LLU librarian emeritus shares highlights of career with library staff
George V. Summers, PhD, MSLS, librarian emeritus, Loma Linda University, displays a plaque he was awarded recently by the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians.
George V. Summers, PhD, MSLS, librarian emeritus, Loma Linda University, shared some high points of his more than 40 years as a librarian during a University libraries staff meeting held August 24.
Seventeen of those years (1964 to 1981) were spent as library director at Loma Linda University. During that time he participated in a number of campus firsts.
The first campus computing office, headed by Dr. Ivan Neilsen, found a home on the fifth floor stacks, thanks to Dr. Summers.
He was the first Adventist librarian to orchestrate the building of two university library structures in his term: the La Sierra Library, then La Sierra College, Riverside, California, and the Del E. Webb Memorial Library at Loma Linda University.
He was the first Adventist librarian to build an instant collection in four days. He worked with a Los Angeles philanthropist to facilitate a gift of 100,000 books, a good share of which were added to the University library’s collection.
Additionally, Dr. Summers was the first Seventh-day Adventist librarian to earn a PhD.
Under Dr. Summer’s leadership, the Loma Linda University Library was one of the first five California libraries to welcome nationwide online catalog resource-sharing to California. He did this by joining library directors from Claremont Colleges, University of Redlands, Occidental College, and the California Institute of Technology to be the first libraries in California to partner with the bibliographic utility, OCLC, which supports a cooperative cataloging service to participating libraries.
The first Seventh-day Adventist periodical index, a dream of Adventist librarians for more than 30 years, became a reality in the early 1970s through Dr. Summer’s leadership and creative approach to funding. This index is alive and well at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, and now serves the public online.
Dr. Summers also served as director of the Medical Library at Chinese University of Hong Kong and as director of the East Stroudsburg in Pennsylvania. Currently, he is librarian at the Loma Linda University Medical Center–East Campus Library.
Dr. Summers was recently honored by the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians, which gave him a plaque at its annual meeting. It reads: “The Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians honors George V. Summers, MSLS, PhD, for his lifetime commitment to the library profession, as a visionary leader, experienced administrator, nurturer of future librarians, strong proponent of the founding of the Association of Adventist Librarians (ASDAL), and co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist periodical index. Presented July 12, 2005, Lincoln, Nebraska.”