Our friend and colleague John Klaus died unexpectedly this March. John was a kind, caring, thoroughly professional, and wonderful person who loved his family and his work. He came to the Library of the U.S. Courts of the Seventh Circuit in 1989 after beginning his law librarian career at the Chicago office of Jenner and Block.
He guided the research and reference librarians, judges, law clerks, and staff of the courts through the many evolving changes in legal research over the more than thirty years he served the federal judiciary.
John’s service area was national in scope and he served on many federal court working groups, addressing areas of legal research, internet privacy, judicial safety and security, assistance to pro se litigants, and the status of court librarians. In the process, because of his skill and competence, he enhanced the reputation of all law librarians as essential team members within the legal community.
He was a dedicated member of the Chicago Association of Law Libraries, serving as CALL president in 2001-02 and on many committees over the years. Importantly, he was always supportive of his fellow CALL members participating in CALL events and running for office.
John never failed to do his best to respond to a research or document request from the CALL community; he could find the answer to obscure questions with imagination and remarkable speed. His CALL colleagues held him in high esteem and this year posthumously awarded him the Agnes and Harvey Reid Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Librarianship.
John was a good tennis player, loved the Chicago White Sox, and was a dedicated runner; he ran marathons all over the world. He was devoted to his faith and his family and proud of the accomplishments of his many nieces and nephews.
Every year John managed the library’s book drive for literacy programs serving K-8 students in Chicagoloand. He loved to try new restaurants and was always a good companion for a lunch out.
In a remembrance shared with the federal court community, Chief Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer (ILND) wrote, “He was a friend to so many and a hero to generations of law clerks.”
We will all miss him very much.