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Memorial: Shirley Echelman, 1934–2019

Shirley Echelman, image courtesy of Winchester Star

Shirley Echelman, executive director of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) from 1981 through 1987, died on May 2, 2019, at age 84.

Under Echelman’s leadership the Association advanced the preservation of and access to research library materials. Major initiatives undertaken during her tenure included the ARL Microform Project, the Preservation Planning Program, the CONSER A&I Project with the National Federation of Abstracting & Indexing Services, the North American Collections Inventory Project with the Research Libraries Group, the ARL Microform Clearinghouse, and the National Register of Microform Masters retrospective conversion project with the Library of Congress.

Prior to going to ARL, Echelman was director of information services at Chemical Bank New York Trust Company and then executive director of the Medical Library Association. She served as president of the Special Libraries Association in 1977–1978 and was a member of the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services in 1979. While she was at ARL, Echelman served on the National Library of Medicine Board of Regents in 1981–1985.

After her time at ARL, Echelman was interim librarian of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Library in Panama. Then she moved to Clarke County, Virginia, where she became a library management consultant and worked in the Handley Regional Library and later the Holy Cross Abbey’s library.

The family is arranging a memorial service, details of which will be announced. Memorial contributions may be made to Beth El Congregation, 520 Fairmont Avenue, Winchester VA 22601, and Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 Cork Street, Winchester VA 22601.

See Shirley Echelman’s obituary, published on May 7, 2019, in the Winchester Star.