12/29/2012 - Judson College Alumna Awarded Hospital Librarian of the Year
By Michael J. Brooks
Judson College alumna Genny Staggs of Mobile was named "Hospital Librarian of the Year" last fall by the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association. The MLA Southern Chapter includes six U.S. states and two commonwealth territories: Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands.
"It was an honor to be nominated," Staggs said. "My supervisor nominated me, and I attended the awards ceremony at our annual meeting in Baltimore in October."
Staggs began her work at the University of South Alabama's Medical Center Library in 1979 and then moved to the campus library. Five years ago she returned to the hospital, where she serves as associate director of hospital library services, which means she superintends work in two hospitals, including the USA Medical Center and the USA Children's and Women's Hospital in Mobile, Ala.
“I enjoyed the hospital atmosphere early in my career, and now it
is fulfilling to have the opportunity to work with other health care
professionals to positively impact the outcomes of patients,” Staggs said in an
interview with USA media services. “I have been active in providing the research to support the
writing of a new protocol for the services – such as physical therapy,
respiratory therapy, and nutrition services – that help with treating open
heart patients. We have set up pre-surgery education with the goal of improving
outcomes. When patients know what to expect when they go into surgery it
relieves some of the stress they're under and gives them a good basis for
evaluating their progress after surgery.”
However, Staggs said she needed scholarship assistance and decided to remain at home and take as many courses at the local community college as possible. "I took the catalogue from our community college and the admissions counselor marked all the classes that would transfer," she said. "I took five quarters, moved to Marion and was able to graduate in two years."
At Judson Staggs worked in the dining hall for extra cash. "We had family-style dinners in those days," she said, "so they needed a lot of servers."
She also enjoyed working in several drama productions. "I remember 'You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown' and 'The Mad Woman of Chaillot,'" she said. "I did some acting and worked with sets and lighting."
Staggs earned her degree at Judson in 1975 with a secondary education major and a minor in librarianship. Then she earned her master's degree at The University of Kentucky in Lexington.
Staggs is active in Judson's Greater Mobile Area Alumnae Chapter and enjoyed the group's recent Christmas Tea, where college president Dr. David Potts was guest. She said she tries to make young people in her church, Cottage Hill Baptist in Mobile, aware of scholarship days and encourages them to attend. And she has accompanied the Mobile chapter to "Praise in the Park" in Lucedale, Miss. to set up Judson displays and talk with prospective students.
"I'm thankful for a place like Judson College that is committed to quality education and provided me with a place to learn, stretch and grow, not only educationally, but also spiritually," Staggs said.
"Judson's unique atmosphere helped me to develop a service attitude that has underpinned my professional and personal life."