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Honoring Our Past

The 49th annual meeting of MLA was held in Boston in 1950 with an attendance of 260 members and friends. The president, Sanford V. Larkey, director of the Welch Medical Library, presided at the largest meeting of the association to that date. A welcome speech was presented by Henry R. Viets, physician, librarian of the Boston Medical Library, and soon to be the honorary vice president of MLA. Viets was also a noted book lover who often said that his books were his children. He concluded his welcome with the following:

The medical librarian has one of the most complicated jobs in all librarianship. I think it is fair to say that almost no one has so many questions of a diverse nature to answer in the course of twenty-four hours as the medical librarian. What is more, we are relatively poor. We have to do a lot of the dirty work ourselves. If we had more money we would have others do this work. I have no doubt that Mr. Ballard (Librarian of the Boston Medical Library) has been very busy in the last week, not in accessing books, completing his catalog, but in sweeping some dust under the rugs so that you won’t see it.