November 22, 2017

Simmons Graduate Library School Gets $1 Million Gift

By Norman Oder

  • Allen Smith taught 30 years, died in 2008
  • Gift will support visiting scholar program, scholarships
  • Emphasis on oral history and humanities

Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS), Boston, has received a $1 million gift from the family of the late Allen Smith, a veteran professor of 30 years who died August, 2, 2008. The gift, the largest from an individual in the school’s history, will enhance a scholarship fund and create a visiting scholar program.  

Smith joined the GSLIS faculty in 1978 and served as Associate Dean from 2006 to 2007. A GSLIS obituary described him as fondly considered by many to be “the parliamentarian of the GSLIS faculty.” His publications included Directory of Oral History Collections (1988) and Catalogue of Pre-revival Appalachian Dulcimers (1983), and he served as column editor of “Guide to the Professional Literature” in The Journal of Academic Librarianship.

“Dr. Smith was a superlative teacher, a valued colleague, and a fascinating conversationalist,” said Simmons GSLIS Dean Michele Cloonan in a news release.

Given Smith’s expertise in oral history and the humanities, the fund will bring to campus scholars from the United States and abroad with similar interests. It also will bolster a scholarship previously created at Simmons GLSIS in Smith’s honor, supporting selected Simmons GSLIS students who have demonstrated financial need and an interest in oral history, reference, or the humanities.