"It is with great sadness that I share that Dr. Jerry D. Saye, our friend, colleague and former faculty member at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, passed away at his home yesterday, June 7, 2012," said Dr. Gary Marchionini, dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor in a message sent to the information and library science community.
Remembrance from: Laura Hough Smith
Message: I am so sorry for your loss. I was Dr. Saye's graduate assistant for a year and took Cataloging under him the summer before I got married. He made a very difficult subject crystal clear (especially in so short a time frame) to the point this to-be Children's Librarian learned enough to work as a cataloger for her first five years out of grad school while her husband finished his degree. He will never be forgotten.
Remembrance from: Richard Giersch
Message: I am quite sad to hear of Dr. Saye's passing. He was a great professor that made cataloging more interesting than I expected it to be. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
Remembrance from: Tripp Reade
Message: Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news. Dr. Saye was a
magician--he made cataloging playful and fun, he gave it a shot of whimsy!
In setting Curious George and company loose in the classroom, he shifted my notion of what might be expected of graduate school, of a library science program, of cataloging, from dry to delightful.
Remembrance from: David Singleton
Message: I am sorry to hear of the loss of Dr. Saye, who was a master at making learning interesting and fun. I am not a cataloger but I have used the skills acquired in his classes throughout my career. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Remembrance from: Cori Dulmage
Message: Dr. Saye was the funniest, most charming professor I had in my two years at SILS. His humor and his passion for the subject matter made cataloging class, which could have been dry-as-dust boring, fun. I even took cataloging II, just to have another class with him! Condolences to his family on their terrible loss.
Remembrance from: Brenda Beasley
Message: Dr. Saye was proof that cataloging is FUN! His infectious laughter and enthusiasm made what could have been a very dull class, one that held our interest and stretched our minds. Despite all the cataloging rules, Dr. Saye assured us that there was plenty of room for individuality and interpretation, and that it would be rare to have 2 catalog records for the same item be identical. Those of us who are catalogers know that there is no other job we'd rather do. Thank you Dr. Saye for your devotion to our profession and helping me to find my niche later in life. I love what I do!
Remembrance from: Prano Amjadi (SILS class of '88)
Message: I am so saddened to receive this news. My heart goes out to Terri and their families. Some of the fondest memories of my time at Chapel Hill are because of Jerry Saye. He had such a love and commitment to the profession. I loved cataloging because of him, and my first position in this profession was as a cataloger. I remember sitting in the cataloging room working on final projects with friends and spending hours upon hours happily arguing over the best classification of a title.
I was also grateful to know Terri and see her at annual AALL meetings for a number of years. It was wonderful to hear how she and Jerry were doing and what they were up to.
Although there is much sadness hearing about Jerry's passing, I still cannot think about him or see his picture without having a big smile. When my husband received his MLIS I remember thinking, now we are just like Jerry and Terri, two librarians!
Remembrance from: Paul Williford, SILS '88
Message: I had Dr. Saye in the cataloging and classification section of "The Block" and later for "Indexing & Abstracting. He was an engaging and entertaining teacher, making the subjects much more interesting than I expected. He was a great conversationalist and I enjoyed speaking with him at many SILS functions. I'm grateful to have known and studied under him.
Best wishes to his family!
Remembrance from: Matt Sylvain
Message: Dr. Saye was great professor and wonderful person! I'm very sorry to hear about his passing, but feel blessed to have been a beneficiary of his wit and wisdom. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Remembrance from: Rich Murray
Message: Dr Saye was my advisor back in the late '90s. I felt -- and still feel -- incredibly lucky to have known him. Yes, he was a brilliant scholar, teacher, and academic, but more importantly, he was one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever known. Being in his presence was a gift. The world would be a kinder, better, gentler place if there were more Jerry Sayes in it.
Remembrance from: Kevin S. Clarke
Message: So, so sad to hear the news of Dr. Saye's passing. He was a fantastic teacher and I'm sure largely responsible for my love of cataloging and library science to this day. He made cataloging fun, while explaining its relevance. I worked for awhile as a copy cataloger and authority control assistant with Terri at the UNC Library. My heartfelt thoughts and well-wishes go out to her and the rest of his family. I didn't end up as a cataloger, but I still use the skills he taught me while going about my day-to-day activities as a library programmer. Thank you, Dr. Saye.
Remembrance from: Joby Topper, SILS '02
Message: Professor Saye was my co-advisor at SILS. I remember clearly his smile and, of course, his love for cataloging and classification. He was a kind man who always had an encouraging word for us students. That alone is a great legacy.
