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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: 
We were so sorry to hear about Anne's passing. Anne was warmly regarded and greatly admired by those of us here at the National Library of Australia, and our reference colleagues in all the Australian state and territory libraries, who had the privilege of working with her. Truly we can say that without Anne's inspirational vision and probing intelligence AskNow, our very successful collaborative national chat reference service would not have so easily got off the ground. We well remember the first workshop meeting of the -now- AskNow partners facilitated by Anne, in her inimitable and special way. The task seemed impossibly big at the outset, but guided and goaded by Anne we set about it. Her enthusiasm and passion for reference services, the many challenges she threw us, gave us the confidence to push ahead with our vision of establishing this national, now multinational - with our New Zealand colleagues - service. Anne will be remembered for her huge contribution to the international library world, her generosity of spirit, her passion for the continued importance of librarianship and reference in particular, her warm and friendly personality, and her great sense of humour. There are not many with her giant reputation who would be willing to cross half the world to run a small workshop for a dozen or so librarians. On her last visit to Australia we will remember Anne enjoying an al fresco Sunday lunch by the lake in Canberra, with good food and wine, and wide ranging discussion on matters professional and personal. We join with colleagues from across the world in mourning her passing and offer our sincere sympathy to Anne's family and friends. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy lives on. Margy Burn Assistant Director-General Australian Collections & Reader Services National Library of Australia

Comment: 
Anne's death is a great loss. When I first came to know her she was more "my friend's mom" - a nice lady of my parents' generation, my husband's cousin whose daughters are my age. The longer I knew Anne the more extraordinary I found her. I admired her energy, and the texture of her life, full of art, books, food, travel, and most of all, people. The last time I saw her, when she was in bed, unable to get up, I was amazed that she noticed my four year old son's progress in language skills. Despite her grave illness, she noticed how much he was talking and stopped everything to comment to me about it. I was touched that in the middle of all her troubles, she would keep track of the developmental progress of her ex-husband's third cousin. Furthermore, as an Arab-American marrying into a Jewish family, I have felt so grateful through the years for Anne's open, tolerant, loving support. With Anne I never had to hide an opinion to keep the peace. I never had to defend myself or my culture to any of the Lipows. One year at Passover, Anne and Jenny organized a haggadah reading that was inclusive and meaningful. Words fail me - maybe later I can write more about what that means to me as an Arab-American married to a wonderful Jewish man. Anne's funeral today was beautiful, poignant, and cathartic. Rabbi Lerner's remarks especially gave me comfort and hope. I am so grateful to share in the love of this family. Steve, Jenny, Stephanie, Nicolas and everyone - your loss is immeasurable. We love you and support you in this time of sorrow. Leila Abu-Saba MacLeod

Comment: 
As I think now about Anne I realize how many ways our lives intersected - a wonderful reflection of Anne's generosity and wide interests. I first met Anne at one of her workshops in Australia, invited her to speak at more, visited and stayed with Anne and Steve in Belvedere and Berkeley, met my dear friends Debbie and Eric through Anne, continued the friendship with Steve at Innovative Interfaces, rowed on the San Francisco Bay with Anne and Steve at Open Water Rowing Center, Sausalito, and lots, lots more. Anne was a mentor for me in the library profession, with her creativity and challenging ideas, questioning, always thinking and sharing. I was lucky to see Anne when she stayed for a night on what turned out to be her last trip to Australia, and she generously shared with me some work contacts and ideas. Anne was a rare and wonderful person. I will miss her and I will always remember her.

Comment: 
I have not seen Anne in a few years, but our paths would cross at ALA over the years. The story I have to tell involves the unionization of librarians at the University of California. I became active years after Anne had been in the forefront of Berkeley librarians' organizing. However, when we began bargaining with the university in December of 1983, a union with very few resources, Anne graciously opened her home to members of the bargaining team. I remember the stars on the ceiling of the bedroom glowing in the dark. We stayed there so often that Anne gave me a key to her house on Oregon, which I kept for years on my keychain, finally returning it to her at an ALA meeting. We had many discussions on the direction of reference and she always put forth provocative ideas that caused me to reconsider my own thoughts. She will be sorely missed. Miki

Comment: 
I'm so sorry to hear about Anne's passing - I just can`t believe she is gone. I got to know her during the Glasgow IFLA conference in 2002 and appreciated her lively, enthusiastic and inspiring manner so much.

