Sad News

annelipow.jpgAnne Lipow, renowned library trainer and consultant, died yesterday, September 9, around 10:30 PM, after a long battle with cancer. Anne was the founder and director of Library Solutions Institute and Press. She was the author of numerous books and articles, including “Crossing the Internet Threshold” and “The Virtual Reference Librarian’s Handbook.” Her “Rethinking Reference” institutes were recognized as being internationally significant and contributed to Anne’s receipt of the ALA Isadore Gilbert Mudge/R.R. Bowker award for “a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.”
Anne was very special to Infopeople because she was the guiding force in the initial development of the Infopeople training program, and she was responsible for bringing Cheryl Gould to Infopeople. Over the years, she was always there for us, giving us new ideas, advice, and inspiration. The courage and style with which she faced the challenge of her illness was truly amazing. Anne will be greatly missed by all of us and by the greater library community.
If you have some personal comments or remembrances you’d like to share, please click on the “comments” link below. We will be sharing these comments with Anne’s family.

95 thoughts on “Sad News

  1. I was fortunate to have met Anne when she enthusiastically (a redundant adverb to use to describe her efforts!) worked with Steve Coffman on presenting new live online reference software to San Francisco Bay Area libraries in the late 90’s. How could our libraries fail to buy into this revolutionary product/service with Anne so actively promoting it?!
    Since that time her presence at library workshops and conferences always added a special spark. One remark she made at a VRD Conference has been quoted several times and remains in the front of my mind. During a discussion about “remote” patrons (those not physically in the library building), she asked: “Who is remote, the patron or the librarian?” Yes, Anne had a wonderful way of challenging some of our traditional ways of thinking.
    Thank all of you for providing and contributing to this wonderful tribute to the wonderful individual who was Anne. All of our lives – and the library profession – would clearly have been lesser without her vibrant presence.

  2. For me IFLA 2004, last August, was not complete – it was my first World Library and Information Congress without Anne. How we all hoped she would be present next year.
    Many Dutch librarians know Anne as that marvellous, energetic, beautiful and inspiring lady (was she really over sixty???) who told us about the importance of virtual reference.
    She will be dearly missed, also in this part of the world,

  3. I was saddened to hear the news about Anne. I wish the very best for her family. She was a great visionary for our field and we’ll miss her contining to prod us to think about where we
    should be going next.
    I will also miss getting to visit with her at ALA, since we always used to meet there at the exhibits and exchange info on what we were doing.

  4. In 1983 (if memory serves) I had the pleasure of having Anne as a houseguest during an Arizona Library Association meeting. She was a truly singular person — a gifted teacher, a broad and deep thinker about library service and one of the most curious and interesting people I ever met. I was the proud recipient of one of her dreidels and cookbook stands (long since worn out!). She gave all of us so much and has an enduring legacy. She will be profoundly missed.

  5. Another great thing about Anne was her sense of humor which could alternately be self-deprecatory, gentle, or just wickedly funny, but never mean. We worked together on AACR2 training, and given the rather dry subject matter her humor and warmth were particularly welcome. We once debated how many angels could dance on the pointy head of a rule interpretation. Even just thinking of her always brought a smile to my face,and I’m sure it always will. Does anyone know a good gender neutral term for “mensch?”

  6. We celebrate Anne for being a mentor, a visionary, and a passionate teacher. She will be sorely missed by her many friends and colleagues.
    I still can’t believe the news.

  7. By the time I started my career here in the Berkeley Library, Anne had already moved on to other things. Many have written of her enduring impact on service, outreach and instruction and her efforts to improve the work life of librarians. One small piece of evidence of her lasting impact on the library is the fact that her handwriting in the Doe Library training room (which she established) remained on the white board for some ten years after her departure! I will miss running into Anne at conferences and at the Andronico’s deli counter.

  8. I am among the professional colleagues deeply affected and positively influenced by Anne. I often think of her when I need to be bold.
    I just now returned from the beautiful service held for Anne on this warm sunny September day. I want to thank Anne’s family and friends for giving us the opportunity to be together and to share our sorrow at the passing of, but also to rejoice in, her righteous and influential life. To those of you who missed the service I can report that many of your sentiments were echoed in a series of beautiful stories and tributes. I came away feeling more strongly than ever before that for Anne it will be true that she lives on through the people she touched and the love she engendered.

  9. Anne made several visits to Australia, and I was one of the lucky ones who was befriended, inspired, swept up, provoked (when needed), encouraged and generally amazed by her.
    It is hard to believe that Anne is no longer here with us somewhere – training, writing, cycling, walking, talking, eating, or fighting the good fight. She was so active, busy and insightful, and was also one of the most generous spirits I have ever encountered.
    My sense of loss is very great, but then so is the sense of the great fortune and privilege of spending even the shortest time with such a wonderful person.
    Farewell Anne. You are truly a legend (old joke between us)

  10. When I was in Library School at Berkeley, I was lucky enough to hear Anne speak about the differences in how people use a card catalog and an online catalog. Now, 15 years later, I don’t remember very much from Library School but I clearly remember her comments. They have informed every decision I’ve made since about the way people use libraries. She was a remarkable thinker, and her death is a great loss to our profession.

