Archive for the 'Obituaries' Category

Obituary: F. W. Lancaster

Posted in Obituaries on September 4th, 2013

Noted scholar F. W. Lancaster has died.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

F. W. "Wilf" Lancaster, GSLIS professor emeritus, passed away on Sunday, August 25, at his home in Urbana, Illinois. He was 79 years old. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Cesaria; and his children, Miriam, Owen, Jude, Aaron, Lakshmi, and Raji; and his 13 grandchildren. . . .

Lancaster joined GSLIS in 1970 as an associate professor and director of the biomedical librarianship program (1970-73); in 1972, he became a full professor; and in 1992, following his retirement, he was honored with the title of professor emeritus. During his distinguished career, he taught courses in information retrieval, bibliometrics, bibliographic organization, and the evaluation of library and information services. He served as the editor of Library Trends, a quarterly journal examining critical trends in professional librarianship, from 1986 to 2006. For the period from 1989 to 1992, he was named University Scholar, a prestigious program recognizing the University's most talented teachers, scholars, and researchers.

Nationally and internationally, Lancaster was recognized as a leader in the field of library and information science through his work as a teacher, writer, and scholar. He was honored three times with Fulbright fellowships for research and teaching abroad, named a fellow of the Library Association of Great Britain, and recognized by the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) with both the Award of Merit and the Outstanding Information Science Teacher award. He was the author of 15 books, several of which have received national awards and been translated into languages such as Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese. Lancaster also engaged in a wide range of consulting activities for organizations around the world, including UNESCO and the United Nations.

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    Obituary: Lee Dirks

    Posted in Obituaries on August 30th, 2012

    Lee Dirks and his wife have died in a tragic automobile accident in Peru. Lee Dirks was the Director for Portfolio Strategy in Microsoft Research Connections.

    Below are a few of the tributes to him:

    | Digital Scholarship |

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      Obituary: Steve Cisler, Librarian Extraordinaire and Community Network Advocate

      Posted in Obituaries on May 26th, 2008

      Steve Cisler, who was well-known for his pioneering work as a Senior Scientist for Apple Computer (where he ran its Apple Library of Tomorrow program from 1988-1997) and as a community networking advocate, died on May 15, 2008. Cisler was born on Oct. 14, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. At the time of his death, Cisler was a Research Associate and Project Manager for the KnowledeX project at Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society. His obituary ("Steve Cisler: Librarian Knew a Lot about a Lot") was published in the The Mercury News.

      Here is a speaker profile from a 2007 conference:

      Steve Cisler, upon graduation from Northwestern University in 1965, started a school library in rural Togo, West Africa when he was a Peace Corps teacher. After three years doing search and rescue with the U.S. Coast Guard, he attended University of California Berkeley where he received his Master of Library Science. He only began using computers in middle age, at a public computer lab in his branch library in Contra Costa County Library where he worked for 14 years. In 1985 he joined The Well and ran an online forum on information and libraries for many years. In 1988 at Apple Computer Inc Advanced Technology Group, he started a grant program called Apple Library of Tomorrow for innovative projects in libraries, museums, and local community networks where citizens were setting up local free Internet services. He supported the first copyright-free online book about the Internet (the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Big Dummies Guide to the Internet). He worked on deregulation of the radio frequencies and standards that became known as 802.11 or Wi-Fi. Over the past 7 years he has consulted in Latin America, Thailand, Jordan, and Uganda on short-term projects involving telecenters, school computer labs and indigenous groups using information and communication technologies. In 2004 he spent eight months disconnected and driving around the U.S. and Mexico talking to people NOT using the Internet. From 2005-6 he chaired a working group on piracy and intellectual property in the Pacific as part of the Pacific Rim New Media Summit in San Jose in August 2006. He lives in San Jose, Calif., with his wife, an elementary school principal. His hobbies include gardening, kayaking, and winemaking. He can be reached at and he posts from time to time on

      Steve Cisler was an extraordinary man, who early on clearly saw the transformational potential of the Internet and worked diligently to help realize that potential with his usual joie de vivre. In 1993, Cisler won the LITA/Gaylord Award for Achievement in Library and Information Technology, and in 1996 he won a Silver Award from the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Cisler served on the Editorial Board of The Public-Access Computer Systems Review from 1992-2000.

      There has been an outpouring of tributes to Steve. Here is a sample: "Steve Cisler—First Internet Librarian," "Steve Cisler, Digital Librarian, RIP," and "Steve Cisler, RIP." He will be greatly missed.

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        Obituary: Peter Banks

        Posted in Obituaries on July 24th, 2007

        Peter Banks, founder of Banks Publishing and publisher for the American Diabetes Association from 1986 to 2006, died on July 21st. He was 52.

        Here’s an excerpt from Ann Okerson’s liblicense-l announcement:

        Long-time publisher at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and more recently a publishing consultant, he was one who cared deeply about the future of scholarly publishing and wrote thoughtfully and clearly, on this list as well in many other venues, about the issues that concern many of us. He was a key advocate for information and support, and he worked unstintingly with many organizations, individuals, and publishers, to create resources and pathways to usable, high-quality information for patients, their family/friends, and caregivers.

