In Memoriam: Lucretia W. McClure, AHIP, FMLA from MLA web site
McClure served the association and the library profession as MLA’s 1990/91 president; chair of the Archives, Bylaws, Continuing Education, Ethics, Finance, and Membership Committees; longtime copyright referent; and the first convenor of the MLA Fellows. During her twenty-year tenure (1993–2013) as MLA’s parliamentarian, the MLA Board of Directors relied on her calm demeanor and well-reasoned thinking to guide them through the association’s annual business meetings. She also chaired the History of Medicine Section, Medical School Libraries Section, and Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter.
McClure was named medical librarian emerita of the Edward G. Miner Library at the University of Rochester upon her retirement in 1993. Not one to rest on her laurels, she next served as special assistant to the director of the Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard University, for fifteen years. After her second retirement, she accepted responsibility for the library at her senior living facility and won a grant to upgrade, renovate, and reorganize the library. In 2017, the library was renamed the Lucretia McClure Library at Valley Manor Senior Life Community.
The Board of Directors recognized McClure’s exceptional leadership and vision with the 1996 Marcia C. Noyes Award and 1995 President’s Award, and named her a Fellow in 1993 and Janet Doe Lecturer in 1985. The Lucretia W. McClure Excellence in Education Award was established in 1998 and honors outstanding practicing librarians, educators in health sciences librarianship, and informationists who have demonstrated skills in areas that include teaching, mentoring, and research.
McClure was widely respected and loved by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her. Members and staff have called her their friend and often sought her guidance and clarity of thought when it was needed. Her Pearls of Wisdom embraced three principles that she shared for many years with the new members and first time attendees at the MLA annual meeting:
1. “People count”
2. “People make the difference”
3. “A thinking librarian is the best resource for the library”
In all her undertakings, McClure challenged and inspired members to get involved, reminding them that “what we do contributes to learning. In essence, I think we are the curators of the learning situation.”
In her 2015 oral history, McClure shared what will be part of her enduring legacy:
I think I would rather be remembered as a cataloger, a reference librarian, a serials librarian—any one of those things; as a person who liked the profession the way it was, liked the way it changed, liked the way it’s going to change, and wants it to be a continuing growth area and that there will still be people who are librarians.
Her family has indicated that donations may be made to the Lucretia McClure Library. In the comment box, please indicate that this is a memorial contribution in honor of Lucretia McClure. You may also donate by check, mailed to Valley Manor, 1570 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610, Attn: Patti Cummings.
A detailed obituary is being written for a future edition of the Journal of the Medical Library Association.