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Audrey Kerr (1932 – 2014) (see obituary), head librarian, administrator and innovator, had a distinguished career in medical librarianship and a thirty (30) year association with the University of Manitoba. Known for her dedication and service to the UofM Faculty of Medicine, the Library and her staff, she was widely seen as an effective and innovative administrator. On retirement, she held the rank of Librarian in the Faculty of Medicine and received emeritus status in 1996. Her Librarian Emerita status was conferred in 2004.
Kerr helped to plan the Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library at the UofM, using the latest information technologies and implementing networking and resource-sharing services. In 1979, she developed the Medical Library Extension Service for rural physicians, one of the first of its kind in Canada. The service provided advice in operating rural hospital libraries and professional support for physicians until 1995. The UofM presented Kerr with a Presidential Outreach Award due to her efforts in taking information out to rural areas.
In 1983, Kerr helped to establish the WHINET (Winnipeg Health Information Network) through funding from the Winnipeg Foundation. WHINET hired a librarian to support resource-sharing among area health libraries. Kerr again played a primary role in obtaining funding for the St. Boniface Hospital library automation project (Bridge), and later obtained a grant from the Sifton foundation to fund automation. The project was eventually expanded to bring together electronic resources of the teaching hospital and university libraries.
Kerr was a founding member of the Manitoba Health Libraries Association and CHLA/ABSC (Canada) and the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges (ACMC) Subcommittee on Medical School Libraries. She was a founding member of the Manitoba History of Medicine Society. Through ACMC, she co-edited a 1966 report which led to the Health Sciences Resource Centre at CISTI in 1967. From 1975 to 1983, Kerr was a member of the NRC Advisory Board on Scientific and Technical Information.
In 1994, UofM recognized her lifetime achievements by awarding Kerr with the Peter D. Curry Chancellor’s Award made annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the university.