        Further information about Mr. Banks can be found on the About Us page at Banks Publishing.

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          Obituary: Raymond von Dran

          Posted in Obituaries on July 23rd, 2007

          Raymond F. von Dran, dean emeritus of Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, died on July 23. He was 60 years old.

          Here's an excerpt from the School of Information Studies announcement:

          Von Dran served as dean of the iSchool from 1995-2007. In March 2006, he announced his retirement as dean, which was to take effect this summer. Following a year of administrative leave, during which time he planned on traveling the world with his wife, Gisela, recently retired assistant professor and director emerita of the school's master's degree program in library and information science, he planned to return to the iSchool as a professor. On June 28, 2007, it was announced that Elizabeth Liddy G'77, Ph.D. '88, Trustee Professor of Information Studies, would serve as interim dean of the iSchool, effective July 15. . . .

          During von Dran's tenure, the number of faculty and students in the iSchool nearly tripled and the school's sponsored research increased five-fold. All seven of the school's research centers were launched under his leadership, and several academic degree programs were instituted. The school's success under von Dran's leadership was recognized by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked its M.S. program in information management and the Ph.D. program in information science and technology second in the nation, and the library and information science program third. Von Dran was also instrumental in increasing the school's endowment, recently helping to secure the largest gift in its 110-year history.

          A founding member of the I-Schools Groupa national consortium of academic institutions focused on the relationship between information and peoplevon Dran has helped define a growing academic and research field in national and international circles. Through his work, he brought acclaim to the iSchool, which often serves as a model for other information schools to follow. In 1980, von Dran wrote "The National Union Catalog Experience: Implications for Network Planning," published by the Library of Congress, as well as numerous articles and papers on such topics as information science education, competencies for the information age, the economics of information, managing information resources and authority control structure in libraries. He chaired the American Society for Information Science and Technology's Education Committee, which created the organization's first educational standards. He advised a score of universities on information technology systems and new information curricula. . . .

          Prior to joining SU, von Dran served as dean of the information schools at The Catholic University of America and the University of North Texas. He received a Ph.D. in information science and master's degrees in library science and European history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and bachelor's degrees in foreign languages and history from Seton Hall University.

          He is survived by his wife, Gisela, and daughter, Beth.

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            Obituary: Peter Lyman

            Posted in Obituaries on July 9th, 2007

            Peter Lyman, former University Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley and professor emeritus at Berkeley’s School of Information, has died of brain cancer. He was 66 years old.

            Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

            In 2005, Lyman became the director of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year collaborative investigation founded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of how kids use digital media in their everyday lives—at home and in libraries, after-school programs and public places. . . .

            Lyman was born in San Francisco in 1940. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University in 1962, his M.A. in political science from UC Berkeley in 1963, and his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford in 1972.

            He was one of the founders of James Madison College, a residential college at Michigan State University with a public policy focus and was a faculty member there from 1967 to 1987. He also was a visiting professor at Stanford and UC Santa Cruz.

            In 1987 Lyman moved to the University of Southern California (USC), where he founded the Center for Scholarly Technology and served as its executive director. He also was associate dean for library technology at that university before becoming USC’s university librarian in 1991. At USC, he helped envision and oversee the creation of a new, technologically advanced undergraduate library.

            He returned to UC Berkeley in 1994 to serve as the campus’s seventh university librarian until 1998. He also joined the School of Information Management & Systems (now the School of Information) as a professor in 1994. . . .

            Lyman became an emeritus professor in 2006. He served on the editorial boards of the numerous academic journals relating to information technology and society as well as on the board of directors of Sage Publications, the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Art History Information Project at the Getty Trust, and the Internet Archive.

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              Obituary: Martha E. Williams

              Posted in Obituaries on July 9th, 2007

              Martha E. Williams, long-time editor of the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology and former President of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, has died at age 72.

              The funeral home web site obituary has been posted on ASIS-L.

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                Commemorative Issue of Reference Services Review for Dr. Ilene F. Rockman

                Posted in Obituaries on April 7th, 2006

                Emerald Group Publishing has announced that the volume 34, number 1 (2006) issue of Reference Services Review has been dedicated to the memory of that journal’s former long-time editor Dr. Ilene F. Rockman, whose obituary was previously published in DigitalKoans.

                This issue includes "tributes to Rockman, along with the editorial she was composing during the final days of her life."

                Emerald will make this issue freely available during the month of April. (See the press release for access details.)

                Emerald will also:

                • Fund the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Instruction Publication of the Year Award for five years, beginning with the 2006 Award, renaming it the Ilene Rockman Publication Award.
                • Establish that the Emerald Literati Network Award from Reference Services Review—the journal’s Outstanding Paper Award—hereafter be known as the Dr. Ilene Rockman Award.
                • Nominate Rockman for an Emerald Outstanding Service Award in April 2006.

                Thanks to Emerald for these welcome tributes to Ilene.

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