By Nancy Panella, Librarian, St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals
Huston Ellis Mount, former librarian at Columbia University and former professor in Columbia’s School of Library Service, died at his home in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, on January 19, 2012. He was 90 years of age.
Ellis, as he was known to all, came to Columbia University in 1964 and for several years was Head of the Science Division / Engineering Librarian. While still in that position, he enrolled in Columbia’s School of Library Service doctoral program, earning his doctorate in 1979. He subsequently joined the faculty of the school and remained there as professor through its closing in 1992.
Ellis was a beloved teacher and mentor who dedicated much of his life to the library profession. He was once described as "indefatigable" in his efforts to instruct a new generation of librarians while spending innumerable hours shaping the profession’s destiny through his writings and voluntary leadership positions within the library community.
Ellis was particularly active in the Special Library Association (SLA), holding many of its offices on both national and local chapter levels. He also served on several SLA committees and task forces. He received the Association’s John Cotton Dana Award, its Hall of Fame Award, and its Sci-Tech Division Achievement Award. A prolific writer, he was author, co-author or editor of numerous major works in the field.
Perhaps his finest gifts to those of us who were privileged to study or work with him, though, were his affection, his unfailing good humor and his commitment to excellence. He was at once a friend and a wonderful example, and he will be greatly missed.
The New York Chapter / Special Library Association has established in Ellis’ memory The Ellis Mount Scholarship Award. Under its terms, an annual study stipend will be awarded to two SLA NY Chapter members currently enrolled in one of the four New York-area library schools.