Remembrance from: Jennifer Manning, SILS '91
Message: Dr. Saye was a kindly soul. I'm not a cataloguer but I continue to use the skills learned in his class. (and I think cataloguing should be mandatory for all librarians!) My thoughts are with his family and with the SILS family. I hope to visit Slovenia someday and when I do I will think of him.
Remembrance from: Susan Rathbun-Grubb
Message: Jerry Saye was a blessing in my life, and instrumental to the wonderful turns my career path has taken. I was also fortunate to have experienced the beauty of Slovenia because of him. What a force of nature he was - and so full of laughter and fun. I will treasure his mentorship and friendship the rest of my life. I will miss him so much!
Remembrance from: Leslie Sult
Message: Dr Saye was a great mentor to me as a Gates Foundation intern. I have great memories of email conversations about my adventures across North Carolina asd his in Slovenia. His humor and kindness made my time at SILS a great experience and I will miss him a lot. My thought are with his family and friends.
Remembrance from: Susan Mikkelsen, SILS '02
Message: I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Saye's passing. His lectures were enjoyable and his assignments meaningful. He was truly a gifted teacher. I will always remember his passion for cataloging and his contagious smile. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
Remembrance from: Alexandra Fox
Message: I never actually had Dr Saye for a class but as a SILS labrat I worked on his computer whenever it vomited - which was frequently, due to his love of using a gajillion usb devices at once. He would just chat with me while I worked. It might seem odd but they were memorable chats. He just had so much to offer. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
Remembrance from: David Carr
Message: I write these things this evening in memory of Jerry Saye. The happy photograph of Jerry with Deb Barreau was taken just after she presented him with the school’s annual award for teaching, based on the nomination and support of students. Jerry was the first faculty member to receive it twice.
Deb, the previous recipient, later told me how she made the difficult choice among nominated colleagues. “He was my teacher,” she said. And so it was easy for her to recognize the authenticity of his gift, the rightness of the honor, and the sweetness of the applause. It was also totally congruent with her own grace and generosity. When we look at that photograph now, it is not just of two colleagues, but of a great teacher and one of his finest students.
Like Deborah Barreau, Jerry Saye was a treasured educator who honored his profession and his students by doing his life’s work well, even against illness. Jerry adored the transmission of skill and caring, and gave his students experiences that were transformative and unexpected. He was here to teach and he did that better than anyone else, not simply because of his deep knowledge of structure, his ability to disarm apprehensive students facing an arid degree requirement, or the innate joys of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules. It seemed to me that, for Jerry, structure and order were forms of justice and integrity and therefore the backbone of our professional responsibility. His work was to assure that those things did not disappear in us.
Speaking for myself, I think Jerry taught as well as he did because great teaching is a way of becoming, a portal for deep connection, a process that conducts identity and joy, and a confirmation for the purpose of a life. In a professional school it is the principal way we have for students to understand how to become something together, to feel an essential ethos of service, and to glimpse the promise central to our work. I believe that teaching gave all of these things to Jerry; it was partly a process of conscience. And yet as I write this with Jerry in mind, I know that great teaching is invisible; it can take a generation to become apparent, long after the class is over and the teacher is silent.
Even as it is happening, teaching bears an energy that is as indescribable as faith and as vaporous as laughter. And perhaps that is the irony of teaching well: it disappears in the process of its own transmission, in the invisible giving of the invisible gift. Except experiences tell us that there are days when the gift returns in a moment, as a surprise: something falls onto your desk out of a memory and encourages you to work with more wisdom or heart, or it reminds you of fundamental justice and beloved integrity, or it restores our larger purpose against every small moment of uncertainty or disappointment. Teaching is giving, and even being, a human gift.
Remembrance from: Kristen Wilson, SILS '05
Message: I was lucky enough to take Cataloging II and History of the Book with Dr. Saye, and to have him advise me on my Masters paper (which led me to land my dream job as an Arabic Cataloger after the program). He brought full-tilt enthusiasm to every class he taught, and to every interaction with a student. I have a vivid memory of one meeting in his office. He mentioned off-handedly that he'd been diagnosed with MS, never losing his broad smile as he waved away the need for my I'm-so-sorries. A little later he mentioned a book he wanted to lend me to use for my paper, and he climbed up on a chair to retrieve it from the top shelf, alarming me greatly! That was Dr. Saye - always putting his neck on the line for his students!
Remembrance from: Angela McClendon Ossar (SILS '07)
Message: I was fortunate to have taken two classes with Dr. Saye. I loved his wit and enthusiasm. I'm so sad to hear this news.
