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annelipow.jpgAnne Lipow, renowned library trainer and consultant, died yesterday, September 9, around 10:30 PM, after a long battle with cancer. Anne was the founder and director of Library Solutions Institute and Press. She was the author of numerous books and articles, including "Crossing the Internet Threshold" and "The Virtual Reference Librarian's Handbook." Her "Rethinking Reference" institutes were recognized as being internationally significant and contributed to Anne's receipt of the ALA Isadore Gilbert Mudge/R.R. Bowker award for "a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship."
Anne was very special to Infopeople because she was the guiding force in the initial development of the Infopeople training program, and she was responsible for bringing Cheryl Gould to Infopeople. Over the years, she was always there for us, giving us new ideas, advice, and inspiration. The courage and style with which she faced the challenge of her illness was truly amazing. Anne will be greatly missed by all of us and by the greater library community.
If you have some personal comments or remembrances you'd like to share, please click on the "comments" link below. We will be sharing these comments with Anne's family.

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Comment: 
Anne lives in the hearts and minds of a generation of librarians around the world. We have many leaders in the profession, but no one has the heart, the humanity, the joy that was Anne's. I will forever cherish the gift she gave us of herself in her final months - and have learned well the lessons she taught us - ever the teacher - in her final days. I will also be ever grateful to Steve for sharing her with us so selflessly. She touched so many lives, and we won't ever forget her. To Steve and the family -I hope the pain is eased by the celebration of Anne's life in the memories of so many. Patty Iannuzzi

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9/12/04 Anne died 3 days ago. She's been on my mind a lot since April. I've considered Anne a mentor since my boss came back from a presentation at UC Berkeley on "Crossing the Internet Threshold" (co-written with Roy Tennant and John Ober). I devoured the book (in a binder of handouts at the time), was fascinated by the possibilities, and jumped across that threshold. That was in 1992. I've had the privilege of having lunch with Anne on the first Tuesday of each month for the past several years. Those lunches were seminars. I learned from her, she learned from me -- and we ate good food. We both liked new things and almost always went to a new-to-us restaurant. Sometimes other people accompanied us, but usually it was just us. Our last lunch was in April. I no longer remember where we ate but do remember part of the conversation being about health (we didn't just talk libraries ;) -- me telling her about beginning to plan for a hip replacement and she telling me about an upcoming doctor's appointment to check on digestion and bloating problems. The next week I got a call from Anne's daughter Jenny telling me that Anne had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver and given three to six months to live. (She was told that chemotherapy might extend her life somewhat, but after trying it she discovered she was one of the one-third that chemotherapy didn't help.) Many of us have thought about what we'd do if we had three to six months to live. I'd like to talk about what Anne did -- because Anne was still doing what she'd always been doing -- discussing ideas and putting people together. Anne spent the first few weeks disengaging from her business, keeping what appointments she could, and visiting with family and friends. For the last two months she received friends from her hospital bed in the middle of her living room in Belvedere, with a view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Memories of that time -- My first visit to her in bed at home was in June. In addition to Steve -- who was always there -- her sister, her son, and a couple of other people were there (helping pick a new couch for the room). There may have been more but that's what I remember. Anne wanted a new couch as she felt the old couch wasn't that easy for visitors to be comfortable on and she wanted her visitors to be comfortable. We all gave our opinions, a decision was made, and the couch ordered. We also discussed the upcoming Democratic Convention, the language of politics, a couple of books, my family's weddings (3 this year), her grandkids latest, who the next state librarian would be, etc. Everything but the lunch. My last visit was near the end of August. Cheryl Gould (Anne introduced Cheryl to Infopeople), Anne's best friend from grade school, and Suzanne Calpestri and Cathy Dinnean, friends from her time at UC Berkeley were there also. Cathy had been practicing a speech from "Taming of the Shrew" and wanted to perform it for Anne and the rest of us. She did and it was great! Then Anne and her grade school friend put their heads together and recited the whole of "Jabberwocky" without an error! Goodbye Anne, Carole

Comment: 
Anne was a sparkle of light for so many of us. I first met Anne when she came to help us while I was running the Apple Library. We wanted to create a series of workshops in the early 90's on using the Internet. We proudly showed her our course outlines and marketing materials and in her wonderful, kind way told us to toss away what we'd done and start over. And of course, she was absolutely right! I asked her to lead a small discussion group one year at IFLA in Beijing on reference services using the worldwide web and her 'small' group quickly grew to almost 50 people as her enthusiasm and practical ideas enticed the international crowd. When I moved to Marin, she warmly welcomed me and included me on hikes with her and Steve on Mt. Tam and invited me to several memorable dinners at their breathtaking home. Anne's generousity of spirit and love for life will never be forgotten. We are all incredibly lucky to have had her in our lives.

Comment: 
It is noteworthy how often the themes of Anne's life are repeated here and will continue to be with subsequent postings: kindness, generosity, comfort, warmth, energy, enthusiasm, helpfulness. She exhibited the very best in a friend, a mentor, a coworker, and she did it all with effortless grace. One story I can share demonstrates all of these qualities in one neat package. I ran into Anne at work one day some 15 years ago and, while "trading news," I mentioned to her that I was in the throes of buying my very first home and how overwhelmed and worried I was that I might not be making the right choice. I was cowed not only by the decision itself but the process and the paperwork that I needed to master in very short order. The next thing I knew, Anne had me covered .... "Oh, Steve knows ALL about real estate! ... we'll be over to the house on Saturday. He'll look the place over and explain all of the paperwork to you. How do we get there?" On very short order, my house woes were taken care of, I knew what to do, and I received the reassurance that I had made the right decision. Not only that, AFTER I had moved in, over morning breakfast at my new home, Anne presented me with a houswarming gift, a favorite brand of cutlery she discovered in her travels to England. To this day, it is the ONLY knife I ever use. I use it every day and I never fail to remember the story behind my kitchen knife and the great, generous humanity of the giver. Sincere condolences to all of Anne's family. What a remarkable woman she was! Pat Maughan

