Memories of Gail Hartzell

CALL and the law library community have experienced a great loss with the death of Gail Hartzell on October 21, 2013. Gail joined CALL in 2002 when she was hired as Acquisitions Librarian at the Valparaiso University Law School, and immediately became active on committees, continuing to volunteer after she retired in 2012.  To quote one committee chair, “Gail has been the first to volunteer. When she was handling the task, there is no need to follow up with her.  You know it will be handled.”

CALL Leadership

Before she was elected to the CALL Board to serve as Director (2009-2011), Gail was co-chair of several committees that function in the background but are essential to our association and demand ongoing attention and considerable time.

One such committee is the Membership Committee, which Gail served as co-chair in 2003/04 and 2005/06, back in the days when the Directory was produced in print format and then distributed at our September meeting. Verifying all information before the proofs were sent for printing was followed, literally, by “heavy lifting.” But before Gail had access to the boxes, she had to negotiate early access to the restaurant where the meeting was being held and to coordinate delivery with the printer.

The CALL Bulletin flourished under Gail’s co-editorship in 2006-2009. She became further involved in chapter publishing when she attended meetings of the AALL Council of Newsletter Editors (CONE) and became co-chair in 2007-2008. In 2011-2012, she was well-qualified to chair the CALL Special Task Force Committee for the Bulletin.

Through the years, Gail also served CALL as co-chair for CRIV and as a member of Archives, Grants and Chapter Awards, and the Meetings Committees. Gail was a member of AALL, ORALL, ALA, and Phi Beta Mu, the international library and information science honor society.

Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award

In recognition of the quality as well as the quantity of her contribution over many years, in 2013 CALL awarded Gail the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Law Librarianship.  Unfortunately, illness prevented Gail from receiving the award personally at the May 2013 business meeting. However, we understand that she did appreciate the recognition from an organization that was so important to her for ten years.

Professional History

Having worked closely with Gail for many years, I know that she brought the same great attitude and attention to her work at Valparaiso Law School. She was always consistently positive, had a unique sense of humor, and a great laugh.

She first came to work at Valparaiso in 1991 as the interlibrary loan manager and cataloging assistant, while completing her MLS from Indiana University—and along with her husband, Tom, raising three teenage boys. Gail explained it this way: “They are out having fun on the weekend—and they don’t understand why I’m home doing assignments and studying on Saturday night.”

Gail then became director of Davenport College library in Merrillville, Indiana, a position she held for ten years. In 2002 Gail returned to Valparaiso Law as Acquisitions Librarian, and later became Acquisitions and Serials Librarian, as well as participating in reference service and assisting with the 1L Legal Research class. She earned tenure, and retired as an Associate Professor of Law Librarianship Emerita.

Gail is sadly missed by husband Tom, by sons Dale (Amanda), Kevin (Molly), and Keith (Gwendolyn), by the eight grandchildren to whom she was devoted, by her sister, and by many friends who valued her company. I am fortunate that Gail, as well as being a colleague, was a close and wonderful friend to me.

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