Anne Comeaux Retires After 40 Years of Service to the UT System

Anne Comeaux, AHIP, CRM, DAS will retire on Sept. 11, 2015, after more than 41 years as a health science librarian.   Anne began working in libraries as an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1970, continuing to work for UT while attending library school and receiving her MLS. Her first professional job was at the Texas Medical Association Library in Austin, where she served as a reference librariaComeauxEn from 1974 – 1977 and became a member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals. Anne moved to San Antonio in November of 1977 to begin work at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and remained there in various capacities for the next 38 years. She started as the Search Analyst in charge of online searching, switching to programming and systems in support of the library’s LIS online catalog system, miniMedline, and other functions. When the library converted from LIS to Innovative Interfaces, Anne was responsible for writing the programs needed to export the library’s data for import into the new catalog. She worked for several years as the head of Interlibrary Loan, designing an automated system for tracking ILL borrowing and lending before ILLiad was available. She also wrote financial databases to track library expenditures and bill departments for services and created an archival database to manage collections in the University Archives.

In December 2000 Anne was appointed as the records management officer (RMO) for the university when the library was assigned responsibility for this function, and started a whole new career as a records manager. She developed records management training classes for university staff, created a database to retain information on retention of records and generate retention schedules, set up a system of Records Management Representatives to manage state records for departments and divisions, and developed an online, searchable Records Retention Schedule. She has been very active in the San Antonio Chapter of ARMA International, serving as an officer and on the Board since 2006, and received her Certified Records Manager (CRM) designation from the Institute of Certified Records Managers in January 2012.

In 2007 Anne became the Assistant Director for Special Collections, adding the roles of University Archivist and rare books librarian to existing RMO duties. She received a grant to finance a preservation specialist’s evaluation of current practices in the University Archives and P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and recommend improvements for better preservation. She was also successful in securing several Rescuing Texas History grants to digitize interesting books about San Antonio and early physician pioneers in the Nixon Library and Bexar County Medical Society membership records for physicians born before 1911. Both of these collections are now available through the Portal to Texas History. Anne worked with others to set up the CONTENTdm Digital Archive for the university and earned her Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) designation from the Society of American Archivists in 2015. She has successfully supported the Friends of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and its student-led group the History of Medicine Society since November 2014, marketing events, designing newsletters, arranging speakers, and supporting the Board.

Anne is looking forward to traveling, reading, gardening, and spending time with her children, grandchildren, and other family. She feels extremely lucky to have had such a varied and interesting career and the opportunity to learn many, many new skills – from database searching to programming to creating finding aids and doing historical research. She says it has never been dull and always a challenge!