Dr. Joan Ruth Giesecke, UMD Distinguished Alumnus, Passes Away

Dr. Joan Ruth Giesecke, UMD Distinguished Alumnus, Passes Away

December 11, 1951 - October 9, 2017

Dr. Joan Giesecke, University of Maryland College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool) alumna, passed away on October 9, 2017 in Sarasota, Florida after a 13-year battle with cancer. Dr. Giesecke was a nationally recognized leader in library management and diversity initiatives.

In addition to her master's of library science degree from the UMD iSchool, Dr. Giesecke earned a bachelor's in economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master's in management from Central Michigan University, and a doctorate in public administration from George Mason University.

Dr. Giesecke spent 25 years in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s (UNL) libraries, 16 as Dean of Libraries, where she expanded scope and service, enhanced the diversity of faculty, and advanced teaching and research.

Promoting diversity in the library field was critically important to Dr. Giesecke's. Under her leadership, the UNL libraries developed a long-term commitment to increasing and supporting diversity. Dr. Giesecke's work in this area was recognized nationally by the American Library Association in 2011 when she was honored with their prestigious Equality award.

During her very active career, Dr. Giesecke also held positions at George Mason University, the Prince George's County Memorial Library System, the American Health Care Association in Washington D.C., and the University of Nebraska Press. She taught numerous graduate and undergraduate classes and workshops and wrote seven management books.

In 2016, the UMD iSchool recognized Dr. Giesecke as a Distinguished Alumnus.

Dr. Joan Giesecke established the Dr. Joan Giesecke Health Informatics Fellowship in April 2017 to support fellowships for graduate students enrolled in the UMD iSchool studying health informatics, health librarianship, or health information technology. Click here to contribute to this fellowship.