February 16, 2018

Merle Colglazier | Movers & Shakers 2006



His original plan after completing his MDiv was to be a theological librarian, but Merle Colglazier has found that medical librarianship also allows him to serve his faith while serving humanity. He describes Bon Secours Richmond Health System as a ‘faith-based healthcare system where spirituality and belief are considered an essential part of health and wholeness’ and where good library service has a direct impact on patient care. That cause is especially dear to his heart because skilled medical care saved him from blindness.

At work, Colglazier manages electronic and print library services for the local healthcare system, which includes four hospitals. But as Meg White, director of business development at Rittenhouse, says, he ‘has the vision and foresight to recognize the bigger picture.’

The bigger picture is of needs that aren’t being met by existing systems. Knowing that many overseas medical libraries couldn’t afford medical journals, Colglazier founded JournalShare in 1991, a project to collect donated medical journals and books and ship them to those libraries.

Another unmet need was for an inexpensive way for libraries to exchange or purchase back volumes and issues of medical journals. Colglazier developed an online auction service, Iknosys, which traded biomedical journals. Renamed PubZilla in 2005 (www.pubzilla.com), it now allows free listing and searching of back issues from all disciplines, with only a modest commission fee on completed transactions.

When hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast, Colglazier saw another unmet need and offered the free use of PubZilla for those who wanted to donate medical journals to affected libraries. As one medical colleague says of Colglazier, he ‘likes to solve large problems.’

One large problem he’s considering is ‘using automated classification technology to organize Internet resources in the medical domain’ and then, perhaps, in the religious and theological domain, thus fulfilling his dream of being a theological librarian.



Current Position System Librarian (Library Director), Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Richmond, VA
Degrees MSLS, Catholic University of America, 1977; MDiv, Union Theological Seminary, 1981
Fun fact Plays trombone in the Richmond Pops Band