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Susan ONeill Johnson

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 6 months ago

Susan O'Neill Johnson Memorial


Welcome to the memorial page honoring the life and spirit of our friend and colleague Sue Johnson, who passed away in September 2007.



Please feel free to add your reflections below by clicking on "Edit Page" above. (Contact Caryn Anderson for the password - caryn.anderson@simmons.edu) Please insert your comments above the "Quick Wiki Instructions" at the bottom. Please also be sure to sign and date your entry. You may also add new pages for groups of comments or information, such as:




Sue Johnson - Debbie O'Neill Flynn

[Forwarded, Dick Hill on Thu 9/27/2007 4:46 PM on asis-l]


Dear Friends of Sue Snyder O’Neill Johnson,

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of my mother’s death this morning (September 27th). After a long struggle, she succumbed to a rare form of endometrial cancer just past her 68th birthday. She loved her friends dearly and wanted you to be told. Attached you will find an obituary that Sue wrote about six weeks ago. Information about her memorial service is included. (RH - pasted below)


Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who knew Sue.


Thank you for your letters, cards, phone calls and other means of support you have offered us.


With Love,


Debbie O'Neill Flynn


A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at 1:00 pm on Friday, October 5th at St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Bethesda, Maryland, officiated by Dr Stephanie Nagley (Note: Because St. Luke’s is being reconstructed, the service will actually be held right across the street at the North Bethesda United Methodist Church. The address is 10100 Old Georgetown Road,

Bethesda, and there is ample parking. A reception will follow). Burial

will be in Lexington, KY at the Lexington Cemetery (burial date TBA). In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that friends make a contribution to the Todd O’Neill Memorial Scholarship at Sayre School (194 North Limestone Street, Lexington, KY, 40507).

Please send any notes or questions to me at 421 Kingswood Drive, Lexing-ton, KY, 40502, or deboflynn@insightbb.com.





Sue Johnson: An information visionary

1 October 2007 - Duncan Omole


Sue's passing away is a loss to the entire information community in the world for she was a legendary leader whose professional involvement knew no boundaries. I knew and was privileged to work with Sue for a very long time in different settings and her drive for results and positive disposition was contagious wherever she went. She had a 'can do, will do' attitude and this inspired many people. Today, I hesitate to say we are mourning her passing away for that does not seem to represent the continuity that she stood for. I prefer to see this as a celebration of Sue's life. And may this celebration really continue. For just like she inspired people in her life, she leaves behind a legacy of trust, inclusion, dedication, leadership and achievement that will continue to inspire many many other people.




Remembering Sue O’Neill Johnson

1 October 2007 - Yin Zhang



It has been such an honor for me to know and work with Sue in the past several years for SIG III. I have known Sue as such a deal friend, an instrumental leader, a person with so many talents, and a great mentor being tremendously generous to support others. She will be missed greatly!


Here are some of Sue’s many contributions to SIG III as mentioned in the group’s nomination letter for her 2003 ASIST SIG Member-of-the-Year Award:

SIG III has been a winner of the ASIST SIG-of-Year Award for the past three years in a row (2000-2002) while Sue played a leadership role in the group as its Chair in 1999-2000, Past Chair 2000-2001, and Chair Elect 2001-2002. Under Sue’s leadership, SIG III has initiated many new programs, such as International Paper Contest and International Travel Grants, to name a few.


Sue pays a great attention to the success of various programs sponsored by SIG III and works on every single detail to ensure their success. For example, for the International Paper Contest, Sue actively participates in the campaign to market the paper contest. In 2000, Sue presented the details of the program to a group of librarians in Delhi, India. Sue also oversees the paper collecting process, serves as a reviewer, ensures winners to be recruited as ASIST members and top winners to have funds to travel to the United States to present their winning papers, makes hotel arrangements for these international presenters, and contacts ASIST Bulletin editor, Irene L. Travis, and the International Information and Library Review editor, Toni Carbo, to publish outstanding submissions. It is not surprising that the International Paper Contest has attracted more and more papers each year. In 2002, 43 papers were received. This year, 51 papers from 23 developing coutries are received.


