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Memorial: Norman D. Stevens, 1932–2018

Norman Stevens
Norman Stevens, image courtesy of UConn Library
Archives & Special Collections

Norman Stevens, Director of University Libraries Emeritus at University of Connecticut (UConn), died on December 15, 2018, at age 86.

Stevens began his library career at the Library of Congress in 1949 while in college. He worked at Rutgers University Libraries from 1955 to 1957 and received Rutgers University’s first PhD in library service in 1961. He served as acting director of Howard University Libraries from 1961 to 1963, returning to work at Rutgers University Libraries from 1963 to 1968.

In 1968 Stevens moved to University of Connecticut, where he held various administrative positions, including university librarian from 1975 to 1986 and director of University Libraries from 1986 to 1994. He retired in 1994 and served as acting director of the newly created Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at UConn until 1995.

In the mid-1950s, Stevens and a colleague established the Molesworth Institute, a fictional organization devoted to the promotion of library humor. The Molesworth Institute’s archives are housed with Stevens’s personal papers in the UConn University Archives at the Dodd Research Center.

Stevens also assembled a collection of thousands of postcards and other artifacts relating to the history of librarians, library collections, and library architecture, which are housed in the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal, and wrote A Guide to Collecting Librariana (Scarecrow Press, 1986).

Stevens was active in the Association of Research Libraries, serving on the Committee on Collection Development (1987–1989) and the Project on Cultural Diversity in Research Libraries (1992).

For more information about Stevens’s life and career, see the December 18, 2018, UConn University Libraries news story. In lieu of flowers, please share memories on his page hosted by Potter Funeral Home.

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