We are saddened to share the news that former iSchool Dean, Brooke E. Sheldon, died Monday, February 11th. Brooke served as dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science from 1991-1996. A specialist in leadership and management, Brooke was a strong advocate for public libraries and a more scholarly approach to professional education. Brooke led the school through a major restructuring of its doctoral program and successfully advanced the school's external research and gift funding. During her time as Dean, the school was ranked in the top ten graduate schools for Library and Information Science. She stepped down in 1996 to teach full-time but in characteristically spirited fashion, Brooke never really retired, she always stayed involved and went on to further leadership positions, including a stint as Director at the SIRLS program in Arizona for three years before further teaching stints at San Jose State University and The University of Alberta.
Dean Andrew Dillon notes: "Brooke was both an inspiration and a delight. She had a tremendous passion for the field and for people, and her warm personality made her friends worldwide. She was always willing to help others, was a source of great advice to me, and carried with her always a deep affection for our school. I know many of us will miss her and her endless good humor. We all offer our deepest sympathies to her family at this time."
She attended Cambridge High and Latin School and earned her BA degree from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, her MLS degree from Simmons University, and her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. She began her library career as a young adult librarian at the Detroit Public Library and then became branch librarian of the Albuquerque Public Library. She also held positions at the Santa Fe Public Library as Children’s coordinator and then as Head of the Children’s Department at the New Mexico State Library until she became Director of Library Development. She was Head of Technical Services and Training at the Alaska State Library, Associate Director for Training for the Leadership Training Institute at Florida State University under a grant for the U.S. Department of Education. Her first major educational position was as Dean of SLIS at Texas Women's University, the position she held until joining UT.
Dr. Sheldon received many honors including Distinguished Alumni Awards from Simmons College and The University of Pittsburgh. She was granted a Doctor of Civil Laws (Hon.) from Acadia University. The Brooke E. Sheldon Endowed Professorship in Management and Leadership was established at the University of Texas, Austin. She was granted the Outstanding Lecturer Award from San Jose State University, and the Professional Service Award from the Association of Library and Information Science Educators, and the Library Leadeership Award from the Arizona Library Association.
Her offices in professional associations included President of the American Library Association and during this term of office she traveled throughout the U.S. and abroad. She chaired ALA’s Committee on Accreditation and was co-founder of the Continuing Professional Education Round Table in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. She served on the Board of the Tocker Foundation and was an advisor to the American Library in Paris. As an advocate for diversity, Dr. Sheldon recruited and supported minorities for the profession through her efforts to get funding as well as to hire minority faculty. She opened her home in Austin for those attending the first national conference of REFORMA and was always so supportive of the activities and efforts of REFORMA.
She has been listed in A Biographical Directory of Librarians in the United States and Canada, Who’s Who in Library and Information Services, Director of Library and Information Professionals, and Who’s Who in America.
Her list of publications Interpersonal Skills, Theory and Practice: The Librarians’ Guide to Becoming a Leader, The Portable MLIS: Insights from the Experts (with Ken Haycock), Leaders in Libraries: Styles and Strategies for Success, Delivering Lifelong Professional Education Across Space and Time (with Blanche Woolls)
If you would like to contribute to the Brooke E. Sheldon Endowed Professorship in Management and Leadership at the University of Texas, Austin, you may mail gifts to:
The School of Information, ℅ Cassie Alvarado
1616 Guadalupe Street, Suite 5.202
Austin, TX 78701
Checks may be made out to The University of Texas. For question, please call 512-232-0738, or email email@example.com.