CommComm posted on July 28, 2010 23:27

Hey Everybody. Just thought I'd give some casual updates since we're in the dead of summer. So off-the-cuff, here's what I know: Christina Wissinger has moved, and is now near the back wall in the East Reading Room, in 206. She's right up the way from me. Just like Victoria Goode, Nora Smith and myself---we've asked her to maintain a very serious demeanor at all times, and if she can't---we're sending her back from wince she came. 

Marie assigned several interns to clean out the closet at the top of stairs on the 2nd floor. I think they found mummy relics and old copy cards. The mummy relics are priceless, but we're probably gonna hold onto the copy cards. I told the interns to organize a union. That Marie, she's such a hard task mistress. (That's not true) I think the last time Marie raised her voice the world was still flat.

Vivian McCall is getting some much-deserved R&R.

James Tucker loaded an entire dashboard into one of his cars. Saved himself $1,400 bucks. This was in the heat of the heat wave. Case you didn't know, James is a whiz-bang with cars. Just listening to him makes me think I'm car-smarter than I really am.

Tony Street enrolled to take some classes---I forget where---but he was sweating his final grades, which I assured him he didn't have to do.

Next door neighbor Nora seems to be working on a "very, very in-depth search". She's been doing this search for months and months. "Everytime I think it's done it pops up again." She's like Pacino in the last Godfather movie, "just when I think I'm out---they keep pulling me back in!" Nora seems to have a new "laborious search groan" for every day of the week. 

Blair and I compared our recent times in Chicago and came away with the following: We both love it there. Of course, Blair seems to be a closet CHICAGO CUBS fan. This is funny because how can anybody in good conscience admit they're CUBS fans. The last time they won a World Series Marie raised her voice (and the world was definitely flat).   

Alonzo's (dat me) is having a play produced in Chicago, it opens September 28th, and runs for 7 weeks. Lucky fella that I am. It's called "Zulu Fits," and it'll either be great or it'll be not great. Who needs middle ground---I'm no Hobbit hiding The Ring. Or was that Middle Earth? You get the picture. It's all or nuthin at all.

Victoria Goode is now Communications Committee Chair. She's headed up to New Hampshire for some R&R. Home, sweet Home. I think she just wants some home cooking. Whenever you mention her family restaurant, "The Puritan Backroom" she seems to enter a zen-like steak. I mean---zen-like STATE.

Well, that's what I know for now. The other day I read a caption about "Comic Sans". Comic Sans is the font I use for the blog. It read "if I ran a lemonade stand I'd use Comic Sans to advertise". I think their point was that---Comic Sans reflects a juvenile or childish nature. But here I am, Comic Sans and all. Alonzo fights maturity every chance I get.


Alonzo LaMont 




Debbie McClellan sat down with Alonzo (dat me) and talked about her time at Hopkins, from start to finish, as it were. We did most of this in the quietest place we could find. The mail room in the basement of Welch.  

Debbie McClellan has more than just fond memories of the Welch Library-she has a great deal of respect for the people working here. And that respect seems to have been there from day one.

“When I was a graduate student I was really in awe of the library. I was so impressed with the Welch, and the thought that I would ever be associated with it was a tremendous honor. I consider it a real  privilege to have worked here.”

“From the very beginning, I felt like I belonged because everybody made me feel very welcome. I was able to do things I liked to do: I was able to spend half my time teaching and the other half doing editing for people. So it’s been nice because the one thing feeds the other. I get all my good and bad examples from the editing I do for people, and that helps the teaching.”

When I asked about her future as an officially retired person….

“I’m going to continue to do editing. But what I’m really looking forward to is being able to have the time to travel with my husband. My youngest child is starting college, my daughter just graduated from a college in New Jersey. My husband plans to work another 4 years, till our youngest gets out of college.  Then we’ll really be free to get around.

