Orvin Lee Shiflett

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Orvin Lee Shiflett, 68, of Greensboro, NC, died on May 27, 2016, after a five-month battle with small cell lung cancer. Dr. Shiflett was a professor of Library and Information Studies at UNCG-Greensboro. He was born on August 1, 1947, in Melbourne, Florida, the son of James Winfield Shiflett and Elsie May Davis, now both deceased. Lee grew up in Malabar, Florida, and was a 1965 graduate of Melbourne High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education from the University of Florida in 1969, a Master of Library Service from Rutgers University in 1971, and was awarded a doctorate in Library Science from Florida State University in 1979. Dr. Shiflett launched his professional career as an Acquisitions Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 1971. In 1976, he became Coordinator of Technical Services at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse library. After receiving his PhD, he began his work in library education as an Assistant Professor at the Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science. He was awarded the rank of Professor in 1994 and retired from LSU as Professor Emeritus in 2001. While in Baton Rouge, Dr. Shiflett was active in the American Library Association, serving on various ACRL and Library Research Round Table committees and as Chair of the Library History Round Table. He also served the Association for Library and Information Science Education in various capacities, including co-chairing the 2002 ALISE conference. He was an active member of the Louisiana Library Association and a frequent presenter at its annual conferences. Dr. Shiflett was a scholar, a researcher, an editor, and an author. His curriculum vitae shows numerous journal articles and book chapters as well as an extensive list of book reviews. His first book, The Origins of American Academic Librarianship, is recognized as a classic text on the history of American academic libraries and has been noted as the primary source for information on literature and research on this topic published prior to 1980. He has authored three additional books, the most recent being William Terry Couch and the Politics of Academic Publishing, released in the fall of 2015. After retiring from LSU in 2001, Dr. Shiflett became Professor and Chair of the Department of Library and Information Studies at UNCG and served until 2009 when he returned to teaching full time. In 2014 he became interim chair of the department and was serving in that capacity when he became ill. He was planning to retire at the end of the 2015-16 school year.Lee was a gentle and unassuming man, the ultimate Southern gentleman -- quiet and soft-spoken, totally devoted to his wife, children, and grandchildren as well as the many students he served and mentored during his 37 years as a library educator. He is remembered for his kindness, his caring, his generosity, and his dry sense of humor. He loved to read and always had a book, or two or three, in hand. He enjoyed playing the trumpet and had fond memories of his days with the South Brevard County Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps under the direction of Mamie Barnes. He loved car travel, particularly on the backroads away from the bustle of today's busy world. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Mary Ellen Hebert Shiflett; his two children, Christopher Benton Landry, married to Valerie Gover, and Lauryn Landry Schenker, wife of Christopher Kurt Schenker; and his grandchildren, Khalen Brooks Landry, Bianca Morgan Gover, Brooklyn Kate Schenker, and Christian James Schenker. He has one sister, Judy Millar, of Palm Bay, Florida, and two nephews, Stephen Millar and Michael John Millar. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016, at 1:00 p.m., at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greensboro. The family will receive friends after the service. Hanes-Lineberry North Elm Chapel is assisting the family. Memorial gifts may be made to the UNCG Library and Information Studies Alumni Endowment, which was established to honor Dr. Shiflett upon his retirement from the university. Contributions should be mailed to LIS Alumni Endowment in honor of Orvin Lee Shiflett, University Advancement, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from June 2 to June 4, 2016
Arrangements under the direction of:
Hanes Lineberry Funeral Home
515 North Elm Street | Greensboro, NC 27401 | (336) 272-5157
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