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This section of our website provides a place for sharing the memories, life stories, and milestones that celebrate the life of those who worked in libraries and information settings.
Each issue of our newsletter, ELAN, has a space for obituaries that provides brief information on many more of our former colleagues.
ERNEST BOYCE (“ERNIE”) INGLES, BA, MA, MLS, FRSC, December 30, 1948 – September 17, 2020
Contributed by Merrill Distad
A graduate of the Universities of Calgary and British Columbia, Ernie Ingles was one of Canada’s preeminent academic librarians and library innovators. During a professional career spanning more than four decades, he served successively as the founding Director of the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (now Canadiana.org); University Librarian of the University of Regina; Vice-Provost & University Librarian and (later) Director of the School of Library & Information Studies at the University of Alberta. He served, usually in executive capacity, on no fewer than twenty-five professional associations, societies, government boards and committees, including as President of the Canadian Library Association (CLA); of the Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC/SBC); of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL); and of the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL).*
Mr Ingles also provided the inspiration and driving force in linking Alberta library resources and services through the creation of Alberta’s NEOS library consortium; of The Alberta Library (TAL) lending consortium of 300 libraries across the Province; of the Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library; of the Health Knowledge Network (HKN); and the First Nations Information Connection. These initiatives changed the face of library service across Alberta, and provided a much-studied and imitated model of library cooperation and sharing for the rest of Canada, as well as abroad.
Concern for the future of the library profession led him to establish the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute (NELI) to expose recently graduated librarians who have shown leadership potential to an intensive exploration of vision, risk taking, creativity, communication, and differing styles of leadership. More than 400 librarians practicing in Canada have learned from their NELI experience. In recognition, the American Library Association presented Ingles with the 2017 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship.
Mr Ingles’ work at CIHM/Canadiana.org led to the filming and later digital preservation of Canada’s printed, published heritage of books, periodicals, and pamphlets. It also inspired his creation of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Website at the University of Alberta containing full digital texts of many thousands of Western Canadian books and printed ephemera. His wide-ranging research in western Canadian history and bibliography, library history, library automation and management, and the preservation of the printed record, yielded ten published books, fifty-seven articles and chapters in books, and almost 200 conference papers and public presentations. These cumulative achievements garnered twenty-nine professional awards and four medals, including the Tremaine Medal of the Bibliographical Society of Canada. Of these many awards, he was perhaps most proud of his election in 2001 as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada – the first practicing librarian to be so honoured – and Red Crow College’s award in 2011 of the honorary degree of Blackfoot Eminent Scholar Kainai PhD, along with the Blackfoot title “Kaaahssinnin” (“Elder”). As a visionary, Ernie Ingles led and inspired many others to follow.
Comment by Wendy Newman
I was a Mentor at the first three cohorts of Northern Exposure to Leadership, which Ernie created and directed. It was a transformative experience for everyone involved, and its impact will be visible for a long time to come. In inspiring the 8Rs study as well, Ernie shone a light on human resources in the entire Canadian library sector. He always prompted librarians to consider themselves leaders of a big tent movement, and never just operators of institutions. Never forgotten.
The Ernest (Ernie) B. Ingles Reading Room located in Bruce Peel Special Collections, University of Alberta Library.
Beryl Anderson was the daughter of G.H. Percy Anderson of Northport, N.S. and Hazel Annie (Fader) Anderson of St. Margarets Bay, N.S. Beryl was a graduate of classics at Dalhousie University (B.A. 1946 and M.A. 1949), library science at McGill University (B.L.S. 1956), and Walden University (Ph.D., 1980, “A Correlational Analysis of the Reference Transaction Records of a Canadian Bank Library”). She began her teaching career in schools in Quebec and Nova Scotia between 1946 and 1949. From 1950 to 1955, she was a lecturer in Classics at Dalhousie University before becoming Associate Professor, McGill Graduate Library School 1956 to 1971. After completing her doctorate, Dr. Anderson was Chief of the Library Documentation Centre, National Library of Canada until her retirement in 1987. Her primary research focus was in the field of special libraries: she authored the directory, Special Libraries and Information Centres in Canada in 1970. She also compiled various reports on special library work in the 1970s and 1980s and authored a synoptic chapter on Canadian libraries from 1970-79 in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science in 1983. Dr. Anderson was a long-time member of the Canadian Library Association, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Canadian Institute in Greece and Friends of the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, where she volunteered for many years. She enjoyed several trips to excavation sites in Greece and Turkey with the Archaeological Institute.