Comment: 
It is for me an immense loss to receive the message that Anne is not anymore with us. I met Anne in 1990 when I studied in Berkeley and stayed as tennant in her beautiful home in Berkeley. Anne -and Steve- supported me very much during this time and they are 'responsible' that I found as German from the city of Aachen a home away from home in the Bay Area. Since 14 years I'm coming regularly each year to California for some weeks or months and I will miss Anne very much. It was a great gift that I could visit Anne during my last stay in August this year and experience her great optimism and courage like usual. I'm very sorry that I can't come to her funeral on Monday because I'm staying in Germany right now but my thoughts and prayers are with her, Steve and the whole family. Hermann-Victor Johnen

Comment: 
If there were more Annes in the world it would be a truly wonder-full place. There certainly wouldn't be any war. There wouldn't even be a word for it. People would share...everything. People would be seen for who they are on the inside not what they look like on the outside. People would approach each day with bright eyes and an open mind. There would be an unlimited supply of energy available for people to really connect with one another. I think of Anne as my mentor and friend. I think of Anne as a model human. Someone I'd like to be more like. May Anne's spirit motivate all of us to make the world a better place for others as she has done for so many of us during her life. She'll be missed but never forgotten.

Comment: 
Reposted from Lori Ayre's weblog, Mentat: I learned this morning that Anne Lipow left us. What a loss for our side, I thought. When people like Anne die, you can't help but wonder where they are now. Are they reaping the rewards of a life well lived? Is Anne's heaven a beautiful space filled with good food and curious, intelligent, and generous souls all passionately debating important issues of the ...day...er eternity maybe!? Anne was once my neighbor. She lived across the street from us in Berkeley. She was one of the first librarians I ever really knew. And what a great example she was! Smart, sharp, energetic, hard-working, meticulous, excited about everything she was doing. How could you NOT want to be a librarian if that's how you turn out? Years later, I did enter the library world. I am now becoming a librarian. Anne has been a mentor for me. Anne edited my first published work. Just because. I didn't hire her. I asked her if she'd read my draft. She took it and went after it with her red pen like a school teacher. I loved it. She made ridiculous meanderings into succinct, clear sentences. She cut out extraneous thoughts that had landed on the page just because I couldn't stop them. And she guessed that I was left-handed, as is she, by my frequent use of the word "thing." Look up that phenomenon, Carole! I'm sad to be at the beginning of my career without having Anne Lipow to turn to for advice and help. She was one of the guideposts I've treasured along the way. I think she was that for many other people as well. Maybe its time for her to rest. Maybe it's time for her to do something new. I just hope she's having a great time exploring and learning new 'stuff' (see 'thing'). I hope she's having the time of her life. Thanks for being here, Anne. We're going to miss you. A lot.

Comment: 
Annes wonderful habit of challenging us to be better librarians, that is one of her many contributions. And without our even knowing it, in many instances, she brought us together, not only through the intellectual rigor of her ideas and her work but also through the presence and the power and warmth of her personality. We are incredibly sad, and yet we are fortunate that our lives are forever enriched by her friendship. And, I would like here also to write a very special thanks to you Steve, for opening your home and your life to all of us who especially over the last few months have come by to visit. We know that there were days when as many as 50 people came by to see Anne and you. Your quiet generosity at such a difficult time for you we will also always cherish and remember.

Comment: 
Having worked in libraries for years, I had heard of Anne Lipow, read her handbooks, followed her rules for presentations and workshops, so I was starstruck in 1990, on the first day of library school at Cal, when I met her daughter Stephanie. Wow...I was one degree of separation from one of the leaders of my profession! As Stephanie's and my friendship blossomed, my friendship with Anne grew, too. Everytime I saw her, whether at a Lipow family event or with Steve at the terrific Innovative Interfaces parties, Anne was enthusiastic and encouraging about my family and my professional development. "But enough about me." I always thought to myself. I eagerly asked about her latest adventures: traveling to the southern hemisphere to see a total solar eclipse, bicycling in Europe, upcoming adventures in Asia. 14 years later, I find that I'm still starstruck! I'm fortunate to have experienced Anne's optimism, energy, and grace. I'll never forget her.

Comment: 
We will miss Anne - Anne was well known to many Australian librarians who marvelled at her optimism and energy for our rapidly changing profession and her solutions for reinventing ourselves and becoming better at what we do she didnt always say what we wanted to hear but she always said what needed to be said. Her last 2 visits to Australia, in late 2002 and in December 2003 were to deliver workshops for CAVAL. These attracted an enormous number of attendees from across Australia and a few who traveled from New Zealand to see and hear her. Sue last met Anne at IFLA in Berlin to firm up plans for Anne's December 2003 visit to Australia unfortunately Sue was away at the time of Annes visit and didnt get to see her again. Jennifer Gawne and Cathie Jilovsky made sure that Anne got out and about between training commitments shopping, eating out and exploring Melbourne - and firm friendships were formed. Cathie was privileged to meet up with Anne again for breakfast at ALA in San Diego in January - she was keen to return to Australia and was full of ideas and plans for a new set of workshops for 2004. We will miss Anne, the profession will miss Anne, and our thoughts go out to her family at this time of loss. Saying goodbye to a friend is so difficult. From your friends at CAVAL - Steve O'Connor, Sue Henczel, Cathie Jilovsky, Nicole Sinclair and Eve Cornish

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