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In Memoriam: Charles Meadow (1929-2018)

Submitted on Monday, November 26, 2018

Charles Meadow (standing centre) with colleagues at the 1988 annual meeting of ASIS&T, the Association for Information Science and Technology. (Photo courtesy of ASIS&T)

Charles Meadow’s book, Ink into Bits: A Web of Converging Media, was published in 1998, almost a decade before the advent of ubiquitous smart phones and e-readers. In that book, one of more than a dozen written over the course of his long and productive career, Meadow posed prescient questions about the “death of the book” and gave the reader what one reviewer described as “a rational view of the dynamics between print and electronic media.”

Meadow, who died from complications of Parkinson’s Disease in Victoria on November 15, retired from the Faculty of Information in 1994. Although he had advocated against mandatory retirement, he was too early to benefit from its eventual end in Ontario in 2006. He remained active, however, as an author, professor emeritus and a key member of the Retired Academics and Librarians of the University of Toronto.

Meadow arrived at was then the Faculty of Information Studies from the U.S. in the eighties. He had worked in both the public and private sectors for companies like General Electric, IBM and Dialog Information Services, and government agencies like the National Bureau of Standards and the Atomic Energy Commission. He had also taught at the University of Maryland and Drexel University.

He received a BA in Mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1951, served in the military, and then earned an MS from Rutgers University in 1954.

At the Faculty of Information, he was a leader in setting up early programs in information science and systems analysis and design. “In many ways, our current information systems and design concentration, as well as our human centred data science concentration, have their beginnings in the program that Charlie developed,” said Dean Wendy Duff. “The Faculty owes him a lot.”

She and other faculty members also recalled that, along with being a trailblazer, Meadow was a kind and generous professor to both his students and his colleagues.

Read more about the life of Charles Meadow.




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