  11. We were so sorry to hear about Anne’s passing. Anne was warmly regarded and greatly admired by those of us here at the National Library of Australia, and our reference colleagues in all the Australian state and territory libraries, who had the privilege of working with her. Truly we can say that without Anne’s inspirational vision and probing intelligence AskNow, our very successful collaborative national chat reference service would not have so easily got off the ground. We well remember the first workshop meeting of the -now- AskNow partners facilitated by Anne, in her inimitable and special way. The task seemed impossibly big at the outset, but guided and goaded by Anne we set about it. Her enthusiasm and passion for reference services, the many challenges she threw us, gave us the confidence to push ahead with our vision of establishing this national, now multinational – with our New Zealand colleagues – service.
    Anne will be remembered for her huge contribution to the international library world, her generosity of spirit, her passion for the continued importance of librarianship and reference in particular, her warm and friendly personality, and her great sense of humour. There are not many with her giant reputation who would be willing to cross half the world to run a small workshop for a dozen or so librarians. On her last visit to Australia we will remember Anne enjoying an al fresco Sunday lunch by the lake in Canberra, with good food and wine, and wide ranging discussion on matters professional and personal. We join with colleagues from across the world in mourning her passing and offer our sincere sympathy to Anne’s family and friends. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy lives on.
    Margy Burn
    Assistant Director-General
    Australian Collections & Reader Services
    National Library of Australia

  12. Anne’s death is a great loss. When I first came to know her she was more “my friend’s mom” – a nice lady of my parents’ generation, my husband’s cousin whose daughters are my age. The longer I knew Anne the more extraordinary I found her. I admired her energy, and the texture of her life, full of art, books, food, travel, and most of all, people.
    The last time I saw her, when she was in bed, unable to get up, I was amazed that she noticed my four year old son’s progress in language skills. Despite her grave illness, she noticed how much he was talking and stopped everything to comment to me about it. I was touched that in the middle of all her troubles, she would keep track of the developmental progress of her ex-husband’s third cousin.
    Furthermore, as an Arab-American marrying into a Jewish family, I have felt so grateful through the years for Anne’s open, tolerant, loving support. With Anne I never had to hide an opinion to keep the peace. I never had to defend myself or my culture to any of the Lipows. One year at Passover, Anne and Jenny organized a haggadah reading that was inclusive and meaningful. Words fail me – maybe later I can write more about what that means to me as an Arab-American married to a wonderful Jewish man.
    Anne’s funeral today was beautiful, poignant, and cathartic. Rabbi Lerner’s remarks especially gave me comfort and hope. I am so grateful to share in the love of this family. Steve, Jenny, Stephanie, Nicolas and everyone – your loss is immeasurable. We love you and support you in this time of sorrow.
    Leila Abu-Saba MacLeod

  13. As I think now about Anne I realize how many ways our lives intersected – a wonderful reflection of Anne’s generosity and wide interests. I first met Anne at one of her workshops in Australia, invited her to speak at more, visited and stayed with Anne and Steve in Belvedere and Berkeley, met my dear friends Debbie and Eric through Anne, continued the friendship with Steve at Innovative Interfaces, rowed on the San Francisco Bay with Anne and Steve at Open Water Rowing Center, Sausalito, and lots, lots more.
    Anne was a mentor for me in the library profession, with her creativity and challenging ideas, questioning, always thinking and sharing.
    I was lucky to see Anne when she stayed for a night on what turned out to be her last trip to Australia, and she generously shared with me some work contacts and ideas.
    Anne was a rare and wonderful person. I will miss her and I will always remember her.

  14. I have not seen Anne in a few years, but our paths would cross at ALA over the years. The story I have to tell involves the unionization of librarians at the University of California. I became active years after Anne had been in the forefront of Berkeley librarians’ organizing. However, when we began bargaining with the university in December of 1983, a union with very few resources, Anne graciously opened her home to members of the bargaining team. I remember the stars on the ceiling of the bedroom glowing in the dark. We stayed there so often that Anne gave me a key to her house on Oregon, which I kept for years on my keychain, finally returning it to her at an ALA meeting. We had many discussions on the direction of reference and she always put forth provocative ideas that caused me to reconsider my own thoughts. She will be sorely missed.

  15. I’m so sorry to hear about Anne’s passing – I just can`t believe she is gone.
    I got to know her during the Glasgow IFLA conference in 2002 and appreciated her lively, enthusiastic and inspiring manner so much.

  16. I’m very sorry to hear this sad news, and actually was astounded. I came to know her during the 2003 IFLA Berlin conference, and was very much impressed with her enthusiasm, energy, eloquence and knowledge. I sent her a few email messages and always received warm replies. I expected a long lasting friendship. When she was absent from the IFLA conference this year, we all missed her and hoped she would recover soon.
    My deepest condolences, and tears.

  17. I met in the early 1990s Anne when she struck up a conversation with me on a hotel escalator during an ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. When we reached the lobby and saw that it was raining, she asked me where I was headed and offered me a ride in her car. During that conversation we discovered our mutual belief that reference service was due for a major review and rethinking. She graciously included me in her “Rethinking Reference” workshops. She measured their success not by their income but by the energy, enthusiasm, and creativity generated among their participants. Those are the qualities Anne brought to all of her work on behalf of librarianship and, I imagine, in every other area of her life. We are the better for all she gave us and the poorer for losing her now.

  18. Anne has been a role-model for me for 30 years, and an important colleague
    for half my life.
    I first met Anne in the early 1970s when, as an activist student library
    employee (SLE), I was part of a group agitating for sick leave and holiday
    pay for student library workers. Anne really impressed me — I was
    surprised that someone in what I then regarded as a high-level position
    was both supportive of our cause, and was helpful in strategizing how best
    to deal with a resistant administration.
    In the mid-1970s Anne gave me my first quasi-professional job. She had
    gone out on a limb and created the first real document delivery service in
    an academic library (BAKER) at a time when many people scoffed at the idea of such a thing. (Today, all sizable academic libraries have such a
    service.) In establishing this service she showed her vision of how
    something like this could be so important, but she also demonstrated her
    astuteness in networking and organization in incorporating other library
    units (like ILL) into the service. And she offered an important training
    ground for library school students (like me) in important skills that we
    couldn’t get in school, and exposing us to her vision of what libraries
    could become.
    In the mid-1980s I moved in around the corner from her home on Oregon St.
    Over the years that physical proximity led to many unplanned encounters
    and discussions over important topics (from the library world to political
    topics to exotic places to visit and/or bikeride). I particularly remember
    a few years ago when I passed by her place (by then her office) to find
    her working on a Sunday, and she decided to accompany me to brunch for an exotic meal at our local Thai Church (where we ran into people we both knew from the Free Speech Movement).
    But perhaps most of all, I remember Anne as an incredible networker. Her
    vision would enable her to see even the tinyest threads of connections
    between people she knew. She was constantly matching people together in
    ways that would lead to great synergy between the people, as well as
    serious benefits for libraries and/or society. (Even on her deathbed, she
    matched me up with a UCB faculty member who had an important videotape that was too decayed to watch — something that is of deep interest to me professionally.)
    The circle of friends and colleagues that I know (or know better) because
    of Anne is enormous, and probably constitutes 40% of the people I feel
    close to in the library world (and that number is enormous!).
    Anne has been such an inspiration to me. From her activism at protecting
    library fundamentals (like her struggle against filtering), to her vision
    of how libraries need to change in small ways (like developing online
    reference) in order to adhere to their primary fundamentals of providing
    good information to all segments of society, to her skills in making
    important new developments happen — Anne has been a critical role model
    for me and many others. So many of us will sorely miss her. But, as
    Suzanne Calpestri has said, Anne will live on in all the friendships and
    working relationships that she helped create.

