News and Announcements

Sandra Martin Retires

January 7, 2020

Sandra Martin

Sandra Martin, director of the Shiffman Medical Library and Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Learning Resources Center, retired in January after serving with distinction for 24 years at Wayne State."

"Sandra leaves behind a proud legacy here at the Wayne State University Library System," said Jon E. Cawthorne, dean of the Wayne State University Library System. "I am deeply grateful for the positive impact that she has had on our community."

Before joining Wayne State, Martin worked for Harper Hospital for 22 years in a number of roles, including supervisor of libraries. She received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from Wayne State.

"You can't talk about working at Wayne State without talking about the people. The people I've worked with have been incredibly dedicated," Martin said. "Something that stands out are the small kindnesses that people do for students and co-workers to help them succeed. You don't see that everywhere."

As a native Detroiter, Martin said she has always felt a tie to the university and the community. Her grandmother went to Central High School in what is now Wayne State's iconic Old Main building. "I love the way that Wayne State gives to the community and to those of us who may be the first in their family to go to college," said Martin. "Especially the School of Medicine's post baccalaureate programs that are available to help students as they enter the medical school experience. Wayne State has a way of understanding the needs of those who are just entering into college life."

LaVentra E. Danquah, who will assume the role of interim director of Shiffman Medical Library, worked with Martin for more than 20 years and feels that like Wayne State, Martin has a knack for understanding people and their needs.

"Sandra embodies commitment and dedication along with wit and insight to see the potential in others as well as what our users need," said Danquah. "After being entrenched in the profession for so many years, she was able to leverage that knowledge to advance the library's services and resources." 

Throughout her career Martin held committee positions at local, state, regional and national levels, including the Medical Library Association, Association of Academic Health Science Libraries and was a member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine. She will continue her role as a member of the board for the Medical Library Association through May.

As she considers her plans for retirement, Martin recalled the memory of close family friends that she knew growing up. Sisters Betty and Jean would take a leisurely vacation each winter. "We'd walk by their house in the cold and snow I remember looking in and seeing them in their pajamas listening to music, making soup or hot chocolate, and enjoying the warm fire," Martin reminisced. "So that's what comes to mind when I think about what would be on my bucket list for retirement. To just relax and enjoy not having to go anywhere on those cold winter days."

A celebration of Martin's retirement will be held Thursday, January 16, at the Shiffman Medical Library. Click here for more information.