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Draft memorial resolution for John Iliff

[6/19/2006: This is what’s going forward. But it’s definitely not too late for additions and corrections!]



Whereas, John Iliff served libraries and the library profession with distinction and dedication for nearly two decades; and

Whereas, John’s humor, intelligence, and compassion for the challenge of learning new technologies inspired many librarians to engage with the Internet and other technologies on behalf of those they serve; and

Whereas, John was a technology pioneer who was instrumental in implementing Internet access for public libraries in Florida; and

Whereas, John was a prime mover behind Florida’s Suncoast Freenet in the early 1990s who organized support, identified resources, and otherwise imposed his will, and charm, to realize the project; and

Whereas, along with Jean Armour Polly, in 1992 John Iliff founded and for five years co-moderated PUBLIB, one of the first discussion lists for librarians and still in use today; and

Whereas, John was a gifted educator, trainer, and presenter whose classes, conference presentations, and online broadcasts were renowned for the depth of his knowledge and his infectious enthusiasm for complex technologies; and

Whereas, John’s early and vigorous advocacy for Internet services in public libraries helped democratize this new medium and make computer and Internet access available to everyone, regardless of income; and

Whereas, John was a superb reference librarian whose skills at the Pinellas Park Public Library earned him the 1998 award for city employee of the year; and

Whereas, Through his training and speaking, John’s contagious enthusiasm gave library administrators the confidence and courage to provide Internet access to the public through their libraries and to embrace it as a basic library service, and

Whereas, in 2001, John Iliff was a member of a library work team at the University of Alaska Anchorage that won a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for improving off campus access to the library’s digital resources; and

Whereas, John Iliff was a leader in the implementation of remote access to library services, work that led the University of Alaska Anchorage to recognize him in 2002 with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Technology; and

Whereas, John was a vocal, passionate, and articulate advocate for intellectual freedom and a leader in the movement to reform the USA PATRIOT Act, activities that in 2003 led him to be selected by the Alaska Civil Liberties Union as a co-recipient of the Liberty Award; and

Whereas, in 2005 until his death in 2006, John Iliff served as PALINET’s first and highly-regarded Library Technology Development Consultant, demonstrating how the world of social software and podcasting could revolutionize libraries and improve service to library communities throughout the mid-Atlantic states and beyond; and

Whereas, John was a friend and mentor to countless librarians around the world;

Therefore, be it resolved, That the American Library Association recognize the remarkable achievements of John Iliff; and his many unique contributions to the library profession; and,

Be it further resolved, that the American Library Association express their sincere sympathy to the family and colleagues of John Iliff.

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