NISO notes with sadness the passing of Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, former director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). He was one of the longest-serving directors of that Library prior to his retirement in 2015. Before his appointment as Director of NLM, he was Professor of Information Science and Professor of Pathology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He also held appointments as Clinical Professor of Pathology at the University of Virginia and Adjunct Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
In addition to a career in pathology, Dr. Lindberg made notable contributions to information and computer activities in medical diagnosis, artificial intelligence, and educational programs. During the early ‘90’s, he served in a concurrent position as founding Director of the National Coordination Office for High Performance Computing & Communications (HPCC) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Executive Office of the President.
From 1992-95, he served in a concurrent position as founding Director of the National Coordination Office for High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Executive Office of the President. In 1996, he was named by the HHS Secretary to be the U.S. Coordinator for the G-7 Global Health Applications Project.
He was well-recognized for his contributions to the information community. Dr. Lindberg authored three books: The Computer and Medical Care; Computers in Life Science Research; and The Growth of Medical Information Systems in the United States, several book chapters, and more than 200 articles and reports. He served as editor and editorial board member of nine publications including the Journal of the American Medical Association. It was while Lindberg was Director that the critical information resource, MedLine, was made publicly available on the World Wide Web as PubMed. Lindberg was honored by the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) in 2007 when he was named as the Miles Conrad Lecturer. A transcript of that lecture is available here. In 2014, he was named as the Paul Evans Peter Award recipient by the Coalition for Networked Information, the Association of Research Libraries and EDUCAUSE.
Dr. Lindberg graduated Magna Cum Laude from Amherst College, received his MD degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University and was the recipient of numerous honors, including Phi Beta Kappa and being elected the first president of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA).