Bill DeJohn, 1940-2012

This beautiful post was created by staff in our “sister multitype” in the Twin Cites (Metronet) in their Metro Briefs publication. Written by Ann Walker Smalley. I couldn’t have said any of it  better. Bill was quietly excellent, a master of his craft, and instrumental in helping MN libraries rise to  where they are today. He will be dearly missed.

DejohnThe library community mourns the loss of Bill DeJohn, retired Director of Minitex. Bill died Dec 31 at his home in Northfield after a brief illness.

Bill retired in Jan 2011 after leading Minitex for 27 years. He was a champion of all types of libraries & made sure that all had access to the Minitex resources, staff, & training. He was a leader in library advocacy efforts in Minnesota & conceived and supported new initiatives that expanded resource sharing.

Bill was a “mover & shaker” in the library world. It is easy to forget the leadership required to develop & implement the services & programs we now take for granted. Bill was instrumental in creating many library resource-sharing programs that have an impact on all Minnesota libraries & their users including ELM, MnLink, MDL, the Research Project Calculator, MLAC, bibliographic control & cataloging, automated library systems, training on products & services, & much more. Minnesota libraries are known for their collaboration in good part because of Bill’s leadership. As libraries continue to move forward, we can remember how Bill would ask questions, bring people together to talk, advocate for new ideas, continue the discussions, & keep working until library services are improved for all.

Bill graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Russian civilization. He earned a Master of Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to Minitex, Bill was the Head of Resource Sharing, University of Washington, Seattle, serving the Pacific Northwest libraries & before that was the Director of the Pacific Northwest Bibliographic Center (PNBC). He also worked at both the Illinois State Library & the Missouri State Library.

Barbara Fister (a librarian at the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, Gustavus Adolphus College) wrote this remembrance Bill DeJohn and the Value of Sharing at Inside Higher Ed, Jan 3.

You can learn more about Bill’s legacy in his own words:
• Minitex 40th Anniversary Oral History interview with Bill DeJohn
• Bill’s retirement speech
• His departing thanks & well wishes for the future to Minitex participating libraries staff on Feb 14, 2012

Donations may be made in Bill’s memory to the American Library Association or the Newfoundland Club of America.

Images: Minitex