DR. SARAH K. VANN
Miles Jackson, dean emeritus of the School of Library and Information Science, noted that Dr. Vann “was a true example of human kindness and dedication to librarianship as a profession. She will be greatly missed by the many students and faculty members she worked with during her illustrious career as teacher, scholar and writer.”
Her achievements extended far beyond the schools privileged to have her as a faculty member. She was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to serve as a consultant to the president of the University of the Philippines and was instrumental in establishing a library school there. She was selected by the Melvil Dewey Office and the International Relations Committee of the American Library Association, to travel around the world conducting a field survey of the Dewey Decimal Classification system abroad. The work of surveyors like Dr. Vann had an enormous impact on the 17th edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index published in 1967. Dr. Vann also established library schools in Indonesia and Pakistan. In the U.S. Dr. Vann helped to create the library school at the State University of New York at Buffalo. At SUNY she introduced one of the first courses on intellectual freedom in the library curriculum.
A widely respected scholar, Dr. Vann’s publications on Melvil Dewey and his contributions to librarianship as well as her extensive study of the Charles Williamson reports are considered enduring and seminal works providing detailed and scholarly commentary on the pre-Williamson and Williamson era of library service and library education.