With so many active and popular programs sponsored by SIG III, there is a great demand to raise fund to support these programs. Sue has been working actively to contact other SIGs, Chapters, and individuals and commercial financial donors to secure funds. She has helped raise $18,700.00 in four years to help pay for 6 two-year memberships, and travel grant opportunities. She has also managed the Eugene Garfield Travel Grants (135 applicants), which became a SIG project. Recently, in May 2003, she worked with PVC Chapter to put on an international Bazaar in Alexandria, VA to supplement Eugene Garfield Travel Grant funds. The event raised $1,355.38. In addition, she raised an additional $262.00 at a home yard sale of donated items. She also oversees a project to create a new web site this year to thank all donors for their supporting the International Paper Contest and InfoShare program.


Sue works very hard for the group’s continuing growth. She has been recruiting active members with leadership capabilities to join the SIG III board. She has served as a mentor to many international information scientists and keeps contact with them. For the Global Village project at the 2003 ASIST Anuual Meeting, Sue will provide a Powerpoint presentation which will be showing International Contest winners over the years, where they are, and what they are doing today. She started a program in 2000 to award six two-year memberships a year to winners of the International Paper Contest. She has actively encouraged and participated in the expansion of donations to the InfoShare project, which is giving several one-year memberships per year to recommended foreign information professionals. She has recruited three International Paper Contest winners (from Kenya, India and Indonesia) serving on the SIG III Board.


Sue has been effectively promoting the continuation and development of the group’s electronic newsletter and has contributed items and ideas to almost every single issue. Sue is also a good supporter to the group’s web site and a web site for full text documents of all papers submitted to the International Paper Contest. She has attended all ASIST annual meetings since 1999 and has organized well-received programs for the meetings.


During the last three years, Sue has developed "Plan of Actions" for the SIG which was considered a model to be considered by other SIGs. She has been continuously communicating with the SIG Officers, the ASIST Headquartes, and other ASIST leaders for the careful and timely implementation of the SIG plans. She participated in other professional meetings and activities.


In general, Sue, has been a very creative and dynamic leader for SIG III. Her remarkable and significant contributions have had a great impact on the SIG III and the international information communities. She truly deserves this SIG Member-of-the-Year Award.





Sue's Dedication to Global Colleagues was Inspirational

1 October 2007 - Caryn Anderson



It is such sad news to hear of Sue's passing. I knew her briefly, but I feel so honored to be working with Vika Kravchyna to continue the InfoShare program that she was such a leader in developing. She was so dedicated to connecting with our colleagues around the world. What a tremendous legacy she has left us. I am so very pleased that she had an opportunity to see that last year we were able to support FOURTEEN worthy colleagues in a single year!


I'm so please that SIG-III is planning to create an award in her honor. She was an inspiration to all of us.


With deep respect,

Caryn Anderson

Simmons College





1 October 2007 - J. K. Vijayakumar


Sorry to hear the news of sad demise of Sue Johnson, this is definitely a

great loss for International Information and Library Technology area. The

importance and usefulness of "Info-Share Program" and "Paper Contest"

introduced under her leadership by ASIST and its SIG-III can be highlighted

by people like me, who really got benefited from these initiatives. There

are several Information professionals from Developing world, who really got

a chance to involve in International Librarianship under the umbrella of

SIG-III Info-share and Paper Contest programs.


May her soul rest in peace! My deepest condolence every one from her family

and professional circles.


J. K. Vijayakumar PhD, MLIS




A role model

Michel J. Menou

Oct. 2, 2007


Sue did not only deliver. She has opened a way for many colleagues to do the same. No "great idea" which she entertained would remain just an idea. It seemed that her energy was making all things simple. As they were accomplished, I bet many folks thought "Hey, look, one can do it". And they started doing and delivering.

Our deep sadness should be balanced by the satisfaction of witnessing her example followed and her projects continued.

Sue was uniquely gifted to add to her professional talents a wonderful ability to socialize, make people feel comfortable and enjoy the time together.

Sue playing accordion with her band at a SIG/III International reception.


Sue can now add her own music to those which are said to make that other place an enchantment.


