Jul 16, 2012
In Memoriam: Russell Shank, former UCLA University Librarian
Russell Shank, an early adopter of technology who helped automate the UCLA Library system and enhance its services, died Monday, June 25, at age 86 at the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange a few days after falling off his electric scooter and hitting his head on concrete, according to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times.
Shank, who served as UCLA University Librarian from 1977 to 1989 and a professor emeritus in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the 1970s. A former president of the American Library Association (ALA), Shank was attending the ALA convention in Anaheim at the time of the accident.
UCLA University Library Gary Strong said recently in his blog that while he was California State Librarian, he came to know and work with Shank.
“He was educated as an electrical engineer and embraced technology as a means of enhancing service to library users,” Strong wrote. “During his tenure, work that began with National Library of Medicine grant funding in the Biomedical Library in the sixties under Louise Darling’s management was expanded to a campus-wide, locally-developed, integrated library system called ORION after the hunter of information.”