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Memorial: Murray Christopher Shepherd, 1938–2022

photo of Murray Shepherd
Murray Shepherd

Murray Shepherd, university librarian at University of Waterloo 1973–2003, died on April 5, 2022, at age 83.

A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, Shepherd taught high school prior to taking up a career as a librarian. After receiving his master’s degree in library science from the University of Denver, he served as education librarian at the Regina Campus of the University of Saskatchewan 1964–1967 and was head of its Cataloguing Department from 1967–1969.

Shepherd joined the University of Waterloo in November 1969 as head of Technical Services in the University Library. In July 1971 he became associate librarian. In 1973 Shepherd succeeded William Watson as university librarian, a position he would hold until his retirement 30 years later. When named university librarian, Shepherd was described as “interested in all phases of library operations, including the application of the computer to library routines.” He also mounted a campaign to increase the overall visibility of the library, its operations, and its expertise, in the university community. These two themes became hallmarks of his three-decade career as university librarian. Under Shepherd’s leadership, the library accelerated its transition from card catalogs to computer databases.

Shepherd represented the University of Waterloo Library in several library consortia and professional organizations, including the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the International Association of University Libraries (IATUL). He served on the ARL Research Library Leadership and Management Committee 1998–2000.

In 2005, Shepherd was named an Honorary Member of the University of Waterloo. In 2006, a fourth-floor conference room in the Dana Porter Library was reborn as the Murray C. Shepherd Learning Lab.

A memorial service was held earlier this month. Donations in Shepherd’s memory may be made to the Grand River Hospital Foundation, the University of Waterloo Library, or either the Waterloo or Kitchener Public Libraries.

To learn more about Shepherd’s life and career, see the University of Waterloo tribute, “Remembering Murray Shepherd, University Librarian,” and Shepherd’s obituary from the Waterloo Region Record.