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Remembering Mimi Drake

Former Georgia Tech Library Director and SLA President Miriam (Mimi) Drake passed away on December 24, 2014. Since SLA Headquarters included her biography in its post, I thought it more fitting to share my “research” on Mimi and her legacy to SLA Georgia.

First, I learned that during the SLA Annual Conference in June 1983 in New Orleans, while Assistant Director of Purdue University Libraries and Chairman of the OCLC Board of Trustees, Mimi was recognized by H.W. Wilson and SLA’s Leadership and Management Division (LMD) for editing and contributing to the October 1982 issue on management of Special Libraries.

Mimi was the featured speaker on “shaping the future of information” at the Chapter’s March 7, 2000 meeting. When she retired the following year, she received the Chapter’s Distinguished Member award.

As part of SLA’s centennial celebration in 2009, Mimi was interviewed by SLA Fellow Gail Stahl. Even now, her sage advice still applies:

  • “… Try to interest students in the association, tell them what the association can be for them, for their careers, networking and things on the personal level that I think are really important.”
  • “We … have to demonstrate our value … We need to continue to enrich the field… Try to anticipate what’s coming down the pike.”

When the Chapter asked, Mimi said yes. She drafted a welcome letter for the 2012 SLA Leadership Summit, hosted by the chapter in Atlanta. And until she fell ill, she was willing to speak at a future meeting and contribute to the Chapter web site.

I wish that my paths crossed more often with Mimi’s, but can thankfully still apply her words of wisdom. With the Memorial Day holiday on Monday and the SLA Annual Conference starting in a few weeks, it’s fitting to remember Mimi, so please share any memories you have of Mimi by adding a comment to this post.

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