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Memorial Resolution – Edith (Edie) Dixon

December 26, 1951 – January 16, 2014

~By Mitch Lundquist (Read at the Academic Staff Meeting on Dec. 8, 2014)

Edie Dixon
Edie Dixon

It’s with mixed emotion that I submit before this body the following memorial resolution for my esteemed colleague and friend, Edie Dixon. Edie passed away unexpectedly this past January 16th (2014) as a result of an accident, and while the effects of this devastating loss continue to elicit extreme sadness and pain among all who knew her, it’s gratifying to have the opportunity to commemorate her many contributions to the UW-Madison community.

Edie was a Senior Academic Librarian with the Library Technology Group for 27 years where she served to design, develop and implement the many technologies in support of the UW Libraries. Whether in the context of the nascent information technology environment of the 1980s or the rapidly evolving IT landscape of today, Edie assessed, analyzed, translated and otherwise leveraged the descriptive data available to us in a constant effort to facilitate and improve the discovery of our vast Library print and digital materials. Edie was a data expert who embraced the challenges of translating this descriptive data into public facing interfaces that were logical and useful to our students, researchers and staff.

A committed and respected professional, Edie not only excelled within the UW-Madison community, but within the broader UW-System environment as well. It was there where she truly showed her expertise, sorting through the complexities of our data to optimize new System-wide library discovery systems.

Edie was behind the scenes. She quietly worked to understand our complex information systems and effected change through a compelling mastery that was universally respected. Edie was an incredibly generous colleague, offering advice, support and expertise to many across the academic library world who might be struggling with data and systems issues. Her death solicited countless messages of condolence and appreciation from these colleagues, many of whom she’d never met personally. Edie was humble and self-effacing, quietly engaging, thoughtful, supportive, easy to laugh and occasionally boisterous when the mood hit her.  Her loss has been felt deeply on both professional and personal levels.

We held a Memorial service for Edie in February of this year. Colleagues and friends from across the state travelled to Madison to show their respects. She would have been shocked by the turnout; at the impact she’d made on people. Her quiet competence, engagement, compassion and generosity, while understated, had a profound effect on countless others.

As an academic staff member, Edie epitomized the principles associated with this role. She worked daily to contribute to our essential academic and research operations and wholly embraced the academic mission. Our libraries and academic community as a whole were honorably served by Edie and we’re decidedly poorer in her absence. May our memories of her help to reinforce what’s positive in our shared mission.