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Memorial: Deanna Bowling Marcum, 1946–2022

photo of Deanna Marcum
Deanna Marcum, image courtesy of Ithaka S+R

Deanna Marcum, former associate librarian at the Library of Congress, died on August 16, 2022.

Marcum was a beloved member of the research library community. She was a mentor and friend who always sought a positive outcome. Her grace and intellect had an international impact—across associations and organizations—and changed lives.

Most recently, Marcum served as senior advisor to Ithaka S+R’s program areas in Educational Transformation and Libraries & Scholarly Communication. She previously served as Ithaka S+R’s managing director from 2012 to 2016. Under her stewardship, Ithaka S+R secured grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation for research into online learning, as well as grants from the Mellon Foundation for scholarly communications and digital preservation.

From 2003 to 2011, Marcum served as associate librarian for library services at the Library of Congress, where she managed 53 divisions and offices with 1,600 employees responsible for acquisitions, cataloging, public service, and preservation activities; services to the blind and physically handicapped; and network and bibliographic standards for America’s national library. She was also responsible for integrating the emerging digital resources into the traditional artifactual library, the first step toward building a national digital library for the 21st century.

In 1995, Marcum was appointed president of the Council on Library Resources and president of the Commission on Preservation and Access. She oversaw the merger of those two organizations into the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in 1997 and served as president of CLIR until August 2003.

Marcum served as director of public services and collection management at the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995. Before that she was the dean of the School of Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America. From 1980 to 1989, she was first a program officer and then vice president of the Council on Library Resources.

From 1977 to 1981, Marcum was a management training specialist at the Association Research Libraries (ARL). Prior to that she held positions of increasing responsibility at the University of Kentucky Libraries and the Joint University Library at Vanderbilt University. She began her career teaching English at the University of Kentucky before working in the library there.

Marcum earned a PhD in American studies, a master’s degree in library science, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English. She was awarded a doctorate in humane letters by North Carolina State University in 2010, and received the Melvil Dewey Medal, the highest award conferred by the American Library Association (ALA), in 2011. Marcum was appointed in 2013 to the Japan-US Friendship Commission, which seeks “to strengthen the US-Japan relationship through educational, cultural, and intellectual exchange.”

Within the ARL community, Marcum served on the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Steering Committee 2008–2012, the LibQUAL Steering Committee 2008–2011, and the SPARC Steering Committee 2008–2011. We greatly appreciate all she did for ARL and for our profession.