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NIH Record


NCRR's Murray Retires After 42 Years

After 42 years of federal government service, Richard W. Murray, Jr., library technician in the NIH Library, will retire May 30. He has spent the last 33 years as a member of the library staff.

Richard W. Murray, Jr.

Murray began his tenure at NIH in 1960, working in the Clinical Center nursing department of the arthritis and metabolic diseases nursing section.

In 1964, he joined the staff of the NIH Library as a messenger, and soon assumed clerical responsibilities in the technical services section. In 1967, he became library technician in that section and had advanced to lead library technician in charge of serials processing at retirement.

Murray has seen library technology evolve from manual record keeping on cardex files through keypunch tracking, to the current automated system where all data concerning a journal is kept on computer and accessed with a keystroke.

"When I first started in technical services, we always had a backlog of journals to check in," says Murray. "We would process only those journals that we felt were the most important such as New England Journal of Medicine, PNAS, Science, JAMA, and Nature. The others would have to wait until we had time to check them in."

Now, Murray marvels, with use of the computerized integrated library system -- Innovative Interfaces, Inc. -- all journals are processed and made available to NIH staff within 24 hours of their arrival in the library.

Another change noted by Murray is the photocopy area. "When I started working in the library, we had only two machines for all users, and no pay copiers. Now," he says, "there are six self-serve machines for NIH staff, three pay machines, and numerous copiers for document delivery use."

Over the years, Murray has earned numerous awards. In 1987, he became the first library staffer to receive the NIH Director's award for "sustained and excellent work performance and for speed and efficiency with which library journals are made available to the NIH scientists."

Family (a son and daughter and three grandchildren) will continue to play an important role in Murray's retirement. "I'll always have time for them," he states. He will join his wife, Glenda, who retired 2 years ago from the Department of Energy after a 30-year career, to enjoy "doing things leisurely and quietly. No deadlines, no schedules or time tables. I'll have lots of time for my hobby -- I love working in dirt! -- yard work, flowers, flower beds, and landscaping."

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