“When I started doing editing, I felt the work was what I was really meant to do, because there aren’t many scientists who also like to work with words. I wouldn’t say I was literary--I’d say I was someone who cares about communication, and writing, and what I enjoy doing is taking the science and translating it so that the authors end up saying what they really meant to say. A lot of what I do is reading something for the scientific sense, and then trying to figure out what the author really intends. I have to try to get inside the head of the person who’s writing, because I want to make sure that their words convey just what they intended, in a clear way. AND I want to make it sound like they wrote it.  

“When an author says to me, ‘I like the way it reads now,’ I know I’ve begun to do my job; when that person doesn’t need my help any more, I’ve actually done it.

“I’ve always been a person who liked to help people, but I like to stay in the background. I learned very early on that doing science WAS NOT my thing, but helping other people get their science across to the rest of the scientific community WAS. I was telling a student the other day that I’m almost a scientific great-grandmother by now because I’ve worked with two, sometimes three “generations” of students from the same research lab. I’ve found my clients by word of mouth; I’ve never advertised anywhere except the Editing Referral Service here at Welch. I guess I’ve had about 170 clients by now, and I’m currently editing more than 100 documents a year.”  

On her vast network of national and indeed international clientele who utilize her editing service…..

“I have people all over the world that I work with, and everything’s done by e-mail.”. Debbie was very excited by the possibility of actually meeting (face-to-face) the people she’s worked with. “My dream someday is to go around the world and visit my clients and the many countries where  they live.” 

Debbie mentioned the challenges she encounters in managing the accounting aspects of being paid by different universities where different rules for banking apply, especially in Europe. “I get W-2 statements from Sweden, and all I can read on them is my name and ‘kroner’. More and more universities require you to fill out form after form. I’ve been doing work for a research center in D.C., and not only did they send me lots of forms, but I had to sign a 3-page contract, and one of the stipulations was that I had to have a million dollars in liability insurance in case anybody ever sued me if I said something wrong. I guess what they were worried about was  big operations using subcontractors. (Debbie laughs) That’s not me--I don’t ever subcontract stuff.”

When asked what she wouldn’t miss about coming to work, Debbie mentioned, “The thing I can REALLY LIVE WITHOUT is my commute.” Bike-riding Alonzo notes that if he’d gotten to Debbie sooner, she’d be on a bicycle sailing back and forth to work! Ok-OK, so I’m dreaming—it’s a LONG pull uphill on the way back to Catonsville!!

“I always tell people that my first priority is my teaching. I tell my clients, I’ll get your document done as soon as I can, but only after I’ve met my teaching commitments.” However, this seems a tad tricky in the editing business because, as Debbie says, “the key operative phrase is always---I need this tomorrow.”

Debbie observed that “this business of public speaking has always been a very, very difficult thing for me. So I tell myself, “Look, you’re not a performer, but you have something to say that people seem to value. So get up there and say it. And if your delivery’s not perfect, don’t worry about it, because people want to know about the content. I find it very fulfilling when I give a lecture and people are out there nodding in response, and I see the light bulb go on. They get it.

“One of the neat things I’ve discovered about teaching is that things that students were publishing 15-20 years ago as brand-new, experimental procedures in medicine are now practices that, years later, have become  standard of care in the field--they’re something that everybody knows or everybody uses. It’s thrilling to see the progress of science.

“My students have been wonderful. The sense of scientific camaraderie that I’ve seen in my graduate-level classes is terrific. I love to hear them commenting on each others’ writing, making important suggestions about the research or the writing that I could never have made myself. I have learned so much from my students!”

One of good things I came away with after speaking with Debbie is that she respects her craft, and she is proud of what she’s done and how she’s managed to do it. Not everybody gets to go down that road. Whether it’s for a job, or your own personal life---how many of us can hold their head up and breathe in that whiff of internal satisfaction? OK-OK, put your hands down, it’s not a test. Anyway, I’m not going to get sappy about Debbie, she’s already told me what a softie I’ve been. All I’ll say is that--- she’ll be missed.


