Jun 20, 2024

Michael Buckland Awarded UC Berkeley’s 2024 Emeritus of the Year Award

Michael Buckland, professor emeritus at the School of Information, is the recipient of this year’s Emeriti of the Year Award, which honors an emeritus/a whose “second” career begins after retirement. 

Buckland’s illustrious career at UC Berkeley began almost five decades ago when he joined the faculty at what was then known as the School of Librarianship. He served as dean from 1976 to 1984 and oversaw the renaming of the school from the School of Librarianship to the School of Library and Information Studies in 1976. 

Buckland retired in 2004 but continues to co-host his Information Access Seminar series with Adjunct Professor Clifford Lynch every Friday afternoon in South Hall, as he has done since 1991. In these seminars, the two discuss topics related to technology, information organization and retrieval, and invite distinguished experts in the field to share their current research projects. Community members are welcome to attend and participate in discussions. 

After retirement, Buckland has also had the opportunity to focus on research and publication. Alongside many journal articles, he published three books in the past two decades: In 2006, Emanuel Goldberg and his Knowledge Machine, a telling of the illustrious life of the almost forgotten chemist, inventor, and industrialist who contributed to almost every aspect of imaging technology in the first half of the 20th century. In 2017, Information and Society, a short, informal account of society’s ever-increasing dependence on a complex multiplicity of messages, records, documents, and data. And, in 2020, Ideology and Libraries: California, Diplomacy, and Occupied Japan, inspired by an oral history he recorded on alumnus Robert Gitler ’31, who went to Japan in 1950 to found the country’s first college-level school of library science. Information and Society won the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)’s Book of the Year Award in 2018

“This is the sort of thing you can do if you’re privileged enough to be a professor in a place like Berkeley where the teaching load is light and the resources are wonderful.”
— Michael Buckland

He is currently involved in a project with ASIS&T to revive and modernize a website describing pioneers in the field of information science. He became the managing editor of the site and is now focusing on setting policies and procedures to ensure the next step goes smoothly.

“It is hard to imagine a more fruitful retirement than Michael’s,” said Buckland’s former doctoral student Ryan Shaw, Ph.D. ’10, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “For twenty years he has continued to learn, think, and share his thoughts widely, to collaborate with and connect interesting thinkers and doers from within and without Library and Information Science, and to push forward the boundaries of our field.”

Buckland’s frequent collaborator Lynch said, “Michael has devoted his emeritus years to continuing to build and sustain connections between the current faculty and student community of the School of Information, the broader alumni community of the School, and the even broader worldwide community of scholars who share past or present connections or intellectual interests with the school’s programs.”

“This is the sort of thing you can do if you’re privileged enough to be a professor in a place like Berkeley where the teaching load is light and the resources are wonderful,” Buckland explained. 

“Like my hero, Goldberg says, ‘If you enjoy doing it, it’s not work.”

The ceremony to honor Buckland will be held later this fall.

Last updated: June 26, 2024