May 19, 2022

Kay Vandergrift, Long-time Rutgers U. Library and Information Science Professor and Dean Emerita of School of Communication and Information, Has Died

Here’s the Full Text of an Announcement We Just Received From Rutgers University:

Kay Vandergrift, Library and Information Science professor and Dean Emerita at the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University, died July 1, 2014, in Lancaster, Pa.  She was 73.

Vandergrift’s career at Rutgers spanned 19 years, from 1985 until she retired in 2004. A nationally known educator in the field of children and young adult literature, her research and teaching united the theoretical and critical knowledge of children’s literature with the practice of librarianship.

“Kay Vandergrift was an extraordinary individual who used her many talents and creativity to advance education. She was an intellectual who nevertheless had her feet on the ground and was able to launch new programs, nurture young scholars and deal with the practicalities of university administration. She approached life with a positive spirit and a sense of humor, inspiring others to see the joy of working with young people.  Her Rutgers colleagues and those in her extended network are saddened by her passing, ” said SC&I Acting Dean Claire McInerney.

During her career at Rutgers, Vandergrift served as chair of the Department of Library and Information Science (LIS), director of the Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) program, director of distance education and associate dean. She was founding director of the Information Technology and Informatics (ITI) undergraduate major, as well as a full member of the Rutgers Graduate School’s Doctoral Program in Communication, Library and Information Science.

Vandergrift received many awards and accolades from her peers. She was awarded the prestigious Teaching Excellence Award from the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), the highest award for teaching at Rutgers University; the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching; and the Educational Press Association Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism. In 1997, she was named a Rutgers University Fellow by the Teaching Excellence Center.

Quick to adapt to the idea of online education, Vandergrift pioneered the Web as an online teaching presence. Her website on children’s literature was linked to more than 500 sites and was often noted as one of the best sites for children and those who work with them. Deemed an outstanding scholarly contribution by the Chronicle of Higher Education, they named her website the ‘site of the day’ in 1997.

Prior to joining the faculty at Rutgers, Vandergrift served as a professor and librarian at Columbia University, where she earned M.A. and Ed.D. degrees, and taught at Barnard College, Queens College and at other colleges in the United States and Canada.

Learn Much More About Kay Vandergrift on this In Memorium Page from the Rutgers School of Communication and Information

Direct To Kay Vandergrift’s Special Interest Page
“This website is a means of sharing ideas and information with all those interested in literature for children and young adults.”

Direct To Kay Vandergrift’s Publications Page

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.