I was sad to come across the news today that Russell had passed away. I'm a retired staffer in the Library School at UCLA. I remember Russell speeding like a maniac around north campus on his scooter. I threatened to take his license away one day--smile. I especially remember the friendship between Russell and Liz and the first time they met. Russell was such a gentleman and seemed like a giddy teenager. God Bless your family.
Happy 90th Birthday Dad!!
I'm getting over the shock of seeing Russ' name pop up on Facebook when he's passed away, but he would think it was funny, I think. He was so meaningful in my life that I love to read how much he meant to others as well. I'm glad you're reminding us that this community of his friends and family is here to share memories. And I'm scanning older photos, and once I find it among all the piles of photos, I'll scan one of Russ at an ASIS meeting, probably in the 1970s or maybe late 1960s, and post it here.
the guestbook is still open for comments and thoughts!
Thank you Sue Martin for keeping the guest book open for another year. It was something that I was meaning to do but the deadline got away from me.
It wasn't until today that I found out that Mr. Shank had passed away. I think of him often for he was such a kind and loving man. I worked for him as his AA at the UCLA Library Administration and from day one he and I understood each other and enjoyed talking together. I spent 4 years working for him, until he retired, which surprised many people. He had the reputation of being gruff and I was warned not to go to work for him. Most people were scared of him. I found him to be the most generous person and we understood each other right away. I will never forget him and when his son would call he would say to me, "My favorite son called me today". That always got him in a good mood. Thank you, Mr. Shank for all you did for me and for all the people whose lives you touched. You will always live in my heart.
Judy and Family - just saw the photos posted on FB of the re-interment of your Father at Arlington National Cemetary - What a beautiful ceremony to honor a special person. I was unaware at the time of your Father's passing but do offer belated and sincere condolences to you and your family.
The guest book will remain open for another year. If you know anybody that would like to share some memories, please tell them to write in the book. And yes, there is a way to save all the entries in a bound book, or other formats, which we may do next year when the book closes.
I think about Russ often. If you close the guest book, can you save all the postings? They are a wonderful testimony to the great person that he was.
Thanks Rebecca for recognizing dad's strength of character. With a disability one has no choice but to take the challenges of daily life in stride. Going to Peets and navigating the small space was a challenge for him but I'm sure he did it because the joy of seeing friends like you there outweighed his physical burden. Thank you for enriching his life.
Dad's birthday is September 2nd. We are keeping the guest book open another year so come back and post again.
Thank you Rebecca. This is his daughter Sue. I must have met you at Peet's one time or another. I used to come there with Dad. I can't believe it's been a year. Still in shock, really, over his untimely passing.
It has been a year and Russell, you are not forgotten. My memories of you are strong and positive. I am forever grateful for your sterling example of living with disabilities. Thank you for showing such strength and courage. We still miss you at Peet's. You were a bright light of happy. Sending condolences to your friends and family. Russell was known as a brave man determined to enjoy life.
I am so very sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my thoughts & prayers.
My husband, Joe, and I both send our condolences to Liz and to his family. Russell brought the UCLA Library to its highest level. He was so wise -- his response on the news that the library was ranked so highly "it's one thing to get there, it's another to stay in this place". Joe always enjoyed talking with Russell about the Navy. He was a great man.
Russell Shank was a wonderful mentor to me as a young librarian at UCLA. He had vision, encouraged innovation and risk-taking and set a wonderful example for many of us! In addition, he knew how to have fun and enjoyed his staff as much as we enjoyed working for him. I was so sorry to hear of his passing and glad that we had a chance recently to reconnect on Facebook. Condolences to Liz and to his family.
Russ was one of my mentors. I never worked for him, but we worked together in ISAD (now LITA), and became very good friends. He was a delight: irascible, charming, with an intelligence that led him in many different productive directions. Judy, Pete, Susie, my heartfelt sympathies to you and your families. We will all miss him.
Russell was a wonderful librarian and good friend. He'll be missed.
Miss you so much. Who is going to do diabolical Sudokus with me now??
Russel was a friend and mentor to my wife,Marie. He was truly a great librarian.
During the 13 years I served as ALA Executive Director Russ Shank was one of my favorite ALA Presidents. I was unable to see him in Anaheim but all reports were that he was his usual jaunty but sardonic self.
