Patricia Battin, Lightning Rod in a Library War, Dies at 89 in 2019


Patricia Battin was a curator who no doubt understood the messiness and tumult of huge institutional libraries that never discarded anything.

As she ascended in her calling during the 1970s and ′80s, she turned into a boss of reformatting books and old papers, utilizing microfilm, PCs and the rising web to protect material and make it open while making more rack space for new things.

During the 1980s, she drove a national crusade to spare a great many breaking down books that were distributed somewhere in the range of 1850 and 1950, convincing Congress to build it is subsidizing for microfilming these supposed weak books.

To numerous custodians, Ms. Battin, who passed on April 22 at 89, was a pioneer and a visionary. Sickened that the printed word appeared to disintegrate dust before her eyes, she helped lead the calling out of the dull ages and grasped the advanced upheaval.

To other people, in any case, this upset was confused. It was, they stated, stirred by exaggeration and had decimating results: the demolition of essential unique reports.

Driving the charge was the acclaimed essayist Nicholson Baker, who contended that printed works were not disintegrating and that administrators were misrepresenting the issue to sustain the new advances.

His polemical book "Twofold Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper" (2001) added up to an affirmation of war on reformatting, which at one time required the guillotining of book ties to straighten the pages for the microfilm camera.

He pointed his bolts at all way of regarded foundations and people, including the administrators of Congress, the New York Public Library and, singling her out by name, Ms. Battin. From 1987 to 1994, she was the leader of the Commission on Preservation and Access (presently the Council on Library and Information Resources), a private not-for-profit gathering committed to safeguarding distributed materials and files in all configurations.

Ms. Battin's vocation was slowing down as Mr. Bread cook was ending up regarding the matter of conservation. Yet, she was regardless a lightning bar for a preservationist development that remaining parts dubious right up 'til today.

Libraries and different organizations keep on grappling with how to keep up and store their developing accumulations. What's more, in some cases they toss out firsts.

Mr. Dough puncher's book, which depicted administrators as going crazy, created an uproar. ("The Great Book Massacre" read the feature in The New York Review of Books; "Don't Burn Books! Consume Librarians!" shouted Searcher magazine.) Numerous faultfinders contested his reason, saying that Mr. Bread cook had contorted the certainties, had small comprehension of how libraries really worked and did not value that not all things merit sparing.

Ms. Battin recognized that her central concern was safeguarding the substance of a book or paper, not saving the vessel itself.

"The book," she wrote in 1989, "is a wonderful innovation for use, yet it is a bulky spread organization and an undeniably slight stockpiling position in this period of fast media communications."

All things considered, she had confidence in the printed word. She anticipated at an early stage that it would not vanish yet rather turned out to be one of a few configurations by which researchers would convey.

A book darling as a young lady, she had ascended from library understudy to end up a standout amongst the most dominant players in data innovation. She gave her profession to making libraries applicable in an undeniably cutting edge world.

Employed in 1974 by Columbia University as its chief of library administrations, she made one of the primary electronic card inventories. In 1978, she was elevated to VP for data administrations. She was the principal lady to head an Ivy League library and one of the primary college bookkeepers to manage both library administrations and data innovation.

This included obligation regarding Columbia's registering focus, which put her at the nexus of all academic data in the grounds' 26 libraries, paying little heed to how it was put away or dispersed. With the ascent of PCs, her calling was overturned.

"The exploration library world is in disturbance," she wrote in a library production in 1983. "Each guideline and presumption whereupon we have fabricated our libraries for as far back as hundred years is being addressed today."

Patricia Meyer was conceived on June 2, 1929, in Gettysburg, Pa., to Emanuel and Josephine (Lehman) Meyer. Her dad was a representative, her mom a homemaker.

She experienced childhood in Biglerville, Pa., only north of Gettysburg, and moved to Washington with her family when her dad got down to business for the Department of Agriculture during the Depression. She went to Sidwell Friends School in Washington and moved on from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania in 1951 with a four-year college education in English.

She started filling in as a library assistant at the State University of New York at Binghamton while going to classes at Syracuse University, where she earned a graduate degree in library and data science in 1967. Her marriage to William Thomas Battin, a teacher at Binghamton, finished in separation in 1974.

Ms. Battin kicked the bucket of heart-related complexities at her home in a senior network in Mitchellville, Md., her child, Thomas M. Battin, said. Her demise was not broadly detailed at the time.

Notwithstanding her child, she is made due by her little girls, Laura Battin Geraldine, and Joanna Brigham; her sibling, Nicholas Meyer; and four grandkids.

Whenever Ms. Battin was the supervisor of library administrations and data innovation at Columbia in the pre-web time, her quick objective was to make what at the time was an extreme idea — a "one-stop data strip mall" at the college.

"Researchers ought not need to go to the library for data put away in books and diaries, at that point to the PC community for data put away electronically — and a while later need to make sense of without anyone else how to utilize their PCs to arrange the data they have gathered," she revealed to The American Library Association.

Among her undertakings was working with friend organizations to help set up the Research Libraries Group, which enabled colleges and other research foundations to share materials, so few out of every odd library needed to keep duplicates of the equivalent cloud diaries.

She moved to Washington to head the recently framed Commission on Preservation and Access in 1987. She cautioned at the time that maybe a fourth of the world's extraordinary accumulations were fragile, with certain volumes previously going to tidy.

The commission urged distributors to print books on longer-enduring soluble paper and built up a national system for research libraries to cooperate to spare their accumulations from the "moderate flames" of acidic paper.

For her work, she won the Librarian of the Year grant in 1990 from the Association of College and Research Libraries.

She resigned from the commission in 1994 and proceeded to lead a three-year "virtual library venture" at Emory University. In 1999 President Bill Clinton granted her the National Humanities Medal.


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