  19. Anne was a treasure and a blessing, for her family and friends as well as for the profession. She was always a joy to be with and always interesting. Her contributions were legion, home and away. My family and I will never forget meeting her and Steve at the market in Galway one beautiful day in August a few years back. That sunny, happy person will be missed and will be remembered.

  20. About 300 of Anne’s friends and family were able to go to her funeral yesterday. Roy Tennant sent me a photograph he took of Anne’s gravesite that we’ve put up at

  21. Thought-provoking, inspirational, dedicated, passionate, innovative, forward-thinking, talented in writing professional literature and clever songs, wonderful conversationalist, and an enjoyable person with whom to share a simple or fancy meal. These are but a few of the words that come to mind as I think about the all-too-short amount of years I have known Anne. I have been lucky enough to share time with Anne and will be forever grateful to have known her. She will be missed, indeed.

  22. Anne, my friend of some forty years, farewell. Remember when we toiled over requests cards in the bibliographic department at the UC library to verify and justify the purchase of books. We have come a long way from there professionally speaking, and you were a major part in many of those developments. Your contribution to our lives personally and professionally is vast. You were one of my very fist American friends. – I came to this country in 1956 and to the Berkeley Library school in 1959. Anne and have been friends ever since. Even through the years of 1971 and 1986 when I was back in Hungary. –
    Anne, I will never forget how you helped to update my 15 years of missed American librarianship. You never let me down, you always inquired to see how I was faring. When deeply involved in CLA ACTSS activities a few years back and out speaker let us down in the last minute almost you jumped in and saved the day. You were even too modest and humble not wanting to do it saaying that you were not really savvy talking about metadata. Hah! Needless to say, you did pull it through better than anyone could have done it. You did not let down, and I knew it was for our friendhip mostly that you obliged. We will never forget when shortly after our arrival in 1986 how my Hungarian husband of poor English language facilities “fell in love” with you because you were patient with him, was able to converse with him, or better yet, he was able to converse with you because you chose your words so well that he could understand even complicated concepts the way you presented them. A very special talent that I always appreciated very much. He even understood what the Internet was in those early days of the early nineties. We’ll all think of the fabulous parties you and Steve gave, how you made all your guests feel that they were the only people there.
    Dear Steve, Jenny, Stephanie and Nicolas, your loss is immeasurable, however your lives were (created) and made richer by Anne who will always be with us!

  23. Anne’s passing creates a huge void in the profession as well in my own life. Anne was one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met. We met soon after I arrived in Berkeley as University Librarian. I had already read Anne’s report on the Status of Women before I had arrived in Berkeley. Without doubt she shed light on an issue that was long overdue. It was an insightful document that also upset a number of people because so many were in denial. I know that I paid attention to it. Anne and I discussed her findings and recommendations on numerous occasions.
    Anne had the unique quality of wearing several hats at the same time. She could walk into my office, as she did on numerous occasions, and give me hell about this or that, and then return a couple of hours later, in a completely different mindset, so that we could work together to develop an idea we were both interested in—like BAKER.
    There is no question that she was out in front of the rest of us most of the time. One of my real regrets at leaving Berkeley was that I would no longer be able to work with Anne on a daily basis—or the rest of the Berkeley staff who were a remarkable group of people.
    As others have said, Anne was a multi-talented person. One of Anne’s great talents was writing new lyrics to old tunes. Just before I departed Berkeley in 1978 Anne wrote a series of lyrics that she (and others) performed at a ceremony. I still have one of series framed on my wall.
    FareWell, RMD
    Sung to “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now”
    We wonder who’ll replace Dick D.
    Whoever it is—he or she—
    Can’t make us forget all the things he’s done:
    Ball games lost; budgets won.
    He taught us how the big system works
    (We’ll forget the Armenians and Turks)
    We all wish him well!
    (Now who’ll give Salmon hell?)
    Oh, no one can replace Dick D.
    Years later Anne wrote more lyrics that were performed by a group of librarians at my ALA President’s Inauguration Dinner in Chicago in 1991. Somewhere I still have the videotape of that performance. It was a real kick.
    The last time we had an opportunity to work together was when I asked her to participate in my first live teleconference at the College of DuPage on the topic of virtual/digital reference service. Who better than Anne to share her vision to an audience of over 5,000 viewers. Steve Coffman and Paul Constantine joined Anne on the program. We were all very nervous during rehearsal because this was a new experience for all of us, but once the lights went on, Steve, Paul, and Anne were marvelous. It was a great program and we all enjoyed the experience! (How many people can say they have ever seen Anne Lipow with make-up on! Ah, the demands of TV lights.)
    I can’t say that there was instant love between Anne and me. We were often on the opposite sides of contentious issues, such a grievance at which Anne was serving as a staff advocate, but it didn’t take long for me to appreciate that she was an incredible talent. As I said she could fight with me in the morning and collaborate with me in the afternoon as if there had never been a morning meeting. As the years passed I came to recognize that Anne was probably the most remarkable librarian I had ever had the opportunity to know and work with. I will miss her professionally and personally very much, but I know that I am a better person for having known her.
    Dick Dougherty
    Stickystickystrombo noso rambo ickybickyban etc…..and his brother Lee. That’s what I think of when I think of Anne. Or something like that. It’s the title of a children’s story that she used to tell Emily and Katie when she would see them at ALA conferences. Funny the things you remember. Emily made her write it down one time so she wouldn’t forget it. (that’s when she was 8; now at near 21 she can still rattle it off correctly… we probably still have the paper napkin on which it’s written.) And she would tell the girls about Jenny and Stephanie and Nick…..Emily could tell you the names of all Anne’s kids, who was oldest, who liked what, what they were doing. She had such a wonderful rapport with them. It was always books, stories, family. Even if Anne was at our house for a party of adults and librarians, or in our hotel suite at a conference, she would wind up in the kids’ room reading a book or looking at whatever treasures they wanted to show her. Anne had a heart of gold and soft spot for children. Our girls met a lot of librarians in their years of attending ALA conferences, and a lot of the names and faces and locations run together for them, but not Anne’s.
    Yes, I knew Anne professionally, mostly through editing and writing, but first and foremost she was a friend who I never saw enough. We would talk of family and travels and politics and everything under the sun. It was always upbeat and positive and with passion. She made my world a better place.
    Ann Dougherty

