In the dynamic realm of health sciences information professionals, Linda Walton stands as an exemplar of excellence, dedicated service, and visionary leadership. After an illustrious 38-year career, Walton has been honored with the esteemed 2023 Marcia C. Noyes Award by the Medical Library Association (MLA). This award recognizes her outstanding contributions, enduring influence, and unwavering commitment to the field.
Throughout her remarkable journey in health sciences librarianship, Walton undertook diverse roles, progressing from her early days as a hospital librarian to her influential tenure as Principal Investigator/Associate Director for NNLM regional offices. She generously imparted her knowledge and expertise as an educator and made pivotal contributions as a library administrator, notably during her tenure at the University of Iowa.
Walton's career was marked by achievements that directly addressed the needs of health sciences librarians and the broader community. She played a pivotal role in expanding access to health information, particularly in underserved areas, through her leadership at NNLM. Her expertise in collection development has been instrumental in shaping library collections and resources. Walton was an early advocate for the potential of the internet and electronic resources, leading innovative projects like HealthWeb and the Health SmartLibrary portal.
Those who know Walton have seen her influence extend far beyond her immediate accomplishments. Her leadership roles within MLA, including a term as President and Treasurer, have shaped the association's direction. Her commitment to nurturing new leaders in health sciences librarianship is evident through her teaching at Dominican University and her mentorship of countless librarians who have gone on to become influential figures in their own right.
Walton's career has made an indelible mark on all facets of the health sciences information profession. Her work with NNLM, dedication to collection development, foresight regarding the internet's role in the profession, and advocacy for equity in healthcare showcase the breadth of her impact. Her commitment to the ethical standards of MLA is evident in her extensive grant management and her unwavering dedication to informed decision-making in healthcare.
As noted by one colleague “Linda has left an indelible mark on health sciences librarianship, and she has done so with a kind and generous heart, and an insightful sense of humor that is always compassionate. We know Linda for her humanism and integrity.”
Do you know an MLA member whose career exhibits the highest ideals of the profession? MLA is now accepting nominations for the 2024 Marcia C. Noyes Award.