From: Toni Carbo, University of Pittsburgh

Sue was such a wonderful mentor to us all. I remember very fondly, when I was in DC, having lunch with her al fresco and being delighted to see her energy and spirit as she talked about new ideas and plans for international students. Being with her always made me feel rejuvenated and inspired to do more. Her strong international experience, wisdom and genuine caring for others touched us all. She has left a fine legacy for future generations to try to carry on her fine work. SIG III will not be the same without her, nor will the world.



From: Yunfei Du, University of North Texas

October 2, 2007

I knew Sue since I was a new doctoral student at the second China-US Conference on Libraries in 2001. She initiated the SIG-III International Paper Contest and was so instrumental on International Librarianship. Her idea of bridging the information gap in developing countries will be remembered and her unfinished tasks will continue.



From: Jonathan Levitt, Open University

October 2007

I met Sue only at one ASIST AM but I was soon struck by her professionalism and dedication to SIG III and its causes. This impression was reinforced through subsequent email correspondence. Her contribution both through her tireless efforts and as a role model will continue to inspire future members of SIG III indefinitely.



From: Shirley Skorbiansky

October 3, 2007

I met Sue in 1999 when she has just started the Country Office Library Group project at the World Bank. She was recruiting librarians to join her in one her many crusades to reach out for information specialists in developing countries and helping country offices to create their digital libraries. Sue was a powerhouse, an inspiring leader, unstoppable, her daring ideas produced a contagious effect on people. I also cherished our private conversations, she was very direct in her advices, and would tell me what she felt was right and good for me, even if I didn't want to hear it. That's the type of friend one always need to have by one's side. You'll be missed.



From Aguinaldo Marcelino, librarian, Brazil


"It is good to see you doing so well. Sue" This is the end of one of the last messages I received from Sue, around May 2007. These words can resume her incentive to my career since I knew her during a SLA event in 2000. In 2001 she was my mentor during the IFLA's Conference. I'll remeber Sue very fondly.



From Aaron Bowen, Reference/Subject librarian, California State University, Chico

October 3, 2007


Like Jonathan, I only got to meet Sue once, over the course of the few days ASIS&T met in Charlotte in 2005. But even during those few days Sue's professionalism and passion for the many aspects of international information were apparent in everything she did. Her abilities as a mentor to so many around the world and the dedication she brought to SIG-III's pursuits were incredible -- she provided a living example of the kind of excellence I would like to achieve over the course of my career.



Salute to a great lady.


Posted Wed, 3 Oct 2007 on:sigiii-l@asis.org

by Shivanthi Weerasinghe, Sri Lanka


Dear All,


Although I haven't met Sue O Neil Johnson personally, that is face to to face, I have kind of had a personal touch with her through correspondence. Somehow I have felt that I have known her personally, after she inquired about the situation and life over here after the Tsunami struck many Asian Nations including Sri Lanka.


It was Sue who first gave me the awareness about the International Paper Contest, after I wrote to the Leadership Articles' called for by the SLA in 2003. Then I contributed a paper to the IPC in 2003 and then again in 2004, in which year I became the winner. So I consider that I became a winner mainly because of Sue. She also sent me congratualatory mails and urged me to keep up this sort of professional activites. Then I was dissapointed when she mailed me to apologize that she would not be attending the ASIST Conference in 2004 and that she will not be seeing me although she was looking forward to it. She once again wished me all the best and advised to make the most of the conference and continue such professional work. So I always felt that I knew her personally and imagined her to be an endearing soul. I was hoping that I will meet her anyway one day.


I am deeply saddened by her demise and join all of you especially those whom I met at the conference, Duncan, Yin, Michael, Nadia, Dr.Toni, Natali and every one else in sharing the sombre mood at this time of grief. I think that we should name the International Paper Contest after her. That's the least we could do to a person who had supported and contributed to the SIG III and to the Information professionals of the developing countries.



Dear Debbie O'Neill Flynn and All


It made me very sad to read this sorrow news. I am Muhammad Shafiq from Pakistan. Ms. Sue supported me by recommending for SLA International Award 2006 and ASIS&T inform share membership Award 2007. I was very anxious to see/meet her when I visited US in June 2007 to attend SLA annual conference. But She could not attend the said conference due to health and domestic reasons. I consider her my Guru in Library Science profession. She guided me very well. I pray for her from my deep heart may God give her soul rest in the peace. I pray to God for your family to bear this irreparable lost.