  24. Dear friends:
    It seems impossible that Anne is gone, and even more impossible that in the space of a few months we have lost, in Anne and Reggie Zelnik, two of the most humane, compassionate & multi-dimensional people for whom the Berkeley campus has been home in the last few decades. When you hear “life isn’t fair,” this is what is meant. I want to beat my fists against the hard walls of Fate. It cannot be.
    To Anne I owe my first real library job, and a quarter century of productive work later at the UC Berkeley Library, I am in debt to her for having conferred upon me my true vocation. The warm camaraderie of the early days in the Cooperative Services Department remains a bright light in the memories of all, (students, staff, librarians and the faculty on the receiving end) who participated. I can see Anne, leaning back in her chair, gazing out the windows of room 386 into the gray Berkeley morning sky toward Haviland and the tall trees along the north edge of campus, wrapped up in thought and miles away from us all, as clearly as if it were yesterday. The dreamer and the immensely practical, both rolled up in Anne.
    We miss a GREAT person, but more than anything we miss the person herself. It seems now that, in death as well as life, she has shown us all how to move forward with dignity and courage. May we keep the faith that was hers: freedom of speech, faith in human possibility, caring deeply about others and taking action to achieve those goals.
    In peace,
    David Kessler
    Bancroft Library staff

  25. Dear Ann is the friend who introduced me to Berkeley and was so important to Bill Riess and me. She gave us an engagement party, and found a job for me in the Psych Department. She constituted the fourth person in the first book group I was ever in, much less had heard of. Ann flew through life. She was so smart, she saw what needed to be done and moved right to it. At lunches when I saw her most recently, before the final illness, I loved listening to her report on her own life–she was both so certain, and so thoughtful. She was utterly inclusive, and a matchmaker, matching people and ideas both. Lucky all of us to have known her. She brought us all together, again and again. We have so much to miss, Jenny, Stephanie, Steve and all the family and all of the friends.

  26. I first met Anne on a visit to Australia with Steve in about 1991. We got talking about reference service and I realised it would be really valuable to have Anne return and run her reference interview workshops for us. It was the beginning of years of organising Lipow workshops in Australia.
    I was always amazed by Anne’s energy, enthusiasm positive outloook and the caring interest she took in the people around her.Even after I moved out of librarianship we continued to meet for dinner whenever she was passing through Sydney. The last time was at a restaurant near the Opera House but of course neither of us knew it would be the last. I always looked up to Anne as a role model, both as a librarian and a fine human being. Anne, you will be missed.

  27. I met Anne through the IFLA Conferences. She was such a warm. welcoming person and through her writings, seminars, etc was a truly inspiring librarian. Thank you Anne, you will be greatly missed.

  28. Dear Stephen,
    It hurts us to hear that Anne no longer is between us. We remember our visit in San Francisco and your wonderful home in Belvedere, July 2002, with warmth and great joy, and we remember Anne’s generous offer to us: “Just come and stay in our home, as long as you want”. We remember you and Anne standing at the harbour waiting for the ferry, bringing us to you for a wonderful evening with a delicious dinner, a visit at the violin- and guitarmaker and the walking through the beautiful paths and roads in Belvedere.
    Dear Stephen: Our thoughts are with you. Anne will stay in our minds.
    Yours Jette and Per, Silkeborg, Denmark

  29. I knew of Anne professionally, having read her always insightful articles and heard several of her excellent presentations. I met her informally at IFLA in Berlin when I attended a Friday night service which she was attending and then shared a meal with Anne and other colleague at a nearby restaurant. Her energy, vitality, and enthusiasm about life and her profession were immediately palpable.
    Her passing is a great loss to the profession, but her influence will be felt for years to come.
    My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.
    Judith Lin Hunt