Comments by Maria Calderisi
I first met Beryl Anderson in 1972 as I was nearing the end of my music studies at McGill and wondering what to do next. My favourite professor had noticed that I spent a lot of time in the library and wondered if I had thought about librarianship. The idea was attractive to me and I went to see Beryl who was a professor at the Library School. She was a most straightforward and honest person, encouraging but cautious, especially since she knew, regretfully, that a BMus was not an acceptable prerequisite for the programme at McGill. She thought, though, that subject specialization was on the rise in the profession and was pleased to tell me that the National Library had just recently engaged such specialists as Irene Aubrey for Children’s Literature and Liana Van der Bellen for Rare Books, and of course that Dr. Helmut Kallmann had been named Chief of the newly-formed Music Division. After visiting him in Ottawa to quiz him about the future of music librarianship in Canada, I then found the ideal MLS programme at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, a combination of librarianship and musicology, and was hired by the National Library in the summer of 1973.
I had kept in touch with Beryl during this time and she herself joined the Library to create the Library Documentation Centre that same year, if I’m not mistaken. So we became colleagues, although at quite different administrative levels, and eventually we became friends. I admired her dedication and tenacity in her work, and was fascinated by her researches in Greek history and archeology, but it was our shared love of music and her continuing interest and encouragement that drew us closer. I am so grateful to have known Beryl and shall remember her always.
Contributed by Leslie McGrath, former Senior Department Head, Osborne Collection, Toronto Public Library
We were grieved to learn of the death of our dear friend and colleague Lori McLeod, who passed away in December from cancer. Lori obtained her M.L.S. degree at the University of Toronto’s library school, now the Faculty of Information, and began at working at the Toronto Public Library’s Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books not long after the Collection opened in its Huron Street location, in the Lillian H. Smith branch. Lori chose Osborne after being redeployed from Deer Park, and how fortunate we at Osborne were when she arrived and began at once to study the cataloguing of rare books. Often having to chart her own instruction and to seek out knowledge, Lori was delighted to be sent, largely through the generosity of The Friends of the Osborne and Lillian H. Smith Collections, to Rare Book School in Virginia for a specialized, intensive course. The cataloguing of the Osborne Collection was Lori’s priority, and the support given to this important project by the library and especially by the Friends gave her great encouragement.
Lori told me she liked to think about how patrons would use the catalogue records, and would carefully include the terms and references that would be most helpful to them. Though a warm, engaging, and knowledgeable lecturer, willing to assist colleagues by taking classes and groups, Lori was happiest doing reference work and cataloguing. Modest and self-effacing, Lori put everyone else’s needs first, from desk schedules to holiday weeks, and while devoted to her own family she took a personal interest in those of her colleagues. Above all, we will remember Lori’s beautiful smile and generous outlook, her habits of always seeing the best in everyone and of making difficult situations better. Years of ill health took a toll on her strength, but never affected her caring and compassionate nature. Lori will always be missed by those fortunate enough to have known her.
Contributed by Irena Lewycka
Shirley Diane (Stott) Henderson died on December 5, 2019, at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto.
Diane attained her BLS (1964) and MLS (1967) at the University of Toronto. She began working in the catalogue section of the University of Toronto library in 1964. Diane was for many years the Chief Librarian of the Faculty of Library and Information Science Library at the University of Toronto from 1973 to her retirement in 1996. She had originally joined the Faculty as a lecturer in 1969. Diane continued her studies and received an MBA (York University) in 1979. In her later years, she dedicated her time to volunteering with the Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Field Ornithologists, and Retired Academics and Librarians of the University of Toronto. Diane was an intensely independent person, an indefatigable traveller, a keen theatregoer, an opera buff, and an enthusiastic gardener. She was passionate about libraries and books.
