Jul 31st, 2006
?Frederick G. Kilgour, a librarian and educator who created an international computer library network and database that changed the way people use libraries, died on July 31, 2006. He was 92 years old and had lived since 1990 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.?
It is indeed very sad today to note the passing of Fred Kilgour, librarian, educator and founder of OCLC. Dr. Kilgour?s place as one of the most important figures in the history of libraries and librarianship has been well established for decades and his passing gives us an opportunity to celebrate his life?s accomplishments.
Around the globe, Dr. Kilgour?s legacy with undoubtedly live on and grow. The ideas and innovations in information services that he helped bring to fruition in the early days of shared computing have become something libraries simply could not do without today.
Dr. Kilgour?s intellect, curiosity and creative problem solving are things of legend both at OCLC and in the library profession at large. In my time working at OCLC I can honestly say I have never heard a cross word spoken about the man. Everyone here seems to have a ?Fred? story and each one I have heard involves a hard working, intelligent, thoughtful and curious person who was always interested in helping libraries accomplish their missions more successfully.
The world is a better place because of Dr. Kilgore?s contributions and he will be missed even as the importance of his vision and work live on.
My favorite ?Fred? quote is one I use regularly in class. It seems very observant and timely as you read it, until you get to the end and see that it was written in 1981. 1981?! Wow.
?New applications of technology will enable libraries to shift from their traditional emphasis on the packages of data to furnishing information for decisions and action. Hence, the new technology will provide librarians with the opportunity of developing new concepts of librarianship, having as their main emphasis the provision of information to individuals when and where they need it. Finally, it must be recognized that this new librarianship will evolve step-by-step and in cadence with the cultural evolution of our society.? (link and link)
?Fred Kilgour, 1981
In respectful remembrance and in celebration of a life full of visionary accomplishment, libraries and library professionals around the world salute you Fred Kilgour!
A fine related link from the “It’s All Good” blog with more details about the mans’ life and accomplishments.