  30. The following is the text of my remarks at Anne funeral on Monday
    For the funeral of Anne Lipow — Sept 13, 2004
    Hello. My name is Steve Silberstein — I am Anne Lipow’s husband. As you know, just four days ago Anne peacefully passed away in her bed our living room, at 10:35 at night. Needless to say, as her breathing stopped, it was difficult to comprehend, being there with her, that she was both there and not there, and in any case that LIFE had left her. I finally was able to get to sleep about 3:00 am, then a few hours latter, at dawn, awoke and grogily went thru the motions of getting up. Anne was an early riser, and looked forward to each day — I wondered what it would be like without her. As usual I went outside in the early dawn, walking down to the bottom of our steep driveway to get the newspaper, and as I bent down to pick it up, turned around, and headed back up the driveway, not knowing what to think about Anne, I noticed her car, parked in the carport at the top of the driveway, underneath out house. And staring down at me, as big as can be, was the text of its, her, license plate — LUCHAIM — Hebrew or Yiddish (I’m not sure which) for “To Life”. (The spelling is a little unusual because someone else had taken the more normal spelling, but that didn’t stop her from getting the phrase on her car’s license plate)
    There it was, staring me in the face from her car — Luchaim — thats Anne — Life in its fullest, Life the great positive force, that indeed is Anne.
    Back inside the house, Marianne — who was helping with Anne care these last couple of months, was up too, and when I told her what I just experienced, she explained to me that indeed Anne’s spirit was all through the house — and as I thought about that, I realized how right she is.
    As many of you know, Anne was originally very reluctant to leave Berkeley and move into that house which I had ourely by accident come accross eight years ago when I was driving around in Marin just looking for a parking place. After all, we had just completed the remodel and expansion of her longtime Berkeley house which she loved.
    As I looked around the house in response to Marianne’s comment, I realized that she was right — Anne’s spirit is all over the house — physically through all the remodeling she had both required and inspired — the entrance way foyer is hers, the incredible kitchen window is hers, the backyard is hers, even the second oven in the breakfast room is hers — there for her cooking so we could do even more for our annual day after New Years party — a party which so represents her spirit — her intense desire to be with people, to share, to introduce each of us to the better parts of each other, the goodness in each other, and to better serve each other.
    As probably everyone here can attest, Anne just didn’t have a negative thought about anything or anyone she came accross — everyone and everything was wonderful, and all she did focus on that and inspire us all to be even better.
    For example, one of the reasons she didn’t want to move to Belvedere was the commute that it would entail to her office in Berkeley. Yet when she had to make that commute every day, she thought it was wonderful — it gave her the opportunity to listen to and enjoy numerous books on tape, great radio talk shows like Fresh Air with Terry Gross, All Things Considered, and even so-called right-wing programs like Imus in the Morning and Dr. Laura.
    Many people know Anne just loved little gadgets. When she discoverd a new one, she just had to share it with everyone she came accross — which she would do by talking about it, showing it off, and then, if the person wanted, giving them an extra one she always had (or would get). Who remembers the little battery operated personal fan she discovered on a trip to Singapore many years ago? or the apple peeler, or the garlic peeler, or the mezzaluna, or the little hook you could pin on to your sweater to hold your eyeglasses, or most recently the pedometer?
    Anne’s enthusiam for any little thing was just infectious. As many people know, she started the Dreidel Factory because she wanted a better, i.e. non-plastic, dreidel to give her kids. When her friend Dean Metzger came up with a way to make a dreidel out of redwood, she just had to share it with the world. For almost 20 years she loved to sit out on Telegraph Avenue with all the other stret vendors, and show people about the marvelous driedel she had. She wouldn’t just sit quitely waiting for someone to approach her — no, she would proudly announce to every passerby “Look at how well it spins — here — try it”. I remember once when some African American kids looked at her as somewhat crazy and responded “Whats that? Why would anyone want it?”. She immediately went into an enthusistic pitch she thought they could relate to — it was a gambling device, and they could make a lot of money with it, and gave them its revolutionary history, and lo and behold she had another sale — thats how infectious and irresitable her enthusiasm was.
    With her own books at Library Solutions Press, and those of others, she was equally enthusiastic. She couldn’t resist telling everyone who wonderful this or that thing that this other person had done was. In my own case, I felt she sometimes went a little overboard talking me up, and afterwards asked her to tone it down somewhat — but she just couldn’t.
    Cooking — for most of her life she was enthusistically proud that she didn’t and indeed couldn’t cook at all — hard (not soft) boiling an egg was about it, and that only under dire necessity. Then a few years ago, she took up cooking and just feel in love with it — collecting and sharing recipes, and just loving making delicious and unique meals — she was just loved it. Similarly, a few years ago she and I took up rowing out in the Bay, me for excercise and a chance to explore all the nooks and crannies of the Bay, she just gracefully get out in the middle of the water where she could sing to the hundreds of birds and half a dozen harbor seals that she said followed her around on the water.
    Last year Anne got a job putting on a one week training seminar for the Helsinki Public Library. She had always wanted to go visit Russia — the land of her forebearers, so we planned to both go to Helsinki, and then bicycle on the 200 miles or so to St. Petersburg Russia. She was so ethusistic about this trip that she bought the computer program “Rossetta Stone” and spent hours and hours using it to learn to speak some Russian, which she did learn to do. And when we got there, we had an absolutely fabulous time, staying in a very small apartment of a friend of a friend of a friend, walking all over town, day after day, eating all kinds of delicious blintzs sold by small shops, and conversing and visitng the homes of several families we met. Just another example of Anne’s enthusiasm for new things and ability to enjoy the little things in life.
    No matter what, Anne had fun and wanted others to have fun too. Whenever she attended a small professional library conference she would make up new, humerous lyrics to old-time popular songs so that she and everyone there could end the conference singing joyously about the little problems and ironies and solutions that the conference and its participants came up with. Among those of us who worked with her in the University Library in Berkeley in the 1970s, who can forget the “Unoffical Proceedings” of the UCLA-Berkely Joint Conference on the Future of the Library Catalog? Or her “Little Red Book” of “Quotations from Chairman Joe” — mockingly refering to Joe Rosenthal the University Librarian and leader of the library’s computerization efforts. And speaking of Joe, he, like Anne, was a great dancer — and she loved to dance with him at every library party. Recently I got a card from someone who remembers that well — he remarked that they were such a beautiful pair with what he thought was a little too close to the “Dirty Dancing” of the time.
    Yes — To Life, LuChaim — thats Anne. We will miss her imensely — there is no way life will be nearly good without her — but her spirit lives on in in both big and little ways in each of us and everything we see around us.

