Our dear friend and colleague Allyson Carlyle passed away on Saturday, April 4, 2020, from cancer.
Allyson was one of the inaugural faculty members of the UW Information School, serving as the school’s first Associate Dean for Academics under founding Dean Michael Eisenberg. An expert in cataloging and a masterful teacher, Allyson championed minority rights and the importance of serving populations not traditionally reached by the library. In her research, she focused on how people consume catalogs of large, complicated stores of information, to simplify interactions with bibliographic data. She made significant research contributions and was widely published in the areas of descriptive cataloging, use of online catalogs and classification theory.
While Allyson officially retired in January 2018, she continued to serve as both an instructor and Ph.D. advisor in the iSchool until her death. A fierce advocate for what she believed was fair, Allyson always put people first. Upon learning of her diagnosis, her primary concern was for her current Ph.D. students and their ability to complete their degree under an alternate advisor.
Her loss will be felt deeply by our community: her students and research advisees, the staff with whom she worked closely, her fellow faculty, and the broader LIS community. She is survived by her mother, Virginia Unruh; her brother; and her lifelong friend Lisa Fusco.
We invite you to sign the guestbook and share a remembrance of Allyson. Those wishing to honor Allyson’s memory are encouraged to give to the endowment she established at the iSchool. The Sherman Alexie and Lethene Parks Endowed Fellowship in Tribal and Rural Librarianship supports MLIS students wishing to pursue careers in tribal or rural libraries. You can learn more about Allyson’s life and career in this story about her.
We are indebted to Allyson for her advocacy, her expertise and her friendship. May she rest in peace.