TLA District III
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Claud Glenn Sparks Obituary (1922 to 2001)

Claud Glenn Sparks, born on October 21, 1922, to Claud C. and Mamie Shoemake Sparks at Commerce, Texas, died on Saturday November 3, 2001, at 4:15 p.m.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Lou Turner Sparks, and their daughter, Anne Frances Sparks Lightfield and her husband Thomas.

He received the Bachelor of Science Degree from East Texas State College in 1941 and immediately entered military service. He served in the European Theater of Operations with the Headquarters, Advance Section Communications Zone and, at the end of the war, with the Army-Navy Liquidation Commission, until his discharge in November 1945. From January 1946 to June 1948, he was employed as an administrative officer in the Veterans Administration Branch Office in Da1las.

He then entered the graduate program at Texas Christian University and received the Master of Arts Degree in 1949. He completed a year of post- master's study at the University of Oklahoma, 1950-51, fo1lowed by the Master of Library Science Degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1952. Among his positions as a library practitioner, 1952-65, were Reference Assistant at the University of Illinois in Urbana and Director of Libraries at Texas Christian University for thirteen years. In 1965 he went to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor to complete studies toward a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Library Science.

Upon graduation in 1967, he turned to education for librarianship as Professor and Dean of the newly-accredited master's program in the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). He became a Professor in the Graduate School of Library Science at The University of Texas at Austin in 1971 and was promoted to Dean of that school in 1973 after a year as Acting Dean. A member of Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan, he insisted on the highest academic performance by faculty and students alike at UT.

At the time he retired to full-time teaching and research in 1982, the information science segment of the program had grown to an academic specialization supported by several of the school's faculty who were information scientists. Also, the library science faculty had integrated information science principles and technology in all its courses. From 1982 until his retirement in 1995, he taught courses in management of all types of information agencies and a course for students who planned to become academic librarians. In 1984 he received a Texas Excellence Teaching Award from the Alumni Association of The University of Texas at Austin. In 1992, the alumni association of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science honored him for forty years of service to the school. After his retirement in 1995, the C. Glenn Sparks Endowed Presidential Scholarship was established by alumni and friends of the school to honor him as a "devoted professor and dean."

The Texas Library Association honored him as its "Librarian of the Year" in 1983, "in recognition of superior achievement, dedication to the profession, and contribution toward the improvement of library science in Texas." In the American Library Association and the American Association of Library Schools, he worked for betterment of library education nationally. He was the Director of the American Association of Library Schools 1973-75. He collected, analyzed, interpreted, and published statistics of all library education agencies in the nation for several years. In 1977 he brought to UT the library science periodical Libraries and Culture (formerly Journal of Library History), one of four referred scholarly journals in the profession. He served as an Associate Editor of the journal from 1976-95 (Acting Editor 1980-81). His principal research interests were in library history and biography, library management, and library and information science education.

In addition to publishing several chapter-length biographies over the years, he published a book-length biography of William Warner Bishop, a prominent librarian, in 1993. His contribution to management literature centered on strategic planning and improvement of schools library and information science.

In addition to his wife and daughter he is survived by a nephew, Joe Edward Adams of Nacogdoches; a sister-in-law, Carolyn Lischio; and a nephew, Dan Mandeville, both of Fort Worth. He was preceded in death by his father, mother, sister, brother, a nephew, and a niece. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the C. Glenn Sparks Presidential Endowed Scholarship in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies Foundation, The University of Texas at Austin, 78712. The family will receive visitors at the Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home at 3125 North Lamar on Monday evening, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Private burial will be at Austin Memorial Park. A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive, on Tuesday, November 6, 2001, at 1:00 p.m. Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar, 512-452-8811.

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