  31. Anne came to Australia many times and inspired all who heard her speak. She took alternative approaches to her topic and encouraged others to do so as well. I came to know her through these visits and also through accidental meetings at airports and conferences all over the world. We shared meals several times and always engaged in fascinating conversations. I personally learned a great deal from her – she stretched one’s mind and always had interesting perspectives to encourage further reflection. I am saddened indeed to hear of her death. She will be sorely missed by many.

  32. Monday morning, Sept. 13–my husband and I were on the last leg of a two-week car trip to Portland, where I go regularly to oversee the care of my 90-year old mother. We were eating breakfast in the Wood Rose Cafe in Garberville, a lovely little organic-foods restaurant, and as I scanned the Chronicle I glanced at the obituaries. When I saw Anne’s name I could not believe my eyes–somehow, I did not even know she was ill. In tears of disbelief I read the obituary, glanced frantically at my watch and realized there was no way I could get to Oakland in time for the services. Instead, we drove to a Trappestine monastery a half hour west of Garberville and–though I know this wouldn’t have been Anne’s “thing”–I sat in the chapel there and prayed/reflected on the dear, dear friend Anne has always been.
    We were colleagues at UC Berkeley–and when she became Chief Information Officer she asked me to serve as Editor of Library Publications. We worked closely together, and she was for me–as for SO many others–a wonderful mentor; she encouraged me to finish up my BA (finally!) and to enter Library School. When I got my MLIS, she wrote me an unbelievably powerful letter of recommendation for my first professional job (at the Graduate Theological Union). And when I was ready to move on from there, she again wrote me a glowing letter (for my current position at Cal State Hayward).
    But Anne and I grew closest during our two year stint as caregivers for Jane Pulis, the Germanic bibliographer at UC Berkeley, after she suffered cardiac arrest and subsequent brain damage. Jane’s family lived on the east coast, so Anne and I shared responsibility for overseeing her care in various (many!) nursing homes in Berkeley. Many were the 2:00 a.m. phone calls between us as we decided who’d get dressed, go down to the nursing home and calm Jane down. We hired attendants, spent endless hours working with nursing home aides and supervisors; and of course, many many hours with Jane–talking to her, reading to her, massaging her, urging her back to recovery. Anne’s tenderness and patience, love, respect, and nurturing of Jane were impressive, and represented a side of Anne many of her professional colleagues may not have seen. Jane left us in 1984–Anne called me one evening to tell me the long struggle was over; she’d suffered another, fatal, cardiac arrest. Now in my mind’s eye I see Anne and Jane together again, wherever they are, chattering like the good pals and colleagues they were; someday I’ll join them, hopefully, for some good gossip!
    My heart goes out to Steve, Stephanie, Jenny and Nicholas. Goodbye sweet Anne! I miss you…
    Judy Clarence

  33. I’ve known Anne & Steve for over 20 years and want to add my thoughts to this wonderful list. Anne was kind, really wonderful, and, as our meetings for the past several years were always totally serendipitous, I am so sad to realize now that I’ve discovered her in an elevator or on a corner for the last time. I’ll always be able to see her smile and hear her voice.

  34. Just picked up the sad news in the San Francisco newspaper obituary. Anne had many friends in Australia as the Australian tributes to date have recorded. Her seminars and visits were always associated with innovation, liveliness and fun. To go to their wonderful house to meet Anne and Steve was always to receive abundant hospitality and stimulating conversation. I can still remember a wonderful evening that Anne arranged with rock ‘n’ roll music in San Francisco. The fact that so many people from around the world have recorded their memories is a tribute to Anne’s global influence and impact. Her memory will live on Down Under.

  35. Anne was a beacon – someone who showed us what a librarian could be, and more important, what a person could be. I feel very lucky to have known her, even for a short time.

  36. Dear Steve:
    On behalf of Dagmar, Ulla and me, I send my most sincere and loving condolences to you and to Anne’s children and grandchild.
    Saudade, Anne.
    Luiz Freire a exchange student from the 1980’s.

  37. Dear Steve, Stephanie, Jenny, and Nick,
    Anne profoundly changed my life in several ways – I will never forget her! She introduced me to my now husband of 16 years, she alone made it possible that Luiz and I were able to come back to Berkeley to spend three most amazing, exciting, and wonderful years there, she “re-introduced” me to the profession of librarian, showed me how proud you can be to be a librarian (something that I had never felt working as a librarian in Germany) and, looking back, it is probably safe to say that without Anne, Luiz and I would not have had the life we did….starting in Berkeley, then living in Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Miami and finally Zurich… all started in that “fateful” August 1987 in Anne’s wonderful house on 2135 Oregon Street. What a wonder and blessing that my life path was allowed to cross hers!

  38. Several people have asked if, instead of sending flowers, there is someplace they could make gifts in memory of Anne. I would suggest that people wishing to do so consider their favorite charity. I think if you asked Anne, these public institutions would come to mind
    1. Library of the University of California Berkeley
    Berkeley California 94720
    2. Berkeley Public Library
    2090 Kittredge St
    Berkeley CA 94704
    3. Belvedere-Tiburon Public Library
    1601 Tiburon Blvd
    Tiburon CA 94920
    4. Freedom to Read Foundation of the
    American Library Association
    50 East Huron
    Chicago IL 60611
    — Steve

