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Memorial: Patricia Battin, 1929–2019

Patricia Battin
Patricia Battin

Patricia Meyer Battin, former director of library services and vice president for information services at Columbia University and former president of the Commission on Preservation and Access, died on April 22, 2019, at age 89.

Battin led the Columbia University Libraries from 1974 to 1987, taking on the additional role of vice president in 1978. She was the first woman to lead a library system at an Ivy League institution and one of the first librarians with the dual responsibility of library administration and technology services. She championed the role of information technology in libraries, supported and mentored the next generation of library workers, and led in the field of preservation of information resources.

In 1987 Battin was appointed president of the Commission on Preservation and Access in Washington, DC. She retired from the commission in 1994 and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Clinton in 1999 for her work there leading a national campaign to save brittle books. From 1994 to 1997 she led the Virtual Library Project at Emory University.

Battin was active in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), serving on the Board of Directors 1983–1985 as well as the Office of Management Studies Advisory Committee (1982–1984), the Task Force on Library Education (1981–1982), and the Task Force on National Library Network Development (1979–1980).

A celebration of life service will be held at the Collington Community, 10450 Lottsford Road, Mitchellville MD, on Sunday, June 2 at 2:00 p.m. EDT in the auditorium. For more information, contact Tom Battin at pmbservice1929@gmail.com.

See Pat Battin’s obituary, published on May 19, 2019, in the Washington Post.