In Memoriam: Betty Meehan-Black

The Library is saddened by the death March 2, 2011, of longtime employee Elizabeth (Betty) Meehan-Black, following a courageous battle with cancer.

Betty joined the Library staff in 1986 as head of Bibliographic Searching, in what was then the Acquisitions Department. She held a number of increasingly responsible management positions in acquisitions and technical services at the UNC University Library. At the time of her death, she was head of Order Management and assistant head of the Monographic Services Department.

Her dedication and careful attention ensured the success of many high-profile library initiatives, including the 2010 transition to a system of subject librarians and training of new selectors; the acquisition and processing of an entire opening-day collection for the Stone Center Library for Black Culture and History in 2004; and the transition in 2004 to a new automated library system.

Betty was known to staff and colleagues as a capable and empathetic manager who cared a great deal about the work of the Library and the welfare of its employees, and who was committed to her role as a mentor.

In February, Betty received an honorable mention as one of the Library’s outstanding employees of 2010.

Betty was deeply involved in the work of many professional associations. She was a member of the executive committee of the North Carolina Library Association and the association’s elected representative to the Southeastern Library Association; president of the Librarians’ Association at UNC-Chapel Hill for 2001-2002; and a member or leader of numerous committees for those and other professional organizations.

She was also a passionate community volunteer for literacy. She served as president of the Orange County chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association and she established an ESL literacy program at the Korean Baptist Church in Chapel Hill.

Betty held a B.A. in psychology from the University of Connecticut and an M.S.L.S. from Southern Connecticut State University.

She leaves a son, Matthew Meehan-Black, siblings, and family members, and many friends and colleagues.

In lieu of flowers, Betty’s family asks that memorial contributions in her name be made to the Hillsborough United Church of Christ, 200 Davis Rd., Hillsborough, NC 27278 or to the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program, Attn: Self Image Program, DUMC-3139, Durham, NC 27710.

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