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J Med Libr Assoc. 2010 April; 98(2): 97.
PMCID: PMC2859260

E. Jean Antes [Pelley], FMLA, 1920–2008

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E. Jean Antes [Pelley], FMLA, died on October 14, 2008, at her home in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She was a graduate of Dickinson Junior College (now Lycoming College, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania), earned her bachelor's degree at Oberlin College, and earned a master's degree in student personnel from Syracuse University. Jean held positions as assistant dean of women and instructor in sociology at Wisconsin State College; dean of women and assistant professor of English at Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska; and associate dean of students at Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

In 1969, she decided to begin a new career and enrolled at Case Western Reserve University, where she earned a master of library science degree during the time when there was a National Library of Medicine–funded specialized graduate training program for medical librarianship.

From 1970 to 1985, Jean was the medical librarian at Robert Packer Hospital/Guthrie Clinic, Sayre, Pennsylvania. While at Packer Hospital, Jean established and supervised a circuit rider librarian program that involved eight hospitals in Pennsylvania and eight hospitals in New York State. The project was funded by the National Library of Medicine. These hospitals, which were mainly in rural areas, were visited weekly and were provided with information from the hospital library. In an article in the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association in 1982, Antes noted that

personal contact by the librarian with all departments is the best way to generate requests and interest. This contact becomes a learning experience for the librarian as well as the requester. For example, the librarian is able, first hand, to ask questions relevant to a search request. The requester, on the other hand, is made aware of the facets and procedures involved in developing a search strategy. This is also a fine opportunity for the requester to learn about the many kinds of information that are available in libraries.

She went on to note that

in those hospitals where budgets cannot support hiring a librarian and providing an in-depth collection, the circuit library program can supply and keep personnel in touch with the best healthrelated [sic] information available. [1]

After retirement from the library in 1985, Jean became managing editor of the Guthrie Medical Journal until the time of her retirement from Guthrie in 1997. She later served on the Board of Trustees of the Guthrie Health Care System.

Jean's service to the Medical Library Association (MLA) included an extensive record of teaching continuing education courses on budgeting. She also served on the national Recertification, Awards, and Continuing Education Committees and on the 1987 National Program Committee. Jean was also active in the Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter.

Jean was elected an MLA Fellow in 1986. She was recognized by MLA as an “early leader in circuit-rider library service to rural areas… [who] also emphasized the importance of building relationships between physicians and librarians and initiated clinical reference services and literature reviews by the library” [2]. She was interviewed by Elizabeth Figa in 1997 for the MLA Oral History Project. Figa went on to do a doctoral dissertation at the University of Illinois, Mapping and Storytelling an Information System: An Historical and Ethnographic Case Study of the First Circuit Rider Medical Library Program, and an article with extended portions of Figa's research that focused on Jean appeared in the winter 1999 issue of Library Trends [3].

In 1997, Jean married William E. Pelley and moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey. She is survived by her husband, as well as by numerous cousins.


1. Antes E.J. The rural area hospital can afford a librarian. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1982 Apr;70(2):233–6. (Available from: <>. [cited 11 Dec 2009].) [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Figa E. Transcript of oral history with Jean Antes. 7–9 Nov 1997. (Print copies of the oral history can be found through the Regional Medical Libraries. An oral history summary and photo are available at <>. [cited 11 Dec 2009].)
3. Figa E.G. Mapping culture: rural circuit medical librarians' information systems: interview with librarian Jean Antes who helped to develop medical library services for rural hospitals, physicians and health care workers beginning in 1976. Libr Trends. 1999 Winter;47(3):349–74. (Available from: <>. [cited 11 Dec 2009].)

Articles from Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA are provided here courtesy of Medical Library Association