Reference Librarian Ester Saghafi retired at the end of June after 33 years of service. She began her career at Pitt in the library at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) as both a cataloger and reference librarian. After the WPIC library closed in 2008, she transferred to Falk Library of the Health Sciences where she was appointed reference librarian and psychiatry liaison. From 2009–2013, she served as program manager and instructor for the Certificate of Advanced Study in Health Sciences Librarianship (HealthCAS), a post-master’s degree program. During her career at Pitt, Saghafi worked under three library directors: Lucile Stark, Pat Mickelson, and Barbara Epstein.
Saghafi’s career paralleled a period of rapid technological advancements. She remembers when e-mail did not exist, and if the need arose to quickly communicate with a colleague, you had to walk to their office or call them on the telephone. She also remembers the noisy dial-up computer modems that often disconnected.
One of Saghafi’s favorite things about being a librarian has been interacting with library patrons. Before remote access to library resources became available in the 1990s, in-library services and computerized searches brought librarians into frequent, close contact with library users. Even now, Saghafi has many longtime colleagues from WPIC who still contact her with questions.
Saghafi is looking forward to spending more time with her husband, three children, and two grandchildren. She plans to continue working as practice manager in her husband’s nephrology/hypertension practice.
Saghafi has always been generous in sharing her expertise with others, and we will miss her gracious personality and gentle humor. We wish her the very best!