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Alan Hugh MacDonald

b. Mar. 3, 1943, Ottawa, ON; d. Jan. 28, 2010, Calgary, AB


1963 BA (Dalhousie University)
1964 BLS (University of Toronto)


1964-1965 Assistant Social Sciences Librarian, Dalhousie University
1965-1966 Government Documents Librarian, Dalhousie University
1965-1967 Law Librarian, Dalhousie University
1966-1969 Assistant to Director of Libraries for Planning & Development, Dalhousie University
1966-1975 Subject Specialist for Political Science, Economics, Commerce, Strategic Studies, Law, Sociology and Anthropology, Dalhousie University
1968-1969 Assistant Chief of Technical Services, Dalhousie University
1969-1971 Law Librarian, Dalhousie University
1969-1978 Lecturer, School of Library Services, Dalhousie University
1970-1972 Assistant University Librarian, Dalhousie University
1972-1978 Health Sciences Librarian, Dalhousie University
1979-1992 Director of Libraries, University of Calgary
1984-1989 Director, University of Calgary Press
1988-1999 Director, Information Services, University of Calgary
1989-2003 University of Calgary Orator
1996-1998 Acting Director, Communications Media, University of Calgary
1999-2003 Senior Advisor to Director of Information Resources & Director of Information Technologies, University of Calgary
1999-2003 Special Assistant to the Vice-President (Academic) and Provost, University of Calgary
2000-2003 Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Communications and Culture, University of Calgary
2003-2007 Executive Director, Secretary of the Board, and Librarian, Calgary Aero Space Museum


MacDonald Alan H. (1968). “Planning for the second century: an approach to library planning theory and practice.” APLA Bulletin (March): 7-20.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1972). Law libraries in Prince Edward Island. Halifax.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1973). “Management problems encountered by the librarian.” In: Proceedings of the CACUL Workshop Management of Audio-Visual Services. CACUL Newsletter vol. 4, no. 5 (January 29): 364-371.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1974). Survey of law library resources in Nova Scotia and proposals for development. Report submitted to the Library Committee, Nova Scotia Barristers' Society. Halifax.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1975). Thoughts on the functions of an Australian library-based information system. Prepared for the Director-General of the National Library of Australia. Canberra.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1975). Canadian situations relevant to ALBIS. Prepared for the Director-General of the National Library of Australia. Canberra.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1976). “The library environment under the Southern Cross.” APLA Bulletin (Spring): 9-13.

MacDonald Alan H. (1977). The role and priorities of the National Library: proposals towards a brief by the Canadian Library Association to the National Library of Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1981). “Between friends: libraries, technologies and borders.” PNLA Quarterly vol. 45, no. 2 (Winter): 25-32.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1982). “Experience: foundation or impediment to the effective teaching of librarianship in research libraries and library schools.” CARL publications 3: 43-48.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1984). “Terra incognita: explorations of the future of libraries - can we get there from here?” In: Libraries 2000: a seminar to re-examine the function and future development of libraries in Alberta. Edmonton: Alberta Culture Library Services Branch. p. 93-106.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1989). “Shall we wrap the garbage in history: an exploration of newspaper preservation with the role of LAA.” Letter of the LAA no. 67 (January/February): 2-7.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1993). “Barriers along the less-traveled road: the legal and economic implications of interconnected systems of library collections. ” In: Communication scientifique, nouvelles technologies et rationalisation des ressources: un défi pour les bibliothèques universitaires. Montréal: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec. p. 93-98.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1993). “Harnessing the whirlwind: information technologies in the service of Aesculaplus.” Bibliotheca Medica Canadiana vol. 15, no. 2: 86-99.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1993). “Information pathfinders: a future for the teacher-librarian in difficult times.” The Bookmark (BCTLA) vol. 35, no. 2 (December): 82-91.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1994). “The survival of libraries in the electronic age.” Feliciter 40 (January): 18-22; 82-91.

MacDonald Alan H. (1994). Make waves: librarians and the duty to change. Toronto: Carswell.

MacDonald, Alan H. (1994). “Electronic Alexandria: destination or final resting place? Alexandrie électronique: havre ou point mort?” Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science vol. 19, no. 4 (December): 23-43.

MacDonald, Alan H. and Sharon Neary (1994). “New tools, new talents, and new titles: main streaming data services.” Government Information in Canada 1, no. 2 (Fall).

MacDonald, Alan H. (1995). “Mainstreaming government information in research libraries.” Government Information in Canada 2, no. 1 (Summer).

