Influential UF Law faculty member and former library director Grace Elizabeth Woodall “Betty” Taylor passed away Monday, May 13. Taylor was 86.
Taylor served as the director of the University of Florida Law Library from 1962-2003 and is an extremely important figure in UF Law’s history.
“As early as 1971, when computers were only in most people’s imagination, Betty wrote about the impact computers could have on the future of libraries,” said UF Law Dean Robert Jerry.
He said Taylor brought UF Law into the information age by pioneering the use of computer databases for research and building one of the nation’s most comprehensive collections of law-related audio-visual resources.
Only a month after Taylor became director of the law library in 1962, a devastating fire left the library’s collection wet and scorched; Taylor handily supervised the rebuilding of the library’s collection. In 1969, she supervised the expansion of the library into its current location in Holland Hall and was instrumental in changing the library’s name to “Legal Information Center.”
In 1981, Taylor served as the college’s acting dean for two months while a dean’s search was underway, becoming the first woman to serve as dean of UF Law.
Taylor retired after 41 years of law school service in June 2003, and UF LAW magazine from the fall of that year provides an in-depth look at Taylor’s law school career. The story can be read in PDF form at, /news/pdf/magazine_fall03.pdf (Page 52).
Her complete obituary can be read on The Gainesville Sun’s website: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/gainesville/obituary.aspx?n=grace-taylor&pid=164817688&fhid=18654#fbLoggedOut.
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