Frank L. Turner, Professor Emeritus of Library Science at Texas Woman’s
University, died on February 17, 2010 in Dallas TX.
Dr. Turner was a beloved colleague, friend, and mentor. He was a man of
great charm, a gentle ironist who had a sentimental side. He enjoyed the
proprieties of professional and personal life, while refusing to let
such things interfere with his whimsical, independent spirit. He loved
life, but he never let life take him too seriously.
Dr. Lynn Akin (TWU) remembers, “He was always impeccably turned out,
prepared for class, and when he lectured, out came that soft, Southern
accent (at least it sounded southern to me, from New Jersey). Take the
accent and add his bow ties and I thought I was in a Southern novel. He
could lecture on a wide range of subjects, from the academic to the
professional to the arcane.” To Dr. Louise Robbins (University of
Wisconsin), "He was the consummate teacher with a gift for analogy that
was both apt and humorous." And Dr. Nancy Zimmerman (University of South
Carolina) adds, “He was also a true scholar who shared with us the
historic heart of librarianship. He inspired us as future professors to
ask, ‘What do we teach that truly matters?’ and so we left his classes
not merely learned or capable, but with good habits of the mind grounded
in human caring.”
Frank Turner was born in Little Rock AR in 1930 and was raised there. He
earned a BA in History at Rhodes College in Memphis in 1950, followed by
MA and PhD degrees in History at the University of North Carolina. He
taught history as an Instructor at Arlington (TX) State College
(1960-61), Assistant Professor at Northeast Louisiana University
(1961-66), and as Associate Professor at the University of Southern
Mississippi (1966-69) and at Stratford College (1969-70). He switched
careers after earning an MLS at Louisiana State University in 1971 and
became Library Director at Henderson State University (1971-74). He
joined the library science faculty of Texas Woman’s University in 1974,
where he taught until his retirement in 1992. He served as Acting
Director of the Library School in 1976-77 and counted among his
contributions that he helped select the new Director, Dr. Brooke
Sheldon. Dr. Turner taught academic librarianship, cataloging,
information professions, and his signature doctoral seminar, Books,
Libraries and the Cultural Heritage.
He had many leadership roles at TWU, taking pride particularly in his
role in the Faculty Senate (1984-87). He was a member of the Council of
the American Library Association (1979-83), member of the Texas Library
Association Executive Board (1979-83), and Chairman of the Southwestern
Library Association (1980-82). He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi
Alpha Theta, and Beta Phi Mu.
Keith Swigger, Ph.D.
Professor, Texas Woman’s University
Keith Swigger, Ph.D.