Professor Connie Van Fleet passed away on February 5, 20103 after a short illness. The School and the Oklahoma, national, and international library communities will miss her keen intellect, her passion for libraries, her devotion to her students and her work, and her generosity of spirit. 

Connie received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from OU in 1972 and worked as a branch manager at the New Orleans Public Library from 1982 until 1985. She received her MLIS from Louisiana State University in 1987 and her Ph.D. at Indiana University in 1990.  She held tenured faculty positions at Louisiana State University and Kent State University before joining the OU SLIS faculty in 2000. In her research and her professional life, Connie focused her efforts on public library services, intellectual freedom, reader’s advisory work, library services to special populations, and library evaluation. 

She was co-author of five books and was a contributor to more than 100 additional publications and more than 100 professional presentations. She frequently co-authored publications with students, former students, and professional colleagues. Along with her husband, Danny Wallace, she was co-editor of RQ and its successor, Reference & User Services Quarterly, the official journal of the Reference & User Services Association, from 1991 to 1997 and from 2000 to 2006.

Connie’s professional recognitions include the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Service Award and the ALISE Award for Teaching Excellence, making her the only individual to receive both awards. She also received the American Library Association/Reference & User Services Association Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award. She was active in many professional associations, including the Oklahoma Library Association. She served as ALISE President from 2007 to 2008 and served on the Council of the American Library Association from 1998 to 2002.

But Connie’s greatest legacy lies in the relationships she built as teacher, friend, mother, daughter, sister, and wife. As a former student says, “Connie’s friendship was so precious, and yet she wasn’t at all stingy with it. She had a remarkable ability to draw people to her, to make sincere connections, and to make everyone who had the privilege of knowing her feel valued.”