As the nominating letter by Dr. Diane Sonnenwald says, for over 40 years, Dr. Carbo has been: “a national and international leader in our field making valuable contributions in the areas of information policy, information ethics, inclusion, international relations, education and mentoring, and ASIS&T.”
Amongst so many achievements and contributions, we particularly note her impact on policy informing governments and government agencies, her contributions to discussions of information ethics, her numerous achievements over 16 years as dean of the iSchool at the University of Pittsburgh, her involvement with ALISE (the Association of Library and Information Science Education), and the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, being one of the founders of the iSchool organization, and of course her exemplary leadership and sustained Involvement in ASIS&T.
The letters supporting her nomination note the considerable efforts that Dr. Carbo has put into mentoring, to nurturing talent (young and old), facilitating inclusion and improving the diversity of the Association, and her commitment to diversity in LIS education.
As Dr. Michael Buckland, after noting Dr. Carbo’s many achievements, writes in his supporting letter “But mostly, when I think of Toni, I am in awe of the range of activities of every kind within ASIS&T for forty years.”
As a result, the jury decided that Dr. Carbo’s life and work exemplifies service to the profession, and so she fully deserves the ASIS&T Award of Merit.
Hi everybody, I’m going to keep my remarks to under an hour, a lot under an hour, I promise you. (Much audience laughter)
Where do I start? I want to say thank you to many people especially to Diane Sonnenwald, who nominated me, Abebe Rorissa, Marjorie Hlava, Michael Buckland, and Kathryn La Barre who supported my nomination for this award. I’m not going to go through a whole lot of boring history. Kathryn La Barre did an incredibly nice interview, we spent a lot of time, she asked a lot of great questions. That is going to be posted, so watch that interview. I’ll give you a couple of basic facts. I am number five of seven daughters, there were supposed to be four daughters and five brothers, that is why I am named Toni, I should have been Anthony Jr. It didn’t turn out that way, so…
I loved math and went to Brown University to be a math major, because I was going to be an astronaut. We are talking 1960. My sophomore year a friend said, “Toni, you can’t be an astronaut!” I said, what do you mean can’t? Not a word I heard. And he said, “Only military pilots can be astronauts, only men can be military pilots, QED.”
Hmmm… So I thought, with my love of literature, not many jobs in literature. I took a semester off. A friend babysat for the children of the editor of Mathematical Reviews, who told me about a possible job and helped set up an interview. That day, it turned out to be a blizzard. I got there in the middle of the blizzard, he said “You’re here!” I said, “Yes sir, we had an appointment at nine o’clock, right?” And he said, “Well yes, but the whole place is closed because of the blizzard!” Anyway, he hired me, I guess he figured I was crazy enough. Part of my job was to go and use the Sciences Library which I had used as a student. I got very interested in how we can use technology to provide access to information. They were looking at how they could use the computer to print Math Reviews, which became too tricky, this was in 1962. I had a wonderful, long career! Watch the interview that Kathryn did.
The more important part, I want to say thank you to some people. Clearly to my parents. Can you imagine having seven kids, and me being one and the others being active and energetic. To my sisters who have been wonderfully supportive over the years, and my incredible daughter, Amanda Lizé who in spite of serious health problems has managed to be a wonderful daughter, terrific mother, and a very smart person. She is an amateur photographer. The photo of me was by Amanda. Anyone in San Jose need a photographer? Let me know!
In addition to the wonderful people who nominated me and supported my nomination, there are far too many to list all of them. ASIST, for me, has been my second home. I came as a student to my first meeting in 1971. People were so nice to me. Some guy named Michael Buckland said to me, “I see you are a student, let’s sit and talk.” People like Tefko Saracevic sat and talked with me, here I was, a brand new student. The people at ASIST have really helped me build my career. I love seeing students, I love seeing old and close friends and meeting new people. I encourage you to get involved, and stay involved.
On one final note. Today is my last day at 75. Tomorrow I start a new quarter of my life as I fly back to San Jose. I’m a huge sports fan, a big Steelers fan. A lot of damn fine plays have taken place in the fourth quarter. I mean, I certainly could go into overtime, two of my aunts lived to be a hundred. So I have a lot of work to do, and many nice people still to meet. So thank you, all of you for this wonderful award. You’ve really touched my heart in so many ways. Thank you very much.