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University Librarian Bishop to Retire in June

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September 20, 2005

EVANSTON, Ill. --- David Bishop has announced plans to retire as the Charles Deering McCormick University Librarian in June, following 14 years of distinguished service to Northwestern University.  

“David has been a greatly valued colleague who effectively worked to ensure that our libraries met the current and future needs of our students and faculty,” said Provost Lawrence B. Dumas. 

Bishop became the Charles Deering McCormick University Librarian in July1992 after serving as University Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   During his 42-year career in research librarianship, he also had been Director of Libraries at the University of Georgia and Assistant Director for Technical Services at the University of Chicago Library.

During Bishop’s tenure at Northwestern, Dumas said, the University Library collections grew from 3.6 million volumes to more than 4.4 million; the total annual budget grew by more than $10 million to $25.6 million; and the materials budget more than doubled from $5 million to $11.2 million. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in electronic resources and the Library now receives more than 45,000 electronic journals and provides access to more than 55,000 electronic books. 

“Thanks to David’s energy and skill as a fundraiser, the Library’s endowment grew by nearly $30 million during the past decade, effectively doubling the endowment resources available to support the Library’s work,” Dumas said.

Early in his tenure, Bishop garnered support for technology-related initiatives from internal and external constituencies. He requested and obtained funding to convert the Library’s cataloging records into machine-readable form, paving the way for the elimination of the card catalog and creation of the General Information Center.

The center, renamed Information Commons, is a place for students and faculty to do library computer work and get assistance from the staff. The center is now staffed by University Library and Academic Technologies and provides library and academic technology computer software as well as assistance in using the software. 

Bishop also completed a master space plan in 1995, an initiative that has resulted in

creation of 2East and a new Transportation Library; the renovation of the Reference Room, Periodicals Room and Core and Reserve Library; and construction of the remote Storage Facility, the Plaza Café and the Music Computer Lab.

In 2002 Dumas asked Bishop to assume administrative responsibility for University Press. “The financial position of the Press has significantly improved and the focus of its publication program has been aligned more closely with the priorities of the University,” Dumas said.

Bishop is a member of the American Library Association and has served on its committees. He has also served on the governing boards of the Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries, EDUCOM, SOLINET, the Coalition for Networked Information, the Lincoln Trail Library System, and the North Suburban Library System. He has also served as chair of the Center for Research Libraries Board and treasurer of the North Suburban Library System. 

In 1991 he received the Alumni Achievement Award in Library Science from The Catholic University of America and in 2005 was named Academic Library Staff Member of the Year by the North Suburban Library System.