This past Sunday Carrie Price (new Welch Informationist) and Yours Truly Alonzo (not new at all) went out into the stinkin, stankin heat to Tour 5 or 6 parks in Baltimore City. The ride raised money for the Department of Parks and Recreation (some know this as the Dept. of Recreation and Parks) to improve our city parks.


Here we are in Dickeyville, a very quaint community in Northwest Baltimore. It's off the beaten path, but a true gem filled with great old houses, a waterfall and lots and lots of local atmosphere. I also crossed paths with Stephanie Shapiro from Inside Hopkins along the way.


We stop to rest in Druid Hill Park. The sun is baking, but shade is everywhere. A little bit after this I talk Carrie into----I mean Carrie agrees to turn our 25 miler, into a 33 miler. What a trooper. She deserves major macho points. We saw even more of the city, and no matter how well you know Baltimore----there's always a surprise somewhere.




Here's my friend Dwight Pinkney, who with the help of his wife Anne, have helped organize this ride for the last 10 years. It doesn't look like it here, but there were over 1,000 participants and we had live jazz and food once we crossed the finish line. PLUS, we get bragging rights over everybody who thinks they know what it's like to travel in Baltimore City. Kudos again to my riding buddy Carrie, she negotiated city traffic like a pro. who beat the heat? We did.


Alonzo Lamont  

Posted in: Hopkins Community , Staff Spotlight  Tags:
CommComm posted on November 8, 2010 21:33

Emilee Flynn's "Walk Like An Egyptian" wins the Welch Photo Contest. Congrats to Emilee. She gets a bag of Welch goodies. And with all the prize money-----OK----so there's no prize money, just prizes, but they're all her's.  And in her bag of goodies she gets a pencil, some paper----OK----none of that stuff, we went longball.  She gets a spanking backpack and some nifty other stuff. Now that she's won this round she moves onto the Nationals and a chance to-----OK/OK---alright, there are no "Nationals," this is the end of the line. I'd like to thank all the judges for their time and observant eyes, also I want to thank Nancy Roderer (for "getting the vote out"), and for my co-pilot Victoria Goode who helped steer the "good ship Photo".

Job well done to Emilee. I have to stop now, on happy occasions, I get all ferklempt. (who wants to bet I spelled it right) (I did spell it right).

Alonzo LaMont 

CommComm posted on August 26, 2010 18:43

Chances are you've probably already heard about Mary, but I just wanted to re-send her information just in case.

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that she's in our thoughts and prayers.

Mary Kelley

Good Samaritan Hospital


5601 Loch Raven Blvd.

Baltimore, MD 21239

Phone: 443-444-5068



CommComm posted on August 25, 2010 20:12

We had a celebration last week, Debbie McClellan and Nora Smith are both leaving Welch for new adventures. So we had some kind words from Nancy Roderer and Claire Twose expressing our feelings towards all the good work they've done. But "good work" doesn't begin to express what Debbie has meant to Welch. And Nora, during her short time here, has been 'discovered' by many colleagues (and since my office is right next to her's I count myself as someone who appreciated her daily doses of good humor).

We all had cake, goodies, and gifts were exchanged. A good time was had by one and all.


Nancy, Debbie and Claire...



Nora receives a bag of goodies....


Debbie is genuinely touched.....

As was everyone else. During these moments you can't help but feel happy and elated for the many years, the accomplishments---and also for the new life that awaits them both. Debbie's world is sure to be full. Nora moves on to MIT. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say "all the best" to both.

CommComm posted on August 20, 2010 19:14

(Nancy Roderer on the left, Catherine on the right)

Before she left Welch, Catherine Craven let me ask a few questions about her time here and her future plans. As mentioned in the interview, Catherine brought a very real energy to her job and also to her duties as Chair of the Communications Committee As a member of that Committee, I can attest to her genuine commitment and passion to the Welch Library and Johns Hopkins. She'll be missed. 


Catherine Craven was her for three years and I’m sure everyone remembers her “go get ‘em tiger!” walk and personality. “Clearly this is THEE most amazing biomedical center in the country and one of the best in the world. You’ll never go anywhere else and get this quality of people working and caring. From the hospital staff, to the people who mop the floors to everybody who works at Welch, throughout the entire clinical group, everybody cares. There’s an intensity here that you’ll never find anywhere else. And that’s a really ideal situation to be able to plug into”.

