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European Association for Health Information and Libraries
Association Européenne pour I'Information et les Bibliothèques de Santé



It is my pleasure to introduce to you Frances Abercromby, Arts Librarian of the Edinburgh University Library. Frances is a friend and colleague of Sally Wood-Lamont. Upon my request she wrote a short report for our Newsletter about the festivities taking place in Edinburgh early December.
For those of you who were wondering what made Sally to go, live and work in Romania, the answer is (at least) partly in this report. It is something exceptional that Sally is doing for the Romanian medical library colleagues and the people. This was all well recognized by the Edinburgh University. On behalf of EAHIL Board and members we congratulate Sally with her degree!!

Suzanne Bakker

Honorary Degree for the Chief Editor of the EAHIL Newsletter

An honorary degree of Master of Arts was awarded to Sally Wood-Lamont at an Edinburgh University graduation ceremony on 8th December 1999, in recognition of all the work Sally has done in Romania, both in the field of librarianship, and in wider charitable enterprises.
During the revolution of 1989 which overthrew President Ceaucescu, the University Library of Bucharest suffered a serious fire which destroyed much of its stock. A European appeal was made by academics in Romania for help in rebuilding library collections, and in the early 1990s Sally became co-ordinator of the highly successful Scottish Books for Romania Appeal, which has seen over three million books from Scotland being received by Romanian libraries, schools and hospitals.

Partly as a result of Sallys recognition of the urgent need for modern medical books in Romania, she became Secretary/Co-ordinator of Scotland Romania Medicaid, and to date over three hundred doctors have had the opportunity to study for short spells in Scottish hospitals. The selection of candidates, their placements and their travel and accommodation have all been arranged - at a distance! - by Sally.

After two years (Nov 1993- Sep 1995) on sabbatical leave from Edinburgh University Library, which were spent working in and from the University Medical Library of Cluj (helping to automate the library, and to teach Romanian librarians), Sallys commitment to Romania led her to leave Edinburgh in 1995 to take up permanent residence in Cluj-Napoca - in her own words, >There was just so much to do here, I couldnt leave.

The honorary degree was in recognition of much besides librarianship: Sally teaches English to a group of physically handicapped adults, and organises outings and entertainments to which they can contribute; she has established the Scotland-Romania Language Link through which students from Scottish universities come each summer to teach English conversation to Romanian school children; and she has been helping to organise the Shoeboxes for Romania appeal which has raised money, and medical and sports equipment for children in Romania.

On the day of the graduation a group of ten of Sallys friends (several of them also former colleagues) were invited to the ceremony to lend support to Sally, and to enjoy seeing her being honoured. Here we listened to a laureation address by Ian Mowat, Librarian to the University of Edinburgh, in which he outlined some of the reasons for Sallys award, and spoke of the pride felt in her achievements by the staff of Edinburgh University Library.

A reception hosted by the Principal of Edinburgh University was followed by a long lunch, after which a rest was needed before the festivities of the evening began. These took the form of a Scottish ceilidh - a word from Scottish and Irish Gaelic which means a visit or a gossip, and which now traditionally encompasses a lot of energetic Scottish dancing with a fair amount of gossip for good measure!

This exchange of the formalities of the morning for the energetic dancing of the evening provided the perfect end to a pretty special day for your chief editor - and her friends!

Frances Abercromby,
Arts Librarian
Edinburgh University Librarytop

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