Nancy Zinn

Nancy ZinnFrom the Story Bank:

In 1994, I took early retirement (a special program offered unexpectedly), so hadn’t contemplated what I would do with my time when I retired from the UCSF library, where I had been Head of Special Collections and University Archivist for almost 30 years. Consequently, I spent the next couple of years adjusting to living on my own time.

Ultimately, missing some of the structure that goes with a job, I took a part-time position as a reference archivist with the Bank of America. The Archives were then at Front and Broadway, near the Embarcadero.

Alas, I cannot remember what led me to the League. They still had unit meetings then – in different neighborhoods and one downtown at headquarters. The latter was not far from the Archives, and met at 6 PM, which was convenient for me to get there after work. That’s where I went (in 1999, as I recall) to become acquainted with the activities and philosophy of the League, and meet the San Francisco members and officers.

There, fortunately, I met Adele Fasick, and learned that not only did she live not far from me, but that she was a retired librarian (actually former Dean of the Library School at the University of Toronto) as well! So we developed our friendship going to the meetings and then riding home together.

Adele and I got to know Ann Anderson, who was Chairing the Education Study Committee at that time. We shanghaied my husband, Bill (who had had considerable experience with the SF School District), and with one other member, Kay Blalock, met at Ann’s home at Lake Merced for several years. Ann also volunteered at the Achenbach Library in the Legion of Honor, and got me to work there too! Alas, solutions to the problems of the School District were elusive, and during our period of study a new Superintendent was brought in. Consequently, we felt we would have to wait for some time after she arrived and put her own imprint on the district before we could again look at the district. And things changed…. Ann moved up to Oakmont in Petaluma and the other member of the committee became incapacitated, so the group disbanded.

Adele and I also worked together on the Candidate Forums that were held in the Sunset District for a number of years – always a good way to get a look at the candidates and evaluate their responses to pointed questions! At some point, I took on being timekeeper for the tapings of issue forums to be broadcast on the public service channel, Access Ch. 29, now defunct, sadly. Over the years, I filled in various other spots – recorder for the annual meeting, hostess at the Women Who Could be President reception, participant in a workshop offered by the National League on membership, among other things. At some point I was asked to host a membership meeting, which I enjoyed doing, and so, encouraged by Marilyn Campbell, then chair, joined the Membership Committee. I am co-chair today, with Alex Volberding, whose enthusiasm and ideas (continuing Marilyn’s energy and with her support!) should be a grand impetus to increasing the number of members and encouraging their participation in League activities.

All of these activities allowed me to meet the officers and members, and get to understand the organization in its various guises – a totally satisfying experience that I can recommend for any one. It seems to me that to join an organization and then not participate in its activities eliminates the opportunity to learn and support it – not to mention getting to know a lot of interesting people, rewards which more than justify the effort involved!

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