ARCHIVED: AALL Mourns the Loss of Bob Oakley

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Robert L. OakleyIt is with great sorrow that I announce the death of Robert L. Oakley on Saturday, September 29. He had been hospitalized for treatment of complications following knee surgery in August, but had been expected to fully recover. His death Saturday from cardiac arrest was completely unexpected.

At the time of his death, Bob was serving as our AALL Washington affairs representative and as director of the law library and professor of law at Georgetown University. He also served as AALL president from 2000-2001. Bob became AALL Washington affairs representative in 1989 and Georgetown law library director and professor in 1982. As Washington affairs representative, he worked on a wide variety of issues, ranging from access to government information to censorship, copyright, and telecommunications reform. Recently, he had been increasingly speaking for law librarians' interests in the international arena as well.

In addition to his work as the Washington affairs representative, Bob served two terms on AALL's Executive Board, from 1991-1994 and 1999-2002, including serving as president in 2000-2001. He was chair of the Special Committee on National Information Policy from 1988-1990 and the Constitution and By-laws Committee from 1980-1982. Before becoming director at Georgetown, Bob was the director of the library and associate professor at Boston University School of Law from 1979-1982 and served at Cornell Law School as associate law librarian from 1976-1979 and circulation librarian/assistant reference librarian from 1972-1979. He received his JD and BA from Cornell and his MSLS from Syracuse.

A small service will be held on Tuesday, October 2, at 2 p.m. at Sugarloaf Congregation of Unitarian Universalists, 16913 Germantown Road, Germantown, Maryland; however seating in the church is very limited. The Georgetown Law Library staff is planning a larger memorial service at a later date; Bob's many AALL friends and colleagues are encouraged to attend that service instead. An announcement will be made as soon as details become available. Please check Georgetown Law Library's Web site for the latest information. Georgetown will also post information about appropriate recipients for memorial gifts, which have not yet been identified by the family.

It is largely through Bob Oakley's vision and leadership that AALL has become a leading voice in national and international legal information policy. He will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues.


Ann T. Fessenden
AALL President