Diane was co-author (with Edith Tyne Jarvi) of Guide to Basic Reference Materials for Canadian Libraries, 4th edition, published for the Faculty of Library Science by the University of Toronto Press in 1974.
Diane was a contributor to the National Library's publication by Claire England, Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery in Canada (Ottawa, 1983).
Diane was an ELAN special edition editor who wrote “University of Toronto Faculty of Information Studies” for ELAN's Summer 2004 special issue A History of Education for Library and Information Studies in Canada.
Diane wrote “ELA’s Early Years, 1990-1995” for the Fall 2004 issue of ELAN (p. 9 & 18) which celebrated the 100th anniversary of library education in Canada. As well, she compiled ELAN's regular column on “News from Canadian Library and Information Studies Schools“ between 2007-2016.
Diane Henderson served on the executive committee of the Retired Academics and Librarians of the University of Toronto (RALUT) as Treasurer and became Vice-President in 2009.
ELEANOR WEES, December 1, 1922 – July 30, 2021
Eleanor was a graduate of the University of New Brunswick, receiving her B.A. in 1945, and then a Bachelor of Library Science from the University of Toronto in 1946.
From 1946 to 1953, she was head cataloguer at the University of New Brunswick Library, Fredericton. In 1953, she moved to Ottawa to work at the recently-established National Library of Canada (later Library and Archives Canada). Eleanor and a small group of other librarians and professionals, led by W. Kaye Lamb, were the founders who gave initial shape and direction to the National Library. Between 1953 and 1958 and then from 1964 until her retirement in 1987, Eleanor worked on Canadiana, the national bibliography of Canada, and as a cataloguer of books and, later, sound recordings.
She was a long-standing and active member of First Baptist Church, Ottawa, becoming a member shortly after moving to Ottawa and making many lifelong friendships there. During her years as part of the church family, she served on many boards and committees, including the Board of Deacons, and established the church newsletter, Contact, in 1973. As a librarian, she was naturally inspired to develop a church library and she served as church librarian into her 90s. Her Christian faith and the fellowship of her church community gave immense meaning to her life.
Ever intellectually active and curious, Eleanor's many interests included reading and poetry. While at the University of New Brunswick, she was an early member of the Bliss Carman Society, founded in 1940 by Dr. Alfred G. Bailey to animate literary life at U.N.B. and in Fredericton. The Society initially met to discuss and share poetry, and Eleanor, along with Dr. Bailey, Elizabeth Brewster, Frances Firth, Margaret Cunningham, Donald Gammon, and Fred Cogswell, among others, was an active member. The Society established The Fiddlehead in 1945, the oldest, continuously published literary magazine in Canada, and Eleanor contributed poetry to its early issues. She continued to occasionally write poetry throughout her life. In addition, she was a pianist, continuing to play into her later 90s, and much interested in classical music, attending the Ottawa Chamberfest for many years.
From Gerald Parker:
It is a grievous thing to hear of the demise of this great Christian lady and superb librarian. There are few obituaries of former colleagues at the National Library of Canada whom I recall with so much respect and affection. It was a pleasure to be Eleanor's colleague (for my part, as Head of the Music Section, National Library of Canada); her work and help in supervising the library clerks in the section was especially of great value. In addition to all of her excellent qualities and accomplishments, as a lady and as librarian, was her keen discretion in dealing with difficulties of all kinds as they arose. Having Eleanor as a co-worker much facilitated my work and that of the other librarians in the section. She is so dear to the memories of those who worked with her, that any obituary (even the one included here, such a fine and detailed one) cannot begin to convey her sterling human and professional virtues. She was one of the Great Ladies of the National Library and of Library and Archives Canada.