In Memoriam

ALSC Past President Elizabeth Watson

Elizabeth Watson
With a sad heart, I share that Elizabeth Watson, President of ALSC from 1997-1998, died recently. You may read her obituary in the Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette.

She completed her Master in Library Science from the University of Michigan in 1968. From 1969 to 1970, she was the children’s librarian at the Bacon Memorial Library in Wyandotte, Michigan. Beginning in 1971, she was the children’s librarian and then the chief librarian at the Fitchburg (MA) Public Library. She retired in 2004. As an ALSC member, Elizabeth also served on the Caldecott, Budget & Finance (as Chair), Arbuthnot (as Chair), and ALA-CBC Joint committees.

I did not have the honor of knowing Elizabeth; I encourage those of you who did to share your thoughts in celebration of her life and work.


  1. kate

    I did know Elizabeth Watson. The photo you posted of her pretty much says it all. She was warm, approachable and softly plain spoken in an unfussy Yankee way. It was impossible not to like and admire her. Although Elizabeth’s family did not request donations to ALSC in her memory, since I knew Elizabeth through her cheerfully devoted ALSC work, I will make a donation to the Friends of ALSC. If anyone else would like to do so they may put a note in the memo field and send a check to:
    Diane Foote
    Executive Director, ALSC
    50 E. Huron St.
    Chicago, IL 60611

  2. Dudley Carlson

    Though I knew of Liz Watson’s death, I had not seen this post until now. How unsurprising that it was Kate who wrote first! Liz was a wonderful exemplar of the best of ALSC – warm, funny, friendly, helpful, and when necessary, all business. As ALSC President and as Chair of our Organization and Bylaws Committee, she demonstrated real leadership, moving important issues forward; demonstrating that the chief requirements for untangling knots are patience and close attention; and offering good-humored evidence that procedure, as well as content, can be interesting and fun. She loved books and reading; was great fun to debate and discuss with; and always had another title to share. Liz worked hard and valued excellence, and she had fun being good at what she did – and seeing ALSC work well. She leaves us the richer for her time among us, and the poorer for absence.

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