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Remembering Bill Watson, former University Librarian

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

One of University of Waterloo Library’s only five University Librarians has passed. William (Bill) J. Watson held the post from 1969 to 1972, following Waterloo’s first University Librarian (UL), Doris Lewis.

Watson worked at McGill and University of British Columbia before coming to Waterloo. Chairman of a national committee on automation in libraries in 1969, Bill accurately predicted a time when library operations would be driven by computers, and not the card catalogues of the time.

Scan of 1969 newspaper article about computers in libraries

From the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, July 22, 1969.

Known for having the shortest tenure of any Waterloo UL, Watson resigned in part out of frustration over cuts to the Library’s budget in 1971…the other part was a desire to return to the west coast climate.

Bill Watson died April 13, 2018, at the age of ninety and a day.

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