Remembrance from: Dr. Yan Ma
Message: Dr. Jerry Saye will be forever remembered for his dedication to teaching the most thankless subject so important and fun. I have taught my students to know him through his books.
Remembrance from: Jason Sokoloff, SILS '06
Message: Dr. Saye opened my eyes to the importance and power of cataloging. Cataloging and advanced cataloging were positively life-affirming experiences.
Remembrance from: Gail McClenney, SILS '89
Message: Words cannot express the sadness felt at the passing of Dr. Saye. I so enjoyed the theory and practicality of his classes. I appreciated the privilege of being one of his students. My thoughts go out to his family at this time.
Remembrance from: Robert Ellett
Message: Jerry Saye was a true role model and mentor for me both as a practitioner and instructor of cataloging. Both the level at which he taught and what he taught were pure genius. He inspired and fostered my love of cataloging and teaching in the profession. Jerry's loss leaves a void in the LIS community. My sympathies to Teri and the family. My thoughts and prayers.
Remembrance from: Mitja Iskric
Message: Dr. Saye was a wonderful person and a great professor. I remember him from his great guest LIS lectures at Faculty of Arts at University of Ljubljana. He was explaining that education in the United States does not cost as much as you would usually think. He invited us all to Chapel Hill University and explained to us, that it cost roughly the same if you buy an old car (which you can use to drive around Ljubljana) or a plane ticket to the U.S. and back with postgraduate degree from the U.S. He was encouraging us to study LIS. He explained that many U.S. universities take foreign students and offer help with the costs (scholarships), stay (campuses) and finding a job while studying. I will miss him very much!
Remembrance from: Lourdes Cueva Chacón
Message: I will always remember Dr. Saye as a very generous soul. I never had him in a class because I was a MSIS student but he was the first professor I was a research assistant for. Being an international student my first semesters were hard because of adjusting, and Dr. Saye helped me to understand and navigate the U.S. university system. He was always gentle and patient, and shared with me his passion for book history and illuminated manuscripts. My deepest sympathy go to his wife and family.
Remembrance from: Wenchin Lan
Message: It’s indeed a very sad news. I knew he was sick but I didn’t realize that his condition had been so bad. I miss him very much. He will always be in my heart. A certain number of LIS students might think that cataloging and classification courses are quite uninteresting, but Dr. Saye magically changed the image. He led me to understand the foundations of information organization and to explore the meaning of the important task. He was the best instructor of cataloging and classification that I had ever met.
Dr. Saye was my advisor. He always gave me wise guidance and full support. He was not only my teacher but also my mentor. I feel privileged to be his advisee. Dr Saye was, and will always be, my role model. My thoughts go out to his wife and family.
Remembrance from: Lewis Dorman
Message: Professor Saye was one of my very favorite teachers. His classes were always interesting, and he inspired me in many ways that were not only academic. I will miss him.
Remembrance from: Elizabeth Aversa
Message: Jerry was my friend from the early 1980's when we had across-the-hall offices at Drexel University. We team taught a fundamentals class and rode the same train from 30th Street Station the several afternoons when we both taught. He was, without a doubt, one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever encountered: he cared, really cared, about students and their learning. The generations of students who will not have Jerry as a professor will miss so much. And we will miss him, too.
Remembrance from: Shauna Stephenson Wiest - SILS '99
Message: I write this message to express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Saye.
He provided me with the confidence and curiosity I needed to succeed at SILS, and in life. His humility, calm, and kindness complemented his uncomplicated brilliance. He genuinely wanted each and every student to succeed. I will always remember him, and miss him terribly.
Remembrance from: Mike West (SILS '89)
Message: I will always remember Professor Jerry Saye as an excellent teacher who made an unbearable class for me (cataloging) interesting and exciting.
The library science field has lost one of its bright stars and shines less brighter for us all. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family.
Remembrance from: Vickie Kline SILS '87
Message: Dr. Saye was one of my favorite professors at UNC. Without his cataloging classes, I never would have understood how bibliographic and authority records behave in online systems. My favorite quote of his: "Cataloging serials is like trying to nail jelly to a wall." I also
remember our advanced cataloging class had a pizza party at the end of the semester and created t-shirts with the party properly cataloged as realia on a blank card form. I still have the t-shirt! After talking to so many colleagues from other schools who hated their cataloging classes, I feel
especially blessed to have had him as a professor. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Remembrance from: Larry Creider
Message: I never took a course from Dr. Saye, but I remember the high opinions of him expressed by his students at Drexel in the 1980s and their shock that he was not given tenure. As a cataloger, I remember his and Sherry Velluci's Notes in the catalog record based on AACR2 and LC rule interpretations. Ponderous title, but what a wealth of learning and useful help for catalogers in a time when following AACR2 was more of a puzzle than today. It is pleasant to hear of how much he accomplished subsequently. Requiescat in pace.