Salute to my Guru..............


Kind regards:

Muhammad Shafiq


SLA Member

SLA B&F Div. International Travel Awardee 2006

ASIST InfoShare Membership Awardee 2007

Alumnae U. S. International Visitor Leadership Program 2007



Posted 5th October --- Ify Njoku, Central Bank of Nigeria Library, Abuja, Nigeria




It is with shock, a heavy heart and grief that I read the news of the passing unto glory of Sue Snyder O'Neill Johnson, a rare gem, I call her.


I came in contact with Sue as an award winner of the SIG III paper contest in 2003, since then she had been my mentor in both professional and personal life issues. On her recommendation, I was a receipient of the infoshare program for two years. I had shared rooms with her on various occasions when we attended conferences together, she was just more than a mentor to me and many like me from developing countries. Sue never got tiredof hearing from you and offering help in any situation. Even at her age she was full of strength.


She had been instrumental to the exposure of many librarians from developing world internationally . She was a blessing to library and information science. Sue was an instrumental leader, a dear and inspirational friend and mother to all who met her, a woman with many talents and strength, a woman of substance, tremendously generous, selfless in the support of others and a great mentor. She was just more than a friend.


We shall remember and miss her contribution to Information Professionals of developing countries for a very long time.


I find it difficult to believe that she is no more. Adieu, dear friend, we love you but God loves you more. We will miss her.



Posted 5th October for Ozy Orji (from message on sigiii-l)

Dear All,


My heart is laden with emotion since the sad news of my dearie mentor, Auntie Sue.


Auntie touched my personal /Professional Life. At her instance, I became an awardee of SLA Global 2000 fellow that saw me to going abroad for the 1st time in my life. Since the Global 2000 relationship with SLA, courtesy of Auntie Sue and others, I became a member of SIGIII ASIS&T through sponsorship. Auntie did a lot for me and to other Librarians from developing countries. A heroine of the profession that all her works will outlive her. She was a rare gem. My role model. My woman of inestimable value. A diverse cultural woman. A friend and mother of many!!! She supported me professionally in many ways. You gave my profesion, a hope. A woman discovered and encouraged me to move on. Auntie Sue, wherever you are , I am sure that you will realize that I will surely miss you forever. I am still a member of SLA today through Auntie Sue's networks.


As I write, tears still follows and will linger forever. You lightened my life and God will grant your soul, a place in His blossom. ASIST Los Angles Chapter Chair Rachel Clemens and with the help of Auntie Sue O'Neill Johnson, I visited California State in early December 2005 to meet with ASIST librarians and others.


Auntie Sue, I have been playing you that music that love which says' is our works that we speak and remember us'. As I listen to the wordings and browsing the web of the publicity that you have used your network to give me on my works and the awards/grants, I am celebrating your life with swollen and will continue as I stong as I get.


God will give you a crown because you are my heroine!!!!


Sleep well my beloved Sweet Auntie and Professional mentor as you had fought a fight in my life and in the lives of other Librarians from Developing countries. Distance and other challenges have deprived me from bidding you physically farewell but spiritually, I will be at your Service of Songs as the Angles would be welcoming you home tomorrow.


To her beloved Husband, Debbie, Doug and the grandchildren, I say keep the forth for Auntie lived a good life that you should be pround of!!!


To Auntie Sue, good9nt.


Your beloved Mentee


Ozy Orji

SNEPCo from Nigeria


Posted 5th October for P.K. Jain (from message on sigiii-l)


Condolence Resolution passed by the Indian Library and Information Science Professionals


We, all the Library and Information Science Professionals, wish to place on record our shock and grief at the passing away of Sue Snyder O'Neill Johnson on September 27, 2007. We shall remember her contribution to Information Professionals and me of developing countries and as a long time mentor with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude.


I met her first time on 22 October 1998 when she was working with Word Bank and she visited our Library in Delhi, India with Douglas L Johnson. Till then, I was in regular contact with her. I am very much grateful to her. Due to her efforts, SIG III, ASIS&T started International Paper Competition for information professionals of developing countries. Many Information Professional from developing countries have been benefited from her efforts. She got many awards from SLA and ASIS&T and she was very co-operative, sincere and helpful for all professionals of developing countries. She was very sweet nature. She really loved meeting and talking different persons all over the world.