Alonzo LaMont


CommComm posted on July 15, 2010 00:41

Just in case you happened to bury Dongming's e-mail about the current survey you're being asked to take, I'm giving you a 2nd chance for clarification, and this time you can't misplace it---Alonzo LaMont

"Dear all,


In order to assess users’ online needs and improve Welch’s online services, we will start MyWelch and WelchWeb user online survey tomorrow.  


For MyWelch survey, users will receive survey invitation from either email (based on their MyWelch accounts) or when they login MyWelch. They won’t encounter survey invitation again after they complete the survey form;


For WelchWeb survey, users will receive survey invitation when they either login “Remote Access” (EZProxy) or access to WelchWeb on which online survey will be arranged based on IP that being randomly selected. Also survey timeframes for WelchWeb will be randomly selected.


We will be running these survey for about two weeks until July 30.


I am including several MyWelch survey screen shots for your information. WelchWeb survey has similar contents.


Please let me know if you have suggestions and concerns.








Beginning July 23, 2010 My NCBI tool replaces eRA Commons for Bibliography Management

NIH is now providing PD/PI’s (program directors and program investigators for us laymen) with a more efficient, accurate and user-friendly way to manage their professional bibliographies, associate publications with grant awards, and ensure compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

eRA Commons has partnered with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) to link NCBI’s personal online tool, “My NCBI,” to Commons. My NCBI offers an online portal—“My Bibliography”—for users to maintain and manage a list of all of their authored works, such as journal articles, manuscripts accepted for publication, books, and book chapters.

The partnership between eRA Commons and My NCBI allows Commons users to benefit from My Bibliography’s ability to populate citation data from PubMed , PubMed Central , and the NIH Manuscript Submission system , and to readily maintain accurate, structured and up-to-date bibliographic information. The improved data quality resulting from this integration enhances the ability of the NIH to manage and monitor the results of its research portfolio.


1.     If not already established, PD/PIs must establish a My NCBI account to gain access to My Bibliography.

2.     My NCBI accounts must be linked to eRA Commons accounts.

3.     As of July 23, 2010, Commons will no longer support manual entry of citations. PD/PIs will no longer be able to type or copy and paste citation data into Commons and must enter new citations into their My NCBI accounts.

4.     As of October 22, Commons will no longer display citations that a PI has manually entered into Commons. All citations previously entered manually into Commons will be removed from the Commons system. Therefore, these citations must be added to My Bibliography so that they will continue to appear in Commons and can be associated with future annual progress reports.



CommComm posted on July 11, 2010 22:17

You might want to show up at the American Visionary Art Museum on Fridays @ 9:00 pm.

flicks-from-the-hill.shtml (54.41 kb)


There are various places with movies outside in the summer. But Federal Hill(side) beats them all.


Alonzo LaMont

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Yesterday I was catching folks here and there. Sneaky Alonzo and his spanking new camera.


Now isn't this touching. Ivy Garner, Marie ESCH----need I say more. Marie is obviously tending to her flock, and Ivy, when he's not teaching a zillion RefWorks courses, needs a break.

Vivian always gives me that killer smile of her's. Soooooooooo angelic. Yes, that's the word that comes to mind. As everyone who works with her would say. Wait a minute, I think my nose is starting to grow. (But between you, me and the 4 walls: Vivian has bailed me out many times, on many a day)


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CommComm posted on July 2, 2010 02:01

Jazmyn Lewis, who attends Baltimore City college. And those glasses add just the right touch, yes? I think so.



Justin Farabee, a Lake Clifton graduate. Justin plans to do some mortuary science. You know what means, right. Right, he's probably gonna show up on "CSI-Baltimore".



Tremara McKeemer, who goes to Baltimore Poly-Tech. That must be a cup of coffee because Tremara seems forever busy. I think Tremara's been adapted by Marie and Michael, that's why she only has time for a quick cup of coffee. I KID! All three seem pretty quick to pick up the WSC routine, and they bring a pleasant attitude everyday. How can you beat that, sez I? We've had several summer interns who continued working in libraries as they attended college. You never know when some on-the-fly librarianship will come in handy.

Alonzo LaMont

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