UF Law School Names Nationally Recognized Librarian

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Mary Kathleen Price, the former law librarian at the Library of Congress and now director of the law library at New York University, will become director in 2003 of the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Price, who earned a B.A. with honors at UF in 1963, will succeed Grace “Betty” Taylor who will retire in 2003.

“Betty Taylor has served this law school with honor and distinction for more than 50 years, and is recognized internationally as an innovator in the law library field,” said UF law Dean Jon Mills in announcing the appointment. “In the hiring of Kathie Price, we have found a worthy and outstanding successor who is internationally known as an expert in technology and in international law.”

Price was named to head the NYU law library in 1994, after a six-year tenure with the Library of Congress where she directed the world’s largest law library and managed the research of 30 foreign lawyers for Congress and government agencies. Price also served 10 years as professor of law and law library director at the University of Minnesota, and was a law professor and librarian at Duke University.

“I am very much looking forward to returning to my alma mater and tackling two unfulfilled objectives – guiding the construction of a top academic library facility and managing the merger of state-of-the-art technology and a law library system,” Price said.

Price in July will assume the duties of Associate Dean for Library & Technology and Clarence J. TeSelle Professor of Law as a visiting professor from NYU, and will take over that position permanently when her retirement from NYU becomes effective in 2004. When she arrives next summer, construction will be underway on an expansion to the UF law library which when completed will place it among the top 20 of more than 180 academic law libraries in the United States in terms of space. Once enlarged, it will be named to honor Lawton Chiles, the ‘55 UF law grad who served as Florida governor and U.S. Senator.

Though born in the north, Price grew up in Fort Lauderdale and taught school in Duval and Brevard counties after graduating from UF. She earned her M.S. in library science from Florida State University in 1967, and received a J.D. with honors from the University of Illinois in 1973.

Other Price accomplishments include serving 1985-86 as University of Minnesota Acting Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs; founding board member of the Committee on Legal Education Exchange with China, sponsored by Ford Foundation; and serving as U.S. representative to the Council of Europe in its advising of developing democracies on technological infrastructure.

“Returning to the state and university where I began my career, being able to help shape the future of a top tier law school’s library services and being of assistance to outstanding law students, faculty and practitioners throughout Florida is tremendously rewarding and exciting,” Price said.

Taylor also earned her J.D. degree in ’62, and that same year was named to head
the law library. She became the first woman at UF to hold an endowed professorship in 1976, and in 1994 was named Clarence J. TeSelle Professor of Law in addition to her responsibilities as library director.

Taylor participated in the coordination of planning and construction of the Spessard L. Holland Law Center in 1968, the 1984 addition of Bruton-Geer Hall, and the library expansion and construction of a new student/faculty academic center to get underway in 2003. She served as College of Law interim dean in 1981.

A recognized and published authority on computers and the law and library automation, Taylor in 1997 was granted the highest honor in law librarianship by the American Association of Law Libraries when she was named to receive the Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award. She is in the process of writing a book on the history of the UF law school, and will continue that work after retirement.

Published: December 16th, 2002

Category: News