May 26, 2022

Patricia Battin, Lightning Rod in a Library War, Dies at 89

From The NY Times:

Patricia Battin was a librarian who well knew the clutter and chaos of big institutional libraries that never threw anything away.

As she rose in her profession in the 1970s and ′80s, she became a champion of reformatting books and old newspapers, using microfilm, computers and the emerging internet to preserve material and make it accessible while creating more shelf space for new items.

In the 1980s, she led a national campaign to save millions of disintegrating books that were published between 1850 and 1950, persuading Congress to increase its funding for microfilming these so-called brittle books.

To many librarians, Ms. Battin, who died on April 22 at 89, was a pioneer and a visionary. Horrified that the printed word seemed to be crumbling to dust before her eyes, she helped lead the profession out of the dark ages and embraced the digital revolution.

Read the Complete NY Times Obituary (1157 words)

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.