As Catherine elaborated, it was clear that a lot of her recollections haven’t entirely been relegated to the professional aspects and observations, but also included the personal transitions and occasions Welch has seen during her stay.

“What kind of personal transitions are you speaking about Catherine?”

“You know in just these three years we’ve had family members who’ve passed away, we’ve had births, deaths, some folks have endured illness or injury---all of this has really brought me into seeing Welch as my family. I have ‘real’ family in Missouri and Michigan, but my experiences at Welch have just touched my heart. I know it's corny to say that. But there it is. Long after I reflect on the many individual projects, “important people,” and challenging tasks---what I’ll remember are the people here at Welch that I’ve come to care about”.

We joked about my remembrance of seeing Catherine for the first time. My initial observation was “there goes a hard-charging woman. She’s walking SOMEWHERE”.  She admitted that her walk is unique, and people have commented in the past on it's forcefulness. When I asked about the biggest hurdle she felt when she arrived, “I’ll say it was---well, it was starting to become steeped in the culture and the history of Johns Hopkins. I came to realize how important that culture was to so many people.  I was excited to become part of that. Every single day I think I learned something new. I always tell people that one of the more humbling things around here is the opportunity to work with, and be around so many thousands of truly brilliant people. I hope in my own way I’ve made at least a little small mark.”

“So Catherine what I’m hearing is that you plugged into the---shall we say---"electric atmosphere" right away. But that seems like the same current you operate on as well, yes?”

“I’d like to think that some people have their very own ‘volume dial’ and on a scale of 1-to-10 they can dial it up, but perhaps it takes a little time to get to 10. And then there are other people who dial it up pretty quickly and prefer to work in the---7-to-10 range on the dial, I’ve gotta say that I’m probably one of those 7-to-10 people. At alot of places, that’s probably a little too intense---but Hopkins is a place where, for the most part, that volume is appreciated. That being said, I also have a true appreciation for those who tether the anchor. All in all, it takes that kind of combination to make departments and projects move forward."

Catherine is returning to the Univ. of Missouri to get her Ph.D in Medical Informatics. “It’s an exciting time to go back. I get to polish up some research skills, learn a few technical skills, and to get a few more project management skills. But I have to say---that it would really be an amazing thing if my career blew me back this way. I’m one of those people who LOVES Baltimore, I love this city. I would really, really enjoy coming back here”.

Catherine relayed that the genesis (and actual arrival) of the Welch Facebook page and the library blog came from input she received with the Communications Committee. “I can’t take any credit for that. Basically I just try to bring an energy. I like to bring some energy, some excitement and enthusiasm.”

Catherine is moving back to Columbia, Missouri and has fond memories of her previous time there. “And if anyone from the Welch family is passing through there along I-70 I’ll certainly make room for them in my humble little bungalow”.  


CommComm posted on August 19, 2010 19:58

I posted this in Facebook, and wanted to include it here too (just in case you might have missed it). Kudos to Nancy Roderer, Claire Twose, Stella Seal and Catherine (who-just-moved-on-not-too-long ago) Craven.



Change Moving Hopkins Forward.mht (216.38 kb)



CommComm posted on August 10, 2010 20:45

The Welch Library had an all-staff meeting on July 29th, and Nancy Roderer, Claire Twose and Blair Anton presented a number of questions pertaining to the current and future status of the library. Included in their talk was a mention of the interviews and articles generated by Nancy, Blair and Claire along with the papers that have been presented at a variety of places (Peru! For one). Needless to say, the "long arm of the library" is now accumulating a very healthy measure of public relations attention, both local and national. For those unable to attend the meeting, or for those who are curious about what Nancy, Claire and Blair addressed, here are the list of questions.

 1.  Is Welch implementing a new model of librarianship

 2.  How do we know that this is what the library’s users want?

 3.  What’s an informationist?

 4.  What do informationists do differently with regard to providing services?" 

 5.  Give examples of services informationists have provided that are more in-depth.


 6.  What challenges do the informationists face with regard to users’ perceptions?


 7.  Where are we on reducing the paper collection and the number and size of physical library spaces?


 8.  Is the new model working? 


 9.  Will library services and jobs continue to change?




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 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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