My deepest condolences go to his family. I feel fortunate to have known him and to call him a friend.
Russell was very special. I love the jaunty look he has in the picture with his obituary. Lovely way to remember him!
Dear Cousins, Judy, Susie and Pete: Our condolences to you at the loss of such an iconic man. Please find peace that family and friends are with you and will keep you in thoughts and prayers. God bless you and keep you strong.
Aunt Margaret, Russell, Renee & Matt Nute, Merry & Dave Zingg
Judy, Sue, and Pete:
It was so nice to read all the messages of condolence that have been submitted by colleagues and friends. I won't repeat what I included in the remembrance that I sent to you and the ALA Council. Yes, your dad was one of he "giants' in the profession. He possessed humane values, but he also wasn't afraid to stand up for values in which he believed. This was not always the case with some of those he had to deal with in organizations such as ALA and ARL.
RIP Mr. Shank.. Happy to be your neighbor for many years. You were an outstanding individual and will be missed by many!!! Take care of each other Pete, Sue and Judy.
Russell was my boss from 1968 to 1977 at the Smithsonian. He was a font of knowledge and was delighted to share his knowledge (and opinions) with those of us who were just starting out. I owe him so much. To the family, thanks for sharing this guy with the rest of us. We all gained from him, and we understand your loss at this time.
I worked at UCLA from 1983-1994 and for much of that time Mr. Shank was our university librarian. He was a forceful and inspiring leader, and he is one of the reasons that I have pursued a career in librarianship. God Bless you Russell! My condolences to his family.
Russell Shank was one of the giants when I was entering our profession. It was in the last two years working for the American Library Association's Spectrum Scholarship Initiative that he became an ally in creating a more diverse profession to serve a more diverse American populace. The thanks of a the profession go to Russell for his knowledge that only in recognizing the changing needs of the people will the people remember the changing needs of libraries.
When I was a new librarian at UCLA in 1982 I was very fortunate to participate in Russell's Friday afternoon "University Libraries" seminar with 15 or so other staff. His leadership and intelligence inspired me, as did his human warmth and quirks. Condolences to Liz and to family, with appreciation.-- Sarah How, Cornell University Library
I met Russ when he was the president of the Association of College and Research Libraries and I was its newly appointed Executive. He was a great president to work with, setting a standard that others then had to follow. That high standard of performance continued throughout his career. A great role model for us all.
I'll never forget the conclusion to his inaugural address as President of ALA. He talked about two children, one of whom was placed in a room full of toys. The child was soon crying in frustration because he didn't know which one to play with first.
The observers put another child in a room full of fertilizer. They heard nothing from that room excerpt whistling and humming. The observers noticed the child had acquired a shovel, and was digging away at the pile.
When asked why he was digging, the child replied: "With all this manure, I figured there must be a pony somewhere!"
RIP Suss. Your memory will be for a blessing.
He was a wonderful member of our profession and we all leard a great deal from him. Gloriana St. Clair, Dean of University Libraries Carnegie mellon University
I came to Michigan as a junior faculty member in 1980. The administration talked about "the greats" and Russell was at the top of the list. A wonderful role model in our profession in general and in library education.
Praying for Russell and his entire extended family. Vaya con Dias, amigo!
Didn't know him, but he sounds like a great advocate for Libraries and Librarianship, and we need more like him in this profession. Deepest condolences to his family, I am sure he will be very missed.
Pete, Susie and Judy. I can't tell you how sorry I am that your dad has passed away. I have some great memories of him and Doris when we all lived in Alexandria way back when. He was a great guy and I am so glad I had a chance to know him and most recently felt honored that he 'facebook friended' me. We will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers to get through this difficult time.
I was on the faculty of the "rival" USC library school when Russell was teaching at UCLA. Nevertheless, we hit it off and had many incredible conversations. He was a giant in the field and definitely a "legend in his own time." I cherish my memories of him and grieve for his family's loss.
I met Russell in 2006 at Peets Coffee in Brentwood and I came to know him as a fellow regular customer. Always friendly, always a strong "Hello Chris," always a positive person, always a warm smile he was a pleasure to know and chat with. Russell, you will be missed. Rest in peace my friend, next round of coffee is on me. To Russell's family, you have my deepest condolences.
Judy and family, we are so sorry about your father's passing. Please know we are thinking of you. Sue and Mike Selvaggio