  39. The following is the text of my remarks at Anne’s funeral last Monday — Suzanne Calpestri
    Steve, Jenny, Stephanie, Nicholas, Sydney, Toby, Ethel, Lee, Arthur, Family and friends
    I am honored to speak about Anne and her lifelong work as a librarian. For more than 30 years Anne was my colleague, my teacher, and my mentor. Anne was my best friend, my critic and my staunch supporter. Her achievements and contributions to the library profession are legendary– anyone who knows her even slightly would agree on this point.
    Anne was a pioneer in the profession. She saw the importance of new ideas long before most other librarians did – she thought “outside the book”. Her creativity was often stunning. She amazed us with her imagination about how librarians could create and provide services.
    Sometime in the 1970’s when we were in a management workshop we took a test that purported to measure one’s creativity. As part of the exercise we were to line up according to our scores — lowest on one end, higher scores on the other. Anne was at the highest end — top of the creativity chain.
    Beyond creative thinking, Anne had special talents — she could organize, network, persuade and implement. And she was persistent in pursuing her visions until solutions were found. She guided us and goaded us to do the same no matter how big the problem.
    Among her credits are document delivery services, faculty seminars, new methods for teaching library skills, and most recently virtual reference service – all of these were considered radical at the time and are quite commonplace today. In her own words, she is the Director of Library Solutions!
    Anne was an activist for social justice. She was a founding member of the librarian’s union at Berkeley in the 1960’s. She spearheaded the 1970’s groundbreaking women’s report linking gender issues and pay equity –as a result librarians salaries were adjusted upward.
    Anne was committed to the ideals and values of librarianship – in particular free access, and uncensored collections. If you asked Anne what she would want to be remembered for, she would tell you about her expert testimony over several years against the mandated use of filtering programs on internet terminals in public libraries. Anne contributed to the early successes that took the case to the supreme court as U.S. vs the American Library Association.
    Some say Anne was a role model for librarians. Indeed she was. Anne challenged each of us to make a difference and she demonstrated how the library was a perfect place for doing just that. By her example (and patient coaching) many became better librarians. Beyond that, she inspired people to want to become librarians. Anne’s enthusiasm for librarianship was boundless. How could you want to do anything else with your life? To Anne’s credit both of her daughters entered the profession – Jenny is the Marketing Manager for Library Solutions and served as Anne’s trusted advisor. Stephanie, a medical librarian is Anne’s ideal of the modern librarian and the one Anne chose as her personal librarian. Stephanie and Jenny, you both exemplify the new generation of information professionals inspired by your mother. You may not know that you too inspired her and that she thought of you as her highest professional achievements.
    Anne was an incredible networker — and did she have a network. She delighted in finding threads of commonality between different people she knew, introducing them to one another in ways that would lead to great synergy, as well as consequential benefits for libraries and society. Much of this networking happened spontaneously – stop by her booth at ALA and you would be connected to someone you needed to know. Because Anne had so many friends, countless connections were made, and many valuable collaborations were initiated. These Anne-enabled partnerships allowed a lot of us to accomplish things we never dreamed possible. To be in Anne’s circle was to enjoy but one degree of separation in a world where six degrees is the norm.
    This network of friends was Anne’s lifeblood. Anyone who saw her in the past months observed the energy and sparkle generated when she was with her friends. She loved getting the latest update on events. On my last visit we talked about the latest happenings in the library and her favorite organization – the Information Futures Institute. In classic Anne mode, her last words to me were — “I feel all caught up now”
    We hugged, said “I love you”.
    I will miss my colleague, my teacher and my mentor, but I mourn the loss of my best friend.
    We had wonderful times just doing ordinary things – having lunch, shopping for clothes, planning parties and girl-talk when we traveled. She might start off with something like – “Tell me how to think about THIS ONE ….” That’s when we really connected and that’s what made our relationship extraordinary. Here’s what I know from those intimate moments.
    Anne cherished the “we” in her life with Steve. She placed the highest value on his advice in all manner of things. When she said “Steve says …” that meant this is an important idea and we have to factor it into our thinking .. somehow …
    Anne was a devoted mother to Jenny, Stephanie and Nicholas. She LOVED her children on good days and on bad ones too. She talked about their present lives and remembered with great fondness their childhood days – special events at school and the like. She wrote clever songs about each of them with endearing lyrics. She ADORED Sydney and Toby – she had songs for them too — and she never left home without Sydney and Toby pictures – a whole album full. Her only regret when she got the awful news on April 22 was that she would not see her grandchildren grow up. That thought made her cry.
    And as for our last party …here’s the scoop. In early June, after Anne started chemo, she told me that our friend Elaine Sloan would be visiting from New York in July. We arranged to get together July 10 and Anne said she would fix dinner. I worried that Anne would not be able to cook, but let her plan things her way. As the weeks went by Anne became weak from the chemo but the dinner was still on. I said I would fix dinner and bring it over. When I asked Anne what she was eating – thinking I could work a menu around her diet she answered — “watermelon tastes really good.” Her condition worsened and she was hospitalized. Elaine wondered whether she should come after all. Would it be too late? But the transfusions had worked and by July 4 Anne was home with Steve taking care of her and help from hospice. Elaine arrived and dinner was still on! In the meantime word was out that Anne was home and accepting visitors. The house was abuzz from morning til night with friends and family – easily 50 people visited each day.
    When I arrived July 10 – with Elaine in tow and dinner in the ice chest, Anne’s first words to me were – “I hope you brought lots of food – I’ve invited quite a few people to stay for dinner”. Knowing her as I do, I had counted on there being more than just the 3 of us. I said we would have plenty. As people dropped in for a visit and then decided to stay, our little dinner of 3 old friends was fast becoming a big party. We were having the time of our lives. And thankfully, there was enough food. The next morning Anne called and said, Did you know that there were 31 people here for dinner? We laughed.
    Anne is the best friend a person could hope to have. She was honest about my shortcomings and she always played to my strengths. She understood what was important to me and she supported me throughout.
    She was generous on all fronts – always caring loving and giving.
    That’s the kind of friend she was to many.
    It is no wonder that her friends came from all over the world just to have one more visit with Anne. Even as she lay ill – she always wanted to know about what the other person was doing. “Tell me about your new job …” she would say, listening attentively. And then she would offer an Anne pearl of wisdom.
    Steve, thank you for opening your home and your heart at such a difficult time — so that we could all say goodbye to Anne. We know how much she loved you and we extend our love to you and the the Lipow, the Grodzins and the Silberstein families.

