Obituary: Peter Lyman

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.