USA: Preminent Law Librarian, Archibald C. and Frances Fulk Rufty Research Professor Law Richard A. Danner, To Retire

Danner  will retire July 1 after more than 35 years at Duke Law School reports the university

Here’s their press release

Danner, who is also the senior associate dean for information services and director of the J. Michael Goodson Law Library, joined Duke Law School in 1979. He was honored this year with the Marian G. Gallagher Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Law Libraries and the Duke Law Alumni Association A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education.

“As our Rufty Professor and library director, Dick has been a transformative figure in the field of law librarianship, helping the entire field transition into the digital age,” said Dean David F. Levi. “He has done the same for us at Duke, taking us from the concept of the library as an archive and study hall to the library as a collaborative research center. The future of the Goodson Library at Duke Law looks very good thanks to Dick’s dedication and creative vision.”

Danner has been at the forefront of understanding information technology and electronic publishing and their impacts on legal education, research, and scholarship. Under his leadership, Duke became the nation’s first law school to offer free open access to the text of its student-edited journals online, in 1998. Danner also led the creation, in 2005, of the Duke Law Scholarship Repository, a full-text archive of open-access publications by faculty and affiliates, which has since generated nearly 12 million downloads.

“He moved the library from the book era to the electronic era,” said Brainerd Currie Professor of Law James D. Cox. “His national visibility on this issue speaks to how lucky we are to have Dick here.”

In 2009, Danner encouraged directors at 12 of the country’s top university law libraries to call for law schools to stop publishing law journals in print entirely while making electronic versions available for free online. The proposal, which was titled “The Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship” because it was initially crafted at a meeting during the November 2008 dedication of the Goodson Law Library and Star Commons at Duke, argued that electronic publication was not only more economical at a time of financial uncertainty for law schools but also allowed scholars to greatly expand the reach of their work into other countries and disciplines. Duke Law has since ended print publication of all but two of its journals.

“Dick is the original modest hero,” said James Boyle, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law and a scholar of copyright and intellectual property law. “There is no person in the library community who has done more to preserve and extend the ideal of openness: that everyone should have access to knowledge and scholarship. Dick made sure that Duke’s journals were all available for free on the open web, from the moment that the web existed. He wasn’t just ahead of the curve. He drew the curve. I am proud to have had him as a colleague.”

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