[Libs-Or] Larry Oberg

Carol Drost cdrost at willamette.edu
Tue Nov 10 08:32:59 PST 2020

Good morning,

I am saddened to share the news of the passing of Larry Oberg.  Many in the
Pacific Northwest library community will remember Larry from his time as
university librarian at Willamette University, and library director at
Lewis-Clark State College.  However his impact on academic libraries and
library staff went well beyond the Pacific Northwest.  In addition to his
many contributions found in his obituary, I would like to add a couple
more.  He was instrumental in establishing the COLLIB-L, the discussion
list of ACRL's College Library Section.  He also played a major role in
initiating the borrowing component of the Orbis library consortium (now
Orbis Cascade Alliance).  He was a friend, colleague, and mentor to many.

June 20, 1933 - November 6, 2020

Larry R. Oberg died November 6, 2020.  An only child, Larry was born in
Idaho and raised in California and the Pacific Northwest by his parents,
Gustav Wilhelm Oberg (d. 1953) and Esther-Marie (Watkins) Oberg (d. 1980).
He is survived by his life partner, Denis Simard, of Quebec City, Canada
and by his son and daughter-in-law Marc A. Oberg and Katy Oberg of
Portland, Oregon.  Larry graduated summa cum laude from the University of
California at Berkeley where he received an AB in anthropology (1978) and
an MLS in librarianship (1979).  He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Beta
Phi Mu honorary societies.  His biography appears in Who’s Who in America.
Early in his career Larry worked at the University of California, Berkeley,
and Stanford University libraries.  He was library director at Lewis-Clark
State College (Lewiston, Idaho, 1981-1986), college librarian at Albion
College (Albion, Michigan, 1986-1992) and university librarian at
Willamette University (Salem, Oregon, 1992-2004).  Upon his retirement from
Willamette he received the title University Librarian Emeritus.  Larry
acted as consultant to numerous college libraries nationally and
contributed books and many journal articles to the professional literature,
including articles written directly into Spanish and French.  An active
member of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of
College and Research Libraries (ACRL), he held a range of positions
including chair of the College Libraries Division.  In 2001 he was
recognized by the ACRL for having produced two of the one hundred most
highly cited publications in academic library literature.  He published his
memoir “San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate!” in February of 2011.
Throughout his life Larry worked for numerous liberal and progressive
causes, including gay rights and an end to the U.S. boycott of Cuba.  He
also worked to improve the status and salary of library support staff and
gave more than fifty talks nationally on the topic.  Larry worked closely
with library colleagues in Cuba and visited the island numerous times,
attending conferences and giving talks in Spanish.  In Cuba he is survived
by close friends Miguel Viciedo Valdes, Marta Terry and Eliades Acosta
Matos. He also had a lifelong interest in French culture, language and
literature, traveling extensively and living at different times in France
and other francophone countries.  In recent years, Larry lived in Quebec
City, Quebec, where he is survived by close friends Rejean Bergeron, Marcel
Breton, and Laval Masse.

Carol A. Drost
*she / her / hers*

Associate University Librarian for Technical Services
Liaison for Women's and Gender Studies
Mark O. Hatfield Library
Willamette University
900 State St.
Salem, OR  97301

(503) 370-6715
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