Remembrance from: Jeanne B. Garrison
Message: I would remember him fondly when seeing one of his books. When I took his cataloguing class at Drexel University in the late 70's, I never dreamed that I would "end up" in cataloguing. I am a few weeks from retiring from the Vineland Public Library in New Jersey, so his passing is very poignant to me. I especially remember spending the night in the student lounge trying to finish up his demanding assignment.
Remembrance from: Lynea Anderman
Message: I have often looked back on my classes with Dr. Saye at Drexel, not only for the fun he demonstrated we could have as catalogers, but also for the challenges and wonderful advice that came with those classes. While I knew cataloging was what I wanted to do, Dr. Saye helped me solidify that in my mind. I was one of the last group of his Drexel students, who as a farewell gift, presented him with is own catalog card -- yes, we cataloged Dr. Saye. How well I remember when he came to one of our last classes with copies of it for each of us....corrected!! I still have my copy put away. That gift later inspired me to create catalog cards as gifts for friends and colleagues.
Dr. Saye will be sorely missed as a teacher, colleague, and friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Remembrance from: Marsha A. Hunt
Message: I had the pleasure and honor of being in several of Jerry's classes at Drexel. Truly, Drexel's loss was Chapel Hill's gain! He was not only an extraordinary teacher, but one who took a continued interest in his students and their careers. After he was settled at UNC, he came back to Philadelphia to consult with a local library, a project on which I was his proud assistant and colleague. Several years later, as I was considering a return to school for my doctorate, he and Terri graciously hosted me in their home and he was my personal guide to SILS. On the occasions that I have had to teach cataloging, I used him as my model, in content, approach, and, I hope, attitude.
As one of the "ring-leaders" of the group who cataloged Jerry (both card and MARC-tagged workform) on his departure from Drexel, I can only say that it is a sad day, but we must "close his dates."
My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.
Remembrance from: Rebecca Kemp, MSLS 2004
Message: I will always remember Dr. Saye as one of the faculty members I met with before I even came to Carolina. He was one of the reasons I chose to attend. I will always be grateful for his kindness and encouragement as an instructor. He was a treasure. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
Remembrance from: Primoz Juznic
Message: As a professor at the Department of Library and Information Science and Book studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana I had a privilege and a joy to meet Jerry several times in Slovenia. He was an exciting teacher, sharp researcher and nice person to be with. Two memories are always with me. First is when we organized together a summer school for UNC/SILS students in Slovenia. We have carefully planned the program and he was so satisfied when students enjoyed their stay in Slovenia. Second is Jerry love for College basketball. I was teasing him about not winning the championship in 2008. Next year he sent me the t-shirt with “National Champions 2009”!
When I received it, I knew that the real Champion was Jerry himself, fighting with terrible sickness and staying optimistic all the time. I wish you all to stay well and keep wonderful memories about Jerry.
Remembrance from: Polona Vilar
Message: This is a sad time. I came to know Jerry Saye - or Saje (as he liked his surname to be spelled - the Slovenian way) through my colleague Alenka Sauperl who was his doctoral student. I have to admit that he was always cheerful, supportive and very knowledgeable. He discovered his Slovenian roots with her help and was always very proud to have relatives in this part of the world. As we are proud to having been his colleagues and friends. I will miss him very much. My warm thoughts go to his wife Terri and to all members of his family.
Remembrance from: Kathleen Britto (SILS '03)
Message: At one point in class, for some reason, we convinced Dr. Saye to let us play telephone. I remember how he laughed at the result, "Dr. Saye needs a good dentist." My first semester of library school was difficult for a number of reasons. I will never forget Dr. Saye's kindness and empathy during that time. Later, during my practicum, I emailed him about an assignment my supervisor had given me to consolidate the elementary school's books on water. There really is no good Dewey number for early childhood books on water--some people put them in geology and some people put them in fluid dynamics--but Dr. Saye addressed my concerns and helped me find a workable, practical solution. I am not a cataloger, but like so many Dr. Saye's students, I find myself using skills I learned in his class to locate information and analyze records regularly.