She was my mentor during SLA Conference during October 2000 in U.K. She also supported me to attend ASIS&T annual meeting during October 2003 in Long Beach, USA. Again on her recommendation, I got DDLP award from SLA 2004. Her contributions as a policy maker through her life have been very influential. She was like my elder sister, mentor and a good friend. Sue Snyder O'Neill Johnson will be deeply missed by all professionals and me.


All of us join to offer our deepest condolences to the members of the bereaved family and pray that the Almighty give them the strength to

bear this irreparable loss.


P.K.Jain and all Library and Information Science Professionals in India

Deputy Librarian

Institute of Economic Growth

University of Delhi


From P R Goswami


Dear Friends

I feel Ms. Johnson was like my elder sister.

She was responsible for my travel grant in the first year of the ASIST paper contest. I still remember that she encouraged me to write a paper for the contest when I first met her in the World Bank office/library in New Delhi way back in 2000. When I reached Chicago Sheraton Hotel she made all my arrangements and told me that I can use her credit card for food etc!

We the LIS professional in India have lost a mentor. Ms. Johnson had a soft corner in her heart for the professionals working in developing countries. We are in deep sorrow.


P R Goswami

Director, National Social Science Documentation Centre

ICSSR,New Delhi 110001


Sue Oneill Johnson--The Embodiment of "Can-do"


I first met Sue when we were both working at the World Bank in the early 1990's. Sue was a superb special librarian in addition to her many other talents, and in an institution more given to elegant analysis, planning and polishing than action Sue was a breath of fresh air. As others have noted, she had a great talent for identifying the simple and direct route to seeing that things got done and an apparently inexhaustible supply of creative energy to see them through. Sue was associated with a very large number of successful efforts, but unlike many of us who are "associated" with such things, Sue was the person who was responsible for making them happen, whether it was a musical review or new service concept for an informaton center. The SIG III auction isn't the same without Sue in her Nigerian dress cajoling us all into buying raffle tickets. I missed her last year when she didn't come to Austin, but it is devastating to know that she will not be back at all.


Wearing my ASIS&T Bulletin Editor's hat, I also want to acknowledge that Sue was a valued member of our Advisory Board for serveral years. When the International Paper Competition first started, the Bulletin was also heavily involved, and I saw at first hand how much effort Sue put into receiving and logging papers, verifying eligibility, corresponding with authors, gathering and reconciling referee opinions and, finally, doing an enormous amount of work to raise the money for the travel grants for the winners and helping make that very complicated process work properly. Sue looked forward enormously to meeting our international guests, and her many friendships here and in the developing world are reflected in the many tributes that have come not only from people who met her, but also from people whose lives were positively influenced by her even through correspondence.


Bon voyage, Sue. We will miss you greatly.





Sue Johnson, 68; Trained Librarians And Information Specialists for World Bank

[posted by Caryn Anderson from Washington Post online - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/08/AR2007100801755.html]


By Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 9, 2007; Page B07


Sue Snyder O'Neill Johnson, 68, who trained librarians and information specialists around the globe for the World Bank and performed locally as a pianist and singer, died Sept. 27 of a rare form of endometrial cancer at the Casey House hospice in Rockville. She lived in Potomac.


Mrs. Johnson, who worked as a librarian at government and private venues, spent 12 years at the World Bank as manager of the IT Resource Center. She trained professionals at the bank's headquarters and overseas field offices in using information management tools to spread knowledge of best practices in economic and social development. In addition to working as a librarian at government and private venues, Sue Snyder O'Neill Johnson was also active in the local music scene, performing in a jazz trio at the Army and Navy Club and as a soloist elsewhere.)


After retiring in 2001 as the World Bank's senior information projects officer, she established a small consulting business specializing in international informatics, or organizing information using computers and statistical methods. One of her most important projects was a detailed study of the status of clinical trials throughout the world for the National Library of Medicine. Mrs. Johnson, a mentor who was known for her leadership abilities and irrepressible sense of humor, pushed those she trained to think globally. She held top positions in several professional associations, and at their meetings she often brought together librarians from developing countries to hear about the problems they faced.


