Library Technology Pioneer Marilyn Grant Dies

Library Technology Pioneer Marilyn Grant Dies

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Jan. 11 in St. Ignatius Church for Marilyn A. Grant MS'70, a pioneer of many electronic resources and services now offered by Boston College Libraries, who died unexpectedly on Jan. 2. She was 56.

Grant, a senior reference librarian and bibliographer in O'Neill Library, joined the University in 1971 after earning a master's degree in library science from Simmons College. She began as a bibliographer specializing in chemistry, a discipline in which she held a bachelor's degree from Regis College and a master's degree from Boston College.

Early on in her career at BC, Grant became familiar with the nascent technology that in time would revolutionize library work - and by doing so, made herself a valuable member of the library staff, say colleagues.
"She was the first to do reference searches on the online databases then in existence," said Associate University Librarian Kathleen Carney. "Faculty and students could not perform them on their own back then, so they had to talk with her about what they were looking for, and she would have to do the searches for them."

In 1977, Grant co-founded the New England Online Users Group, an organization of more than 200 Boston-area librarians exploring the role of computer technology in their profession. She served as president and held several other administrative positions in the group.

At BC, Grant expanded her reference and bibliography duties to include the Communication Department and Black Studies Program, and was responsible for collecting journals, databases and other materials, as well as instructing students on the use of library resources.

Colleagues recalled Grant as an avid reader, who helped lead the monthly "Reading for Pleasure" book discussion program.

University Libraries plans to establish the Marilyn Grant Endowment Fund for the purchase of electronic materials. For more information, contact the O'Neill administration office in room 410.

-Sean Smith


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