Comment: 
I'm very sorry to hear this sad news, and actually was astounded. I came to know her during the 2003 IFLA Berlin conference, and was very much impressed with her enthusiasm, energy, eloquence and knowledge. I sent her a few email messages and always received warm replies. I expected a long lasting friendship. When she was absent from the IFLA conference this year, we all missed her and hoped she would recover soon. My deepest condolences, and tears.

Comment: 
I met in the early 1990s Anne when she struck up a conversation with me on a hotel escalator during an ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. When we reached the lobby and saw that it was raining, she asked me where I was headed and offered me a ride in her car. During that conversation we discovered our mutual belief that reference service was due for a major review and rethinking. She graciously included me in her "Rethinking Reference" workshops. She measured their success not by their income but by the energy, enthusiasm, and creativity generated among their participants. Those are the qualities Anne brought to all of her work on behalf of librarianship and, I imagine, in every other area of her life. We are the better for all she gave us and the poorer for losing her now.

Comment: 
Anne has been a role-model for me for 30 years, and an important colleague for half my life. I first met Anne in the early 1970s when, as an activist student library employee (SLE), I was part of a group agitating for sick leave and holiday pay for student library workers. Anne really impressed me -- I was surprised that someone in what I then regarded as a high-level position was both supportive of our cause, and was helpful in strategizing how best to deal with a resistant administration. In the mid-1970s Anne gave me my first quasi-professional job. She had gone out on a limb and created the first real document delivery service in an academic library (BAKER) at a time when many people scoffed at the idea of such a thing. (Today, all sizable academic libraries have such a service.) In establishing this service she showed her vision of how something like this could be so important, but she also demonstrated her astuteness in networking and organization in incorporating other library units (like ILL) into the service. And she offered an important training ground for library school students (like me) in important skills that we couldn't get in school, and exposing us to her vision of what libraries could become. In the mid-1980s I moved in around the corner from her home on Oregon St. Over the years that physical proximity led to many unplanned encounters and discussions over important topics (from the library world to political topics to exotic places to visit and/or bikeride). I particularly remember a few years ago when I passed by her place (by then her office) to find her working on a Sunday, and she decided to accompany me to brunch for an exotic meal at our local Thai Church (where we ran into people we both knew from the Free Speech Movement). But perhaps most of all, I remember Anne as an incredible networker. Her vision would enable her to see even the tinyest threads of connections between people she knew. She was constantly matching people together in ways that would lead to great synergy between the people, as well as serious benefits for libraries and/or society. (Even on her deathbed, she matched me up with a UCB faculty member who had an important videotape that was too decayed to watch -- something that is of deep interest to me professionally.) The circle of friends and colleagues that I know (or know better) because of Anne is enormous, and probably constitutes 40% of the people I feel close to in the library world (and that number is enormous!). Anne has been such an inspiration to me. From her activism at protecting library fundamentals (like her struggle against filtering), to her vision of how libraries need to change in small ways (like developing online reference) in order to adhere to their primary fundamentals of providing good information to all segments of society, to her skills in making important new developments happen -- Anne has been a critical role model for me and many others. So many of us will sorely miss her. But, as Suzanne Calpestri has said, Anne will live on in all the friendships and working relationships that she helped create.

Comment: 
Anne was a treasure and a blessing, for her family and friends as well as for the profession. She was always a joy to be with and always interesting. Her contributions were legion, home and away. My family and I will never forget meeting her and Steve at the market in Galway one beautiful day in August a few years back. That sunny, happy person will be missed and will be remembered. Mike

Comment: 
About 300 of Anne's friends and family were able to go to her funeral yesterday. Roy Tennant sent me a photograph he took of Anne's gravesite that we've put up at infopeople.org/anne.html.

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