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Saluting our key library liaison as the outreach continues

By Library Connect | Sept 16, 2019

Jean Shipman


Jean Shipman, Elsevier’s Vice President for Global Library Relations, will retire from Elsevier as of November 30, 2019.  With knowledge from a 37-year career in librarianship and a lifelong learner mindset, Jean approached her role with a keen desire to create greater alignment between Elsevier and the library community. She revitalized library relations at Elsevier and is helping to continue this important work by participating in the search for her replacement.



In her tenure with Elsevier, Jean was an important listener and voice at librarian conferences around the globe. Toward the end of November she will make a final trip to China and Japan to discuss the Research Data Management Librarian Academy (RDMLA), one of her key initiatives in partnership with several librarians and educators.




Jean visits with Professor Chen Jin and team at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Library



Set to launch in October, RDMLA is a free online training program that will be offered globally. The curriculum, with units such as Foundations of RDM and Launching Data Services in libraries, is designed to enhance research data management skills of librarians. Sponsored by Elsevier, the RDMLA is a partnership among several librarians in the US Northeast, led by Jean along with Dr. Elaine Martin, Countway Medical Library, Harvard Medical School; and Dr. Rong Tang, Simmons University School of Library and Information Science. Discover more about the RDMLA at The RDMLA is already generating much interest across the library community and is a testament to Jean and the team’s commitment to advancing librarian education and opportunities.




Jean presenting the RDMLA at a recent MLA conference



Reflecting on the joint effort with Jean and Elsevier, Jean’s RDMLA co-leaders commented: "It has been a very positive and pleasant experience working with Jean Shipman, Elsevier’s Vice President for Global Library Relations, on the RDMLA project. With a shared purpose of developing the Academy and building a global community of practice in RDM, the partnership with Elsevier has been the key to the success of RDMLA. Elsevier recognizes the importance of research data management in libraries and information services, and is willing to support and promote the advancement of such an endeavor through free and openly accessible delivery of RDMLA learning contents."




Jean, Dr. Elaine Martin and Dr. Zhan Hu presenting their RDMLA poster at MLA 2019



Though she was based in the US, Jean engaged with librarians around the world and presented at events in Japan, China, South Africa, Taiwan and Europe, as well as across the United States. She served as Elsevier’s liaison to preservation organizations such as CLOCKSS and Portico, and was an active member in a spectrum of professional associations, including ALA, MLA, SLA and SSP. She also organized the Hunter Award in conjunction with the Hunter Forum at ALA Midwinter in the US. Established for a librarian or librarian team, the Hunter Award recognizes collaborations between librarians and publishers or exemplar experience with advancing information dissemination via technology.




Hunter Forum panel at ALA Midwinter


“We have been so fortunate to have Jean as a colleague, mentor and friend,” says Ann Gabriel, Elsevier’s Senior Vice President of Global Strategic Networks. “Her invaluable experience and insights into libraries and librarianship have led to stronger partnerships with common goals and mutual understanding.”





Jean and friends at the Friends of the National Library of Medicine Gala


Jean joined Elsevier after a successful career as a health sciences librarian. In her previous employment at the University of Utah, she served as Executive Director, Knowledge Management and the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, and Director for Information Transfer, Center for Medical Innovation. She also served as Director, MidContinental Region and National Training Office, National Network of Libraries of Medicine. She remains an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Utah. Jean is a former president of the Medical Library Association (MLA) and past member of the Board of Directors for MLA and the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP). She has served on advisory panels of the New England Journal of Medicine, The STM Association, and SPARC, and has held many other professional offices and committee appointments.



As one chapter closes, Jean is looking forward to enjoying more time with her family and friends at her new home in Virginia. Please join us in wishing Jean all the best in her next adventures and stay tuned for an announcement about her successor. We look forward to welcoming a new colleague to continue vital collaborations and lead us in novel avenues of engagement.




Cindy Minor, Library Connect editor, with Jean Shipman at ACRL 2019