David Noble

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David Noble (1940 — 2008), former BC health librarian and information advocate, received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1965 and his Bachelor of Library Studies degree in 1969 from the UBC School of Librarianship. He worked at Dalhousie University Libraries before returning to Vancouver to serve as a solo librarian and later as head librarian of the BCCA Library from 1976 until his 2002 retirement. In 1977, Noble was a founding member of the Health Libraries Association of British Columbia (HLABC), and served as its second president in 1979-80. David was awarded a lifetime membership in 2002. (His mentor, the late W. (Bill) Colin Fraser of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC Library was HLABC's co-founder and first president.)

Noble was the head librarian of the BC Cancer Agency’s library for more than 30 years, first in the A. Maxwell Evans clinic, then in the building at on West 10th and finally on contract when he retired. From humble beginnings in the house that was the first cancer clinic, Noble built the cancer library, collections and services that were a model for other cancer centres. Noble was an advocate for researchers and clinicians. He sought out information of relevance and forwarded it on to clinicians often at just the right moment. Noble’s era spanned paper-based librarians and the Internet. He passionately believed mediated cancer information was an integral part of the patient’s treatment and their experiences. He created a cancer information database which was the predecessor to the Canadian Cancer Society information service.

David Noble Prize for Excellence in Health Information Research

In 2010, HLABC set up the David Noble Prize for Excellence in Health Information Research to honour and commemorate Noble and encourage new information professionals to follow in his footsteps of excellence in health librarianship. The first winner of the award in 2011 was Sandra Barron. The deadline for the 2013 award is coming soon. For more information, see this file. Previous winners: Megan Sorenson and Jennifer Garrett. More information to follow.

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