"She really loved meeting and talking to different persons all over the world," P.K. Jain, a deputy librarian at India's University of Delhi, wrote in an e-mail. "Her contributions as a policy maker . . . have been very influential." As a member of the Special Libraries Association, she raised funds to bring 25 librarians from developing countries to an international meeting in England. For her efforts, she received the association's national President's Award. She was elected president of the D.C. chapter in 2001 and won the Member of the Year Award. At the American Society for Information Science and Technology, she co-founded the group's international paper competition, which brought travel grants, memberships and publishing opportunities to dozens of information professionals in developing nations.


Mrs. Johnson also extended her reach into the musical community in the Washington area, including setting up musical fundraisers for a local library association. A gifted pianist, she performed in a jazz trio at the Army and Navy Club and played solo piano or accompanied singers at other venues. In recent years, she sang and played at senior and adult centers in the Washington area. Her repertoire covered American standards, show tunes, and folk and gospel songs.


Mrs. Johnson, a native of Chicago, grew up in Riverside, Conn. She attended Connecticut College, where she was a leader and composer-arranger of a vocal group. She graduated from Boston University and received a master's degree in library science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964 and a master's degree in public administration from American University in 1989. She married in 1960 and moved to Lexington, Ky., where she lived from 1964 to 1984. She raised her family there and volunteered as a fundraiser at the Lexington Public Library before becoming its first professional manager of public relations. In the 1970s, she and two friends formed the Singing Huns, a German folk trio. She moved to Washington in late 1984 and worked at the Library of Congress, the Georgetown University medical library, the IIT Research Institute and Jane's Information Group.


Since 1990, Mrs. Johnson had composed and orchestrated the music for two original shows done for charity and wrote dozens of songs for the annual shows at Hexagon, a Washington musical and comedy revue. She also composed a four-part choral piece and a commissioned birthday cantata for soprano and piano. Several of her longer pieces recently were performed in concerts by the Composers' Society of Montgomery County. In 2005, she produced a CD of nine of her compositions.


Her marriage to Dr. Richard Patrick O'Neill ended in divorce. A son from that marriage, Todd Richard O'Neill, died in 1984. Survivors include her husband, Douglas L. Johnson of Potomac, whom she married in 1990; three children from her first marriage, Dr. Terry O'Neill, Paul O'Neill and Debra O'Neill Flynn, all of Lexington; a stepdaughter, Emma Johnson of Boston; two brothers; and five granddaughters.





Sue Johnson--A dear friend


Sue was a wonderful and loyal friend to so many in ASIST, especially in SIG/III and the Potomac Valley Chapter, as well as in that other association, whose name I won't mention (but the initials are S-L-A). I always thought of her however as MY special friend. We first met in the early 80s when we were living in Lexington, Kentucky and we picked up again after we both moved to Washington DC. Sue had that rare gift of making everyone she met--in the U.S. and around the world--feel like her very special friend. Her loss to us as a friend and as one of the most creative and committed SIG/III members is inestimable.



Trudi Bellardo Hahn

October 10, 2007




From Greta Ober-Beauchesne

Librarian, International Monetary Fund

IMF staff and DC-SLA member

October 12th, 2007


I still can't believe it. When you know of someone who is so full of life and energy, it's just so difficult to imagine that their life would be taken. I sometimes think that this (dying at an age before their time) happens to those who we can never imagine slowing down since we would never be able to vision someone like Sue growing old and not having the energy and enthusiasm that she had.


I worked with Sue in 1999-2000 when she had selected me to be on her Country Office Library Team. However I can't remember if that was the first time I met her or was it previous to that while invovled with many of the DC-SLA (Special Libraries Association) projects and fundraisers. As I write this, I am looking at a picture of Sue and I taken in the Summer of 2000 when we were both given DC-SLA awards for work on the Global 2000 International Projects Committee. Though Sue did not know it, she certainly served as a mentor to me, and has encouraged me in both my day-to-day work and professional development (library/information association) involvement. I could always trust Sue to be honest and upfront with me.


Sue, you will be missed!

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