MacDonald, Alan H. and Ronald B. Bond (2003). Convocation citations of Alan H. MacDonald, University Orator, 1989-2002. Calgary: University of Calgary.


1972-1973 Halifax Library Association, President,
1976-1977 Atlantic Provinces Association, President
1979-1980 Canadian Association for Information Science, President
1980-1981 Canadian Library Association, President
1996-1997 Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions, President
1984-1985 Council of Prairie University Librarians, Chair
1989 Council of Prairie University Librarians, Chair
1991 Council of Prairie University Librarians, Chair
1996-2000 Calgary Community Network Association, Chair
n.d. CLA Writing the Future Commission, Chair

Alan was an active member in many university committees and professional associations The following is a partial list of library associations:

Canadian Association of College and University Libraries (CLA)
Canadian Library Association
Foothills Library Association
Library Association of Alberta
Australian Library and Information Association
Canadian Association of Law Libraries
Canadian Association of Public Libraries (CLA)
Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services (CLA)
Canadian Health Libraries Association (one of seven founders)


1975 Council on Library Resources Fellowship
1978 Life Member, Dalhousie School of Library Service Alumni Association
1986 University Microfilms Incorporated Executive Fellow
1986 University Microfilms Incorporated President's Achievement Award
1988 Blackwell's Award for Distinguished Canadian Academic Librarian, Canadian Association of College and University Libraries
1992 President's Award, Library Association of Alberta
1994 Bertha Bassam Open Lectureship, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto
1996 Lorne MacRae Intellectual Freedom Lectureship
1997 R.R Bowker Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award, Canadian Library Association
1997 Life Member, Canadian Library Association
1999 Alumni Jubilee Award, University of Toronto Faculty of Information Studies Alumni Association
1999 Member of the Order of the University of Calgary
2001 Distinguished Visitor-in-Residence, Dalhousie University, Faculty of Management Studies, School of Library and Information Studies
2001 Life Member, Canadian Health Libraries Association
2003 Micromedia ProQuest - CARL/ABRC Award for Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship
2005 Honorary Life Membership, Library Association of Alberta

Other Areas of Activity:

1975 Visiting Librarian, South Australia Institute of Technology, Adelaide, South Australia
1975 Visiting Librarian, University of Adelaide, Barr Smith Library, Adelaide, South Australia
1981-1982 Editorial Board, AES: Abstracts of English Studies (Vol. 24)
1981-2004 Editorial Board, University of Calgary Press
1985-1993 Editorial Board, America History and Life


Alan was recognized for his exemplary leadership at Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary and for his work on numerous professional associations. In presenting Alan with the award for Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship in 2003, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries stated:
“A number of themes are evident in Alan MacDonald’s career which serve to illustrate why he has been such an influential figure in the research library community. These include: scholarly communication, resource sharing, copyright (achieving balance between the rights of creators and users), information and learning technologies, leadership development and mentoring, collaboration, and libraries as service organizations..As a member of CARL for 15 years Alan made significant contributions to the organization, serving a number of terms as Western Representative and as Vice President in 1985/86. He was instrumental in writing the CARL constitution and by-laws and in developing CARL’s initial position on copyright. Alan was also a member of the AUCC/CARL /CASUL Joint Task Force on Academic Libraries and Scholarly Communication and their Impact on Higher Education which resulted in the Task Force report The Changing World of Scholarly Communication: Challenges and Choices for Canada. Alan was also a noted speaker and author, and as the University of Calgary Orator he wrote citations for honorary degree recipients such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Carol Shields, Sir Brian Follett and Preston Manning.”

Alan was also noted for his exceptional mentoring skills. He was a co-founder of the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute, an institute by and for Canada's future library leaders. He was a member of the Advisory Team, 1993-1994 and a participant mentor, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004. In 2012 the Canadian Library Association awarded the first CLA /Alan Macdonald Mentorship Award in honour of Alan's commitment to mentoring activities. “Alan was a natural mentor. Always positive, always receptive to new ideas, always ready to see potential, he inspired those around him to strive for and realize their dreams.”

Records pertaining to Alan MacDonald's roles within the library at the University of Calgary and Dalhousie University are located in the University of Calgary Archives and Special Collections.


University of Calgary Special Collections and Archives
Dalhousie University Special Collections and Archives
Canadian Who's Who, vol. XL, 2005
Ingles, Ernie (2010). “Tribute to Alan H. MacDonald (1943-2010).” Feliciter 56 (2): 42

biographies/alan-hugh-macdonald.txt · Last modified: 2023/12/05 00:11