Obituary: Nora Helen Jason

After receiving her master’s degree, she accepted a position as cataloger, Sacramento State College, California. Areas of responsibility were: music, American history, psychology.
In 1967 she was selected as an Administrative Librarian with the Special Services Libraries, Germany. Two medium sized libraries in the Stuttgart area serving the service men and women and dependents provided managerial challenges with the American and German staff, library collection building, public relations, programs for the “troops,” including non-reading adults.
In 1969 Ms. Jason was promoted to Head Librarian, Special Services Libraries at McGraw Kaserne (Munich), Hospital Library and Dachau Library. With an Assistant Librarian and Larger staff it was possible to offer many more of the same activities except for a more diverse user population which also included University of Maryland students and retirees.
In 1971 Ms. Jason joined the Office of Fire Research and Safety staff to build a fire safety database for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Aerospace Safety Research and Data Institute (ASRDI). In a short time she was made the ASRDI Project Leader and successfully built the database which is now part of NASA RECON (their bibliographic database). The NASA work stimulated the beginning of the Fire Research Information Services and the building of the fire research collection. The collection has grown from zero to over 60,000 items during this time period. Access to the collection has been automated and national and international users can access the database, FIREDOC, from their home or office via modem, Web or Internet. FIREDOC contains the bibliographic reference, keywords, identifiers and (where possible) abstracts to the items in the collection.
In her capacity as Supervisor of the Fire Research Information Services, Ms. Jason has established national and international document exchange programs with her counterparts. As one of the driving forces of inFIRE (international network of Fire Information and Reference Exchange) she has been instrumental in developing products, e.g., a Union List of Serials, for use by the fire information community. Special projects also have been done for government agencies; for example, NASA, Minerals Management Service. Ms. Jason was an observer at the Federal Pre-White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services held at the National Library of Medicine in November 1990 and the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Service, 1991. Ms. Jason was awarded the US Department of Commerce Bronze Medal in 1977 and 1999. She was awarded the Society of Fire Protection Engineers Director’s Award for the 1992 Outstanding Committee Chair, as the Chair of the inFIRE Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Special Libraries Association, inFIRE, and the Textile Information Users Council.
As a Guest Researcher, Ms. Jason was the Associated Editor of FIRE.GOV. It is an electronic newsletter for the fire service worldwide, bringing news of current international research to them. Technical reports, photographs, videos, and websites provide greater insight to the reader.