Remembrance from: Kathy Brown
Message: I came to know Jerry when I served as a clinical instructor at SILS from 1990-96. I taught introductory cataloging when Jerry's plate was too full, recognizing that I was a pale reflection of this great individual, teacher, and scholar. He was always gracious and helpful when I appeared at his office door seeking guidance. Jerry truly loved his subject and cared deeply about his students. His broad smile and his enthusiasm made it clear that he enjoyed the challenge of making cataloging appealing to those who thought they had no interest in the subject. Thank you, Jerry, for making such a difference at SILS, in the profession, and in Slovenia.
Remembrance from: Fani Pate
Message: Jerryja sem spoznala pred leti, ko se je službeno mudil v Sloveniji. Njegovi predniki izhajajo iz Slovenije in jaz sem njegova daljna sorodnica. Vesela sem bila, ko sva se srecala. Rada sem ga peljala na dom njegovih prednikov, to je v vas Dolenje Kamenje pri Novem mestu in ga popeljala tudi po bližnji okolici. Žal mi je, da se ne bova vec videla.
Njegovi ženi Terry in clanom družine izrekamo iskreno sožalje.
Fani Pate, rojena Saje, z možem Stanetom in hcerko Natašo, Ljubljana-Slovenija.
Remembrance from: Sue Goode
Message: Dr. Saye was a great teacher and an exceptional human being. I always looked forward to his classes and felt that it was an honor to be one of his students. I'm so glad my path crossed his. And 12 years after taking my last class with him, I'm still benefiting from what he taught me,
cataloging during my off hours on a volunteer basis for a library in India. I'll never forget his upbeat spirit, his wonderful smile, his kindness and his generosity.
Remembrance from: Melinda (Ellison) Deyasi, SILS '01
Message: I wish I could be as eloquent as Dr. David Carr (and who can, really), so I will keep my remarks short. I doubt there is anyone on earth who smiled more than Dr. Saye. He was a kind, patient man, an extraordinary teacher, and a true scholar. Goodbye, Dr. Saye, it was a joy to know you.
Remembrance from: Aisha Harvey
Message: Dr. Saye, you were such a mentor and friend to me during my educational journey. I miss you so much. Thank you for giving so much to your students.
Remembrance from: Holly Willett. Ph.D. 1986
Message: I represented the doctoral students on the search committee that hired Dr. Saye. He seemed a gentle, quiet, fundamentally happy soul who loved cataloging and teaching. I have never forgotten his smile, which so many have remarked upon. As a newbie in higher education, I had no idea how much Carolina needed Jerry Saye, and no idea how much he would contribute to the institution or the profession of librarianship worldwide. Thank you, Dr. Saye, for more than justifying the decision to ask you to join our beloved community.
Remembrance from: Brandy Bourne
Message: I looked forward to every class with Dr. Saye and am inspired even now, years later, by his warmth, enthusiasm, deep knowledge and buoyant spirit.
Remembrance from: Brian Sturm
Message: I remember Jerry for his unwavering dedication to libraries as institutions, for his incredible ability to make cataloging an exciting subject for students, and for his enormous smile that seemed to come from deep within him and grow until it radiated all around him, making his eyes sparkle and dance and turning him into the most wonderful Cheshire cat imaginable. He has sadly now followed that cat and disappeared from our lives, but, just as Alice exclaims how she has seen a cat without a grin, but never before a grin without a cat, Jerry leaves me with fond memories of his delightful smile.
Remembrance from: Shayera Tangri
Message: Dr. Saye had such a wonderful talent for making cataloging interesting and accessible to people. I thank him for a building block that I've found invaluable in my career. Dr. Saye was so generous with his time and knowledge and I'm grateful I had the chance to learn from him. Thank you.
Remembrance from: M.J. Wilkerson
Message: After being away from cataloging for more than 16 years, I needed some refresher training when I took over as Head of Technical Services at the Chapel Hill Public Library. Dr. Saye graciously allowed me to audit his cataloging class. He made it interesting and fun and was always interested in anything out of the ordinary that I brought to class, seeking his advice on. He was a charming man and generous with his time and knowledge. I am so very sorry for your loss and for the loss to the field of libraries as well.
Remembrance from: Joe Hudock
Message: I was in the Navy Reserves with Jerry for a number of years. There is no other finer man than Jerry and I enjoyed being with him every moment. He was bright. intelligent and a down to earth everyday guy that I used to love to just hang out with. GOD Bless you Jerry....you brought sunshine and light to people's lives that you never expected!...........V/R Joe