In Gratitude to Dean Doug Varner

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Doug Varner, DML Assistant Dean for Information Management & Chief Biomedical Informationist has decided to retire from GUSoM after 16 years service. Doug has an MS in Veterinary Science, so he is a natural fit for his new position as Information & Customer Services Branch Chief at the National Agriculture Library [NAL].

During his time at DML, Doug provided leadership and guidance as we moved into uncharted areas of library service. It is nearly impossible to summarize his contributions over a 16 year period. He played a pivotal role in moving DML from a library which nearly failed LCME 2003 [“a 2nd rate community hospital library”] to what LCME 2011 stated was a model academic health sciences library.

It seems quaint now, but Doug pioneered the use of iPhones and iPads as service tools used by librarians. He garnered dozens of grants to create and supply efforts like the Clinical iPad Mini project, fielding and supporting nearly 100 iPads distributed in support of clinical work in MGUH, and providing iPads with health / medical content for the DC Public Library at no cost to GUMC. He led the way in creating and presenting hundreds of workshops and orientations for all our constituents, embedding DML librarians in services like the COME Subcommittee on Evaluation and Assessment, and on every GU IRB Committee. Amongst other innovations, we had the first 3D printer in a Georgetown library; the first sets of Google Glass in the District/clinical settings; and we had the first clinical informationist on rounds in a DC hospital.

Doug and a colleague from Nebraska practically invented the concept of examining library resource expenditures and return on investment in research support.

Possibly most important, Doug built a team which, working closely with Linda Van Keuren, DML Assistant Dean for Resources & Access Management and her team, kept DML services and resources available 24/7 from Day One of COVID, the only academic health sciences library which kept operations active with no down time. All measurements of service and resource use exploded exponentially, some as much as 850% and Doug ended up playing an advisory role in how DML did that for national and international library organizations.

I know I have left out a lot of accomplishments, including many you could point out from your work with him and DML.
Please join us in wishing Doug well in his new endeavor.


Jett McCann, MLS, CKM, DM/AHIP
Senior Associate Dean for Knowledge Management
Director, Dahlgren Memorial Library
The Graduate Health & Life Sciences Research Library at
Georgetown University Medical Center
3900 Reservoir Road NW
Washington DC 20057-1420
iPhone: 202-431-9460