  40. It is now round about a year ago as we, Donatus Florentin Bayer and I travelled to San Francisco. We have been there on our worldtrip. And of course we wanted to have a closer look to S.F..
    In this time, august last year, it was my birthday far away from Germany and we celebrated it Anne´s house together with a few friends. We had a very nice time and I was so graceful having a familiar place. I will never forget this birthday.
    We would have liked to say thank you to Anne for all she had done for us but when our jorney ended, Anne was already in hospital and noz able to read our email.
    We are so sorry that she never read these words…

  41. In response to several requests from family, friends, and colleagues for ways to remember Anne–descendant of rabbis, maker of dreidels–during the High Holidays, I’ve collected the following suggestions for tzedakah:
    The Tikkun Community (, co-founded by Rabbi Michael Lerner (who was a friend and political comrade of Anne’s for over four decades, and who performed Anne’s funeral service), promotes peace and healing between Israel and Palestine, among other laudable goals. TIKKUN Community c/o TIKKUN Magazine 2342 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 1200, Berkeley, CA 94704. Tel: (510) 644-1200. Email:
    The Jewish Arts, Culture, and Torah School (info:, whose Rosh, Sara Shendelman, performed Anne’s burial service at the gravesite. (Sara is also the cantor at Chochmat Ha’Lev in Berkeley). This is where Anne’s granddaughter Sydney attends Hebrew school; they try to admit all kids regardless of ability to pay. Make checks payable to JACTS and send to 1743 Oregon Street, Berkeley, CA 94703.
    The Camp Kee Tov Scholarship Fund (, c/o Temple Beth El, 2301 Vine Street, Berkeley, CA 94708. In 2004, the scholarship fund gave assistance to Sydney, the first of a new generation of Lipows to attend Kee Tov, (Jenny, Steph and Nick went there in the ’60’s and ’70’s). Anne used to stand in line overnight to assure her offspring got one of the slots available to non-temple members; nowadays, they use a lottery.
    Be’chol Lashon (In Every Tongue) is a community-building and research initiative of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research ( that seeks to create a Jewish community that is more racially and ethnically inclusive, both in the United States and around the world. Contact them via the web to find out how to make a donation, sign up for their newsletter, or attend one of their multicultural Jewish events.
    The Rebuilding Alliance (, which Anne supported after learning about it’s mission from our dear cousin Leila’s mother, Mary Edith Abu-Saba. More than four thousand Palestinian homes have been demolished since September 2000; the Alliance works specifically with non-governmental organizations, both Palestinian and Israeli, who are willing to work together to rebuild demolished homes, build schools, and develop joint legal petitions in support of fair housing rights.
    Lastly, consider signing the Call to Bring the Settlers Home to Israel, found at The Call is the creation of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, a national group of Jewish Americans committed to ending the violence between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the centerpiece of a campaign to tackle one of the toughest obstacles to Middle East peace: the presence of over 200,000 Israeli settlers living throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

  42. Dear Anne,
    I miss you not even less than everybody who got to see, hear, and know you. Remember the night when you lay sleep in the back of the car during our trip to Yosemite. You had been working harder to finish “Rethinking Reference”, and share your time to guide a girl from Thailand there to absorb the beauty part of California with the beauty of your heart.
    Dear Anne, right now, you had already made a trip that every human beings ought to. You got your journey before us. I just wonder where are you now after you wake up from your restful sleep. You are sure be in our heart. We all miss you, miss your amazing love and care. Be happy there as you always were on earth….Anne…
    With love and care,

  43. I am just stunned to hear of Anne’s passing. I did not know her well, but took many of her classes: Crossing the Internet Threshold, training the trainer, and other Internet classes. Years ago she worked with the Balis Staff Development Committee when I was a member. I was at her house in Berkeley once.
    Anne was always such as inspiration to me in my career; her warmth, her wisdom, her infectious passion for the ideals of our profession. When I walked away from a class with Anne, no matter how burned out or tired I felt at the beginning, by the end I was re-energized yet again. At the same time she was so down-home so not intimidating that even someone like me could stand in her circle and be heard.
    I cannot believe she is gone. I looked up to her and received inspiration from her and I am so so sorry I did not get a chance to tell her before she died. She was a great human being and I loved her.

  44. Dear Steve and Family,
    I don’t remember when I first met Anne, but I think it was on Telegraph Avenue where she was selling her design for a cookbook holder. I know I have that and still use it. This was many years ago and over the years I have always felt a warm connection with Anne, even though we didn’t see each other often. Anne told us about the wonderful mushroom stock cubes one could only buy in Italy, so of course we got Anne and Steve a supply when we went to Italy in 1998! And ourselves too — I think I overestimated our need for mushroom stock cubes as we still are working on that supply!
    Besides all the great conversations about libraries and life, what I am most grateful for is Anne’s help during Gina Minudri’s stroke recovery. After Gina was released from UCSF IUC, she was transferred to Elmwood Nursing Home in Berkeley. This was a major step downward, and I was very concerned about the lack of care in this place. Gina was on a thick liquid diet and the nursing home served her unsuitable food the first three meals. I freaked and set up a schedule to have a friend sit with Gina for every meal to make sure that she was okay. Among my many friends who pitched in, Anne spend came over most week day lunches to sit with Gina and provide contact and oversight. I will always be grateful to her for taking so much time out of her day, for 4 weeks, to make sure Gina survived the nursing home.
    Thank you, Anne, for being such a caring human being and an inspiration to the rest of us!
    Love from Carol Starr and Regina Minudri

  45. I didn’t really know Anne well, mostly virtually. As remarkable as it now seems to me, I never had an opportunity to work with her directly on any projects or in any professional association although our paths crossed many times. She was a prolific writer, and a great promoter of (and for) the profession. I know she will be dearly missed.

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