After forty years of service to the iSchool, Associate Professor Terry L. Weech (MS '65, PhD '72) will retire at the end of December. Weech is well known for his teaching and research, his positive influence on students as an advisor and mentor, and his contributions to international librarianship and intellectual freedom.
He has taught a variety of courses in topics such as reference services, government publications, history of LIS, and libraries, information, and society. His research interests include reference services and sources, government information, library administration, library cooperation and networks, library use instruction, and economics of information. He has authored numerous scholarly articles and reports on a wide variety of library and information science (LIS) topics.
"As a colleague of Terry Weech for forty years, I have been impressed with his dedication to teaching and mentoring our master's students in library and information science at Illinois and his enthusiasm for sharing his expertise with faculty, students, and professional librarians around the world," said Linda C. Smith, professor emerita and interim executive associate dean.
In 2017, Weech was honored with a Scroll of Appreciation from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) for his distinguished contribution to IFLA and the library profession, especially in the internationalization of LIS education. An active member of IFLA, he has authored or coauthored numerous research reports and lectured on librarianship and LIS education in more than thirty countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America.
Weech has received more than five Fulbright Senior Specialist and similar funded awards for international travel to share his expertise with students, faculty, and practicing librarians. In 2012, he was instrumental in establishing a formal faculty and student exchange agreement with ENSSIB, the French National School of Library and Information Science. He also has worked closely with the University's Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, which offers programs that strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians worldwide for the promotion of international education, understanding, and peace.
"Terry's work on education standards has informed the development of forthcoming new LIS education guidelines by IFLA's Building Strong LIS Education Working Group. He has also been a leader in LIS education through his work with the American Library Association (ALA), chairing the Committee on Accreditation and serving on an ALA task force on the future of accreditation," said Clara M. Chu, iSchool affiliate professor and Mortenson Center director.
For more than 35 years, Weech has been involved in the administration of the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award, which honors individuals or groups for furthering the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it affects libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. His contributions to the profession also include active membership in the American Library Association (ALA) as well as state library associations, including serving as chair of Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committees in three states: Illinois, Iowa, and Mississippi.
At the campus level, Weech has served several terms on the University Senates Conference, the capstone of the University's faculty governance system. Within the iSchool, he has held the position of director of development and chair of the Advanced Studies (PhD and CAS) Committee.
Weech described his overarching accomplishments as sustaining the iSchool's commitment to the importance of intellectual freedom in librarianship and making international connections. "I have enjoyed connecting our students and faculty with international LIS students and faculty through my involvement in organizations such as the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Bobcatsss [annual symposium organized each year by LIS students from European universities], and other similar international organizations in more than twenty years of international involvement in professional education for librarianship."