May 16, 2022

Cornell University: “Anne R. Kenney, Former University Librarian, Dies at 72”

From Cornell University:

Anne Kenney

Anne R. Kenney, university librarian emerita, a charismatic visionary who led Cornell University Library through a decade of transformation and growth, died at Hospicare in Ithaca on Feb. 5. She was 72.

From 2007 until her retirement in 2017, Kenney shaped a world-class university library that empowered Cornell’s community of scholars, expanded partnerships with institutions around the world and raised the bar on standards for digitization, preservation and open access to research materials.

“Anne was a dear colleague to so many of us. She transformed the Cornell library with wit, intelligence, patience and a superb sense of humor,” said Provost Michael Kotlikoff. “Her passion was the library and the people who treasured it, and her untimely passing is a loss for us all.”


Much in demand for her expertise, Kenney led popular continuing education programs on digital imaging and digital preservation. She also gave talks on every continent except Antarctica, and served as a consultant for research and national libraries in countries including China, Myanmar and Cuba.

For her contributions to librarianship, Kenney received the Hugh C. Atkinson Award in 2014, a top honor from the American Library Association.

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More From the Association of Research Libraries (ARL):

“Anne Kenney was a treasured colleague, mentor, and friend to many of us in the research library community,” said Association of Research Libraries (ARL) President K. Matthew Dames, the Edward H. Arnold University Librarian at the University of Notre Dame. “She broke important ground in preservation and digitization, and led with tremendous vision, humor, and equilibrium. Her absence will be felt for years to come.”

Kenney was highly respected within ARL. She served as interim executive director (January–March 2018) and as a member of the Board of Directors (2010–2013). She also served on several ARL committees and working groups: Member Engagement and Outreach Committee (chair 2015–2016), Strategic Thinking and Design Transition Team (2014–2016), Membership Committee (2013–2015), Special Collections Working Group (chair 2010–2012, member 2007–2009), Transforming Research Libraries Committee (2010–2012), and Nominating Committee (2008).

The family will hold a private celebration of Kenney’s life this spring. In honoring Kenney’s memory, please consider a donation to the Anne Kenney Endowment Fund that supports library collections at Cornell University, c/o Jennifer Sawyer, 130 East Seneca Street, 4th floor, Ithaca, New York 14850. For more information about the fund, please contact Jennifer Sawyer at (607) 227-7759.

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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.