A gift from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumnus and Library Friend Carol A. Berthold has established a professorship at Illinois. William H. Mischo, head of the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center, will be the inaugural holder of The Berthold Family Professorship in Information Access and Discovery.
Mischo, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Carthage College in 1971 and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1974, joined the U. of I. faculty in 1983. He was selected for the professorship as he has interest, expertise, and academic abilities in creating, directing, and maintaining accessible and searchable digital data platforms for end users. Most recently, the American Association for the Advancement of Science recognized Mischo as a 2015 AAAS Fellow for “research relevant to the development of new digital library technologies.”
“This professorship represents not only a great honor for me personally, but is also a testament to the work of many of my colleagues, both here at Illinois and across the country,” said Mischo. “It also recognizes the important role that the Library plays in the teaching and research mission of the University. The professorship will provide support for the continued development and implementation of enhanced information discovery and access services that will benefit our students and faculty and the information retrieval community in general.”
“We’re very proud of Bill. Throughout his remarkable career, his research and practice have advanced the work of the profession and have distinguished him,” said John Wilkin, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at Illinois. “He embodies the Jeffersonian ideal, sharing his efforts generously in ways that advance the work of his colleagues without diminishing his own research agenda.”
Berthold has been a longtime supporter of the University Library. In 2008, she created the Berthold Family Endowment Fund. As part of her gift establishing the professorship, that bequest has now been designated to support the position as a permanent Chair in Information Access and Discovery.
“At the University of Illinois at Chicago, I was fortunate to work with Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg, a physicist and a truly articulate visionary, who wrote and spoke about using information technology to make the flood of data available and usable by all, from the scholar to every citizen,” said Berthold. “Grainger is already one of this century’s most valuable players in developing cutting-edge, user-friendly search engines for databases and printed and electronic resources. The work done here comes closest to meeting the challenge issued by Langenberg to integrate information technology with the more traditional role of libraries—and Bill Mischo is leading the way. Inspired by Langenberg’s vision, I am establishing this professorship in honor of my family to continue this work in the future.”
“Carol Berthold is a very special friend of the Library,” said Wilkin. “Her inspired support of this professorship is a proud example of the way that she has partnered with our great institution.”