after school when I was 14. During college my summer job was as a substitute librarian in small branch libraries and on the bookmobile.

I came to North Carolina in 1974 and began work immediately at the Institute for Research in Social Science. We chose to move to Chapel Hill so that I could eventually enter UNC-Chapel Hill to get a master’s degree at SILS. I earned my M.L.S. degree in 1980.

I began working at the Health Sciences Library in January 1991 as the AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) librarian. My initial job was to coordinate the AHEC Library Network. My job expanded greatly over the next few years and became a separate department in the library including outreach beyond AHEC to the public and public libraries.

What are some of the projects you have worked on?

Under the direction of Carol Jenkins, HSL director, and Tom Bacon, NC AHEC program director, I was the co-principal investigator on development of the AHEC Digital Library. The AHEC Digital Library was funded with a grant from the Duke Endowment with matching funds from the AHEC program.

NC Health Info—a website to bring trusted health information to citizens of North Carolina through an online site based at the HSL—is a project that was developed as a subcontract from the National Library of Medicine with subsequent funding from the State Library of North Carolina.

What are you plans for retirement?

I plan to stay in the Carrboro/Chapel Hill area. My daughter and family including my grandson live in Greensboro. I am going to take my time deciding where I want to put my time and energy in retirement. I have always been active in local projects and groups, so I am sure I will be choosing some areas to contribute my efforts.

Diana, thank you for your years of service. Congratulations on your retirement!


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