Geology librarian Dederick C. (Dedy) Ward of Anacortes, Washington was honored recently by the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) for distinguished service to the profession. In accepting the 2006 Mary B. Ansari Distinguished Service Award on Wardâ€™s behalf at the Societyâ€™s Philadelphia meeting, Lura E. Joseph (Geology Librarian, University of Illinois) cited Wardâ€™s extensive contributions to the professionalization of geoscience librarianship and his personal scholarship.
Ward was one of the founding members of the Geoscience Information Society in 1965 and served as co-chair of the first International Conference on Geological Information, held in London in 1978. The meeting brought together for the first time specialists who dealt in geoscientific information; 190 delegates from 17 countries participated.
He was author or co-author of three editions of Geologic Reference Sources published between 1967 and 1981. The classic work helped educate generations of information specialists. In 1984, together with Albert Carozzi, Ward published Geology Emerging, a catalog illustrating the history of geology through rare books held by the University of Illinois library. His 1989 study of “Information-seeking behavior of geoscientists,” co-authored with Julie Bichteler, won the GSIS Best Paper Award the following year.
Ward holds degrees in geology from Washington and Lee University and the University of Colorado and an MA in librarianship from the University of Denver. In the 1960s and 1970s he served as Head of Science Libraries and Earth Science Librarian at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 1980 he moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as Geology Librarian and Associate Professor of Library Administration. He retired from UIUC in 1989 to pursue another love, painting. His art reflects his interest and background in geology.
Richard D. Walker, a long-time colleague, summarized: “Dedy was always mindful of the role information played in the lives of both the working geoscientist and the geoscience information specialist and was always ready to act as the liaison between those professions.”
GSIS is an international professional organization devoted to improving the exchange of information in the earth sciences. The membership consists of librarians, editors, cartographers, educators, and information professionals. Information about the Society may be found at its website www.geoinfo.org.