Remembering Glynn Harmon

Though I knew it was coming, it was still a very sad moment to hear that Glynn Harmon died on Sunday night. I’ve known the man for the last dozen years and he was a very unique person, warm of heart, gentle of spirit, and completely independent in his thinking. Others felt the same as you can read at a blog set up for remembrances. I met him first when I interviewed at Texas and and I liked him immediately. Over the next dozen years I had many conversations with Glynn where he shared with me memories of the early tensions between library and information science, the history of our school, and the prospects for a field of information. He rarely gets the credit he deserves for being one of the earliest advocates for a true information discipline and I suspect many junior faculty do not know how engaged he was in shaping the discourse in the 1970s and 1980s that helped create the grounds for the iSchool movement decades later.

Glynn bequeathed me his complete set of ARIST, all 45 volumes of this review series which like Glynn, is sadly no more. As I look at the stacked volumes on my shelf I am reminded of Glynn, the passing of time, and the interwoven history of people, ideas, and themes that make up our intellectual world. Glynn always believed the published literature of scholarly research contained hidden insights to be discovered and that our discipline should be at the forefront of enabling this process. I hope that in due course, the gems of his own ideas are similarly discovered by those who were never fortunate enough to know the man when he lived.  Be at peace Glynn, as yet you live.



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