September 1, 2002 - Personal Web Site: Description of Peace Corps Service in Morocco by Marc Jeffrey Lippman

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Morocco: Peace Corps Morocco : The Peace Corps in Morocco: September 1, 2002 - Personal Web Site: Description of Peace Corps Service in Morocco by Marc Jeffrey Lippman

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, July 20, 2003 - 10:48 am: Edit Post

Description of Peace Corps Service in Morocco by Marc Jeffrey Lippman

Description of Peace Corps Service in Morocco by Marc Jeffrey Lippman



After a competitive process stressing the applicant's skills, adaptability, and cross- cultural sensitivity, Marc Lippman began Peace Corps training on 27 June, 2000 at the Lycée Omar El Khayyam, Rabat and completed the eleven week training program. The training program included the following:


Study of Arab and Islamic values and traditions with an emphasis on Moroccan history and culture. (30 hours plus 8 days of rural or urban visits)


General introduction to the education system in Morocco; specific introduction to the Information Resource Management (IRM) program; field trips to local resource centers; practicum in a library. (169 hours)


Intensive study of the Arabic language, Moroccan dialect, including reading, writing, and speaking. (154 hours)


Health care in Morocco; first aid and safety; preventive medicine and nutrition. (18 hours)

Marc Lippman began working at the Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie de Fès September 1, 2000. In spite of language limitations, he developed a working relationship with library colleagues, faculty and administration at the medical college. Those first days were spentlearning the system and assessing the possibilities that were open to him. As the medical college had only opened the previous year, Marc had the opportunity to organize the library from the beginning.

In his first six months, Marc introduced the library staff to international standards for classification (the National Library of Medicine [NLM] Classification Scheme) and indexing (the NLM Medical Subject Headings translated into French) for the library cataloging system.

As the year progressed, Marc created the first catalog for the medical college library using the CDS/ISIS database management program, and making it available online via the college network. Books are not available for browsing, so catalog access is important. The CDS/ISIS database provided access to the medical collection holdings, access that included such information as author, title, publication information, and key word searching. For the next eighteen months he made this a primary project, eventually cataloging more than 1,300 titles representing about 10,000 books. The catalog was later transferred from CDS/ISIS to a commercial French library management program called Ex-Libris.

Marc continued the formative evaluation of his library responsibilities and saw the need for the development of a personal long-range plan. He submitted this plan to the Library Director. His personal goals included collection development, library instruction and staff development, open access to the collection, student/faculty/researcher Internet access and mediated searching. The library director welcomed Marcís report. These goals were realized over the next two years.

Regarding collection development, Marc and the Library Director worked closely with lecturers and professors to locate new and relevant titles for library collection. Selections were made from the Internet sites of medical publishers and distributors in France and later ordered though a Moroccan book agent.

The standard system in Moroccan libraries is for the collection to be kept in a storage room and for users to request the book they need. Marc set up an open access area for faculty and researchers, including interns and residents, with a reference collection of books and the latest available journals. This innovative experiment at the library has been very popular with the faculty, and may be extended to the students at a future date. In the meanwhile, students still have request books, which is why the online catalog is so important.

Marc provided mediated searching on medical databases and other information sources for faculty and researchers. He was also asked to perform medical searches for the King of Morocco for his trips abroad in Africa and Asia, including drug interactions and adverse-effects for certain vaccines and malarial prophylaxis. In addition to performing Internet searches, Marc also instructed researchers in how to perform searches. At several conferences held at the medical college, Marc made presentations on how to search the Medline database, with practice sessions afterwards for the participants. The PowerPoint presentation has been retained as an instructional tool for library staff, and a printed guide was produced in collaboration with the library director for distribution to conference participants.

In addition to training on searching the Medline database, Marc trained staff and prepared manuals on cataloging and medical research on the Internet. Internet sites of medical interest were selected by him for linking to the library's page medical college's Web site; including where to find full-text journal articles for citations retrieved from a Medline search. Marc stated that the staff development aspect of his work has been most rewarding, as this would ensure the continued progress of the library after the completion of his volunteer service.

Additional projects for Marc included teaching English classes for the medical college staff during student vacation periods; and working with a Moroccan university professor of English literature to create a web site of sources for students to use, as research materials in English are very limited at the university. The site has been made available for free through a local cyber-café.

Pursuant to section 5(F) of the Peace Corps Act, 22 U.S.C. 2504 (f) as amended, any former Volunteer employed by the US Government following her or his service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps service credited for purposes of retirement, seniority, reduction in force, leave and other privileges based on the length of government service. Peace Corps service shall not be credited towards completion of any service requirement for career appointment.

This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order 11103 of April 10, 1963, that Marc Jeffery Lippman served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer and completed his service on August 30th 2002. He is therefore eligible to be appointed as a career conditional employee in the competitive civil service on a non competitive basis. This benefit under the Executive Order entitlement extends for a period of one year, except that the employing agency may extend the period for up to three years for a former Volunteer who enters military service, pursues studies at a recognized institution of higher learning or engages in other activities, which in view of the appointing authority, warrants extension of the period.

1 September 2002

Barbara Durr (signed)



Peace Corps Director


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