Library community mourns loss of Patricia A. "Pat" Wand
For Immediate Release
Communications and Marketing Office
CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) and the broader library community lost a valued member, leader, and friend in Patricia A. “Pat” Wand who died suddenly on April 28, 2023. A multi-talented and dedicated volunteer, Wand led ALA and its higher education division, the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), in planning and budgeting, legislative advocacy, and international relations during her 50 years as an active member.
"The library community will remember Pat’s lasting impact,” said ACRL President Erin L. Ellis of Indiana University Bloomington. “The profession and association are so much better because of her tireless dedication. Thanks to Pat, we are closer to our vision that academic and research librarians and libraries are essential to a thriving global community of learners and scholars."
From the beginning of her professional service, Wand shaped the future of ACRL, helping found the division’s Instruction Section in 1977 and chairing the Anthropology and Sociology Section from 1982-83. Her leadership continued through the decades including serving on the ACRL Board of Directors, as ACRL Councilor to ALA Council, president of the ACRL Oregon Chapter, and chair of the ACRL Budget and Finance and International Relations Committees. Her support of ACRL continues as she became an ALA Legacy Society Member by making a bequest to ACRL for continued international initiatives.
Within ALA, Wand held numerous leadership positions including chairing the Budget Analysis and Review Committee along with the Committee on Legislation, serving as an Endowment Trustee, and later the Senior Endowment Trustee, during which time the ALA endowment grew in value from $45.6 million to $64.3 million. She was additionally a member of many ALA committees and roundtables. A staunch advocate for libraries, Wand represented ALA and four other national library associations in testifying three times before U.S. House Subcommittee on Legislative Appropriations to support budgets for the Library of Congress and the Superintendent of Documents.
Tracie D. Hall, ALA Executive Director who remembers Wand’s service as Senior Endowment Trustee, said “What makes Pat so memorable is the way that she exemplified excellence and inspired it in others. She was always prepared; had always read and tabbed the documents; and was ready with the most astute questions and encouragement. She will forever set the high bar for what engaged membership and financial stewardship can look like.”
Mario M. Gonzalez, ALA Senior Endowment Trustee, said Wand was committed to ALA and the values it represents. “Pat, as Senior Trustee, ensured that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was a pivotal part of our investments, Gonzalez said. “She guided our strategy to ensure that our investments not only provided growth but also were responsibly invested.”
ALA’s longtime financial advisor, The Bhatia Group, Merrill Private Wealth Management, said “Pat encouraged all those around her to continuously put the organization’s mission, values, and dedication to the communities it serves, above any individual self-interest. She did this through leading by example, serving as a role model for the entire organization and its constituents. The Bhatia Group is humbled to have had the opportunity to work alongside her professionally for so many years.”
A true internationalist, Wand was named a Notable Member of the ALA International Relations Round Table for her commitment throughout her career to promoting understanding of and interests in library services around the globe representing ALA for many years as a leader and member of various committees of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. She was instrumental in helping to create the partnership with the Sharjah Book Authority (United Arab Emirates) and ALA to create the Sharjah International Library Conference. One of her many other international engagements included serving as a Fulbright Senior Fellow to Ecuador to teach library management.
During her library career, Wand held positions at Wittenberg University, the College of Staten Island, Columbia University, the University of Oregon, American University, and as dean of Library and Learning Resources at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates, where she helped shape a new university offering U.S. accredited higher education to Emirati students in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. She received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Information and Library Studies at the University of Michigan.
In addition to her remarkable service to the library profession, Wand was a leader within the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer community. Through her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia (1963‐65) and Peace Corps staff (1969), she was exposed to other cultures which inspired a life‐long commitment to international librarianship. At the time of her death, she served as president of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience, which united her commitment to collecting, preserving, and making knowledge available with her love of the Peace Corps. More details on her work with the Peace Corp are available in this remembrance.
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