2014 Spring Newsletter / Faculty News

Retirements & Staff News


Peter McNally Retires after 41 Years of Service

2014Winter_Faculty_McNallyAugust 31, 2013 was Professor Peter F. McNally’s last day at the School of Information Studies after 41 years of teaching and service.

His association with McGill began 49 years earlier when he arrived at the Library School with a newly minted BA in Honours History from the University of Western Ontario. Peter’s arrival coincided with a major turning point in the history of the School, and Library education: 1964/65 was the last year McGill offered a one-year Bachelor of Library Science (BLS) degree. The next year, the School became the Graduate School of Library Science, pioneering a two-year Master of Library Science degree. Compared with approximately 90 people receiving a BLS in 1965, Peter was one of only a handful receiving an MLS the following year. Within a few years, however, the two-year Masters would become the norm for graduate professional Library and Information education in Canada and many other jurisdictions.

In 1972, after working for six years in the McGill Libraries in reference, acquisitions/selection, and rare books as the first Librarian of the Lande Canadiana collection, Peter was invited to teach “History of Books and Printing” at the School. He continued teaching the course for the next 40 years. In September 1972, Peter joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor, with special responsibility for Reference Service and Bibliography.

After joining the faculty, Peter completed an MA in Canadian history which straddled the lines of book and intellectual history, and the history of McGill University. He continued with research and publishing in all these areas: in 1981, founding the Library History Interest Group of the Canadian Library Association; in 1985, becoming Executive-Secretary of the James McGill Society, dedicated to the history of McGill University; and in 1999-2002, serving as President of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, which in 2011 awarded him its Tremaine Medal for distinguished publication. In recognition of his contributions in these fields, Peter was promoted in 1999 to full Professor. Apart from those hired with senior appointments, Peter is the only member of the School’s faculty over the last 45 years to receive this distinction.

Peter has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee (2002) and Diamond Jubilee (2012) Medals for service to the community, and the Anne Galler Award (2010) of L’Association des bibliothécaires du Québec/The Quebec Library Association for his contributions to Quebec librarianship. Administrative contributions to McGill include: Senate (1981-84), President of the Faculty Club (1983-85), and Speaker of the Graduate Faculty Council (1999-2002). At the School, Peter served on a host of committees and as Acting Director during 2000/01. He was coordinator of the School’s successful 2002 and 2009 accreditation applications. As well, he played a central role in developing the School’s post-Master’s Certificate and Diploma programs, the alternative Master’s program, and the doctoral program. In 2002, Peter received the Distinguished Service Award of the McGill Alumni Association.

Peter speaks of enjoying McGill’s collegial life and the interplay with engaged and dedicated colleagues. His greatest satisfaction was, however, in teaching and interacting with generations of students, often achieving close personal rapport. Like Peter, many students were small town people with big dreams, aspiring to make lives for themselves. He has clearly enjoyed the theatre of the lecture room and the drama of making a subject come to life. Thousands of his former students can be found world-wide, the result of his 41 years of dedicated service – the longest serving faculty member in the School’s 110 year history.

Peter is continuing as Director of the History of McGill Project, researching and writing Vol. III (1970-2002) of the University’s official history: McGill University: For the Advancement of Learning.


Administrative Assistant Susann Allnutt Retires

2014Winter_Staff_AllnuttIn August 2013, Susann Allnutt, Administrative Assistant, retired. Susann, who worked at the School since 2005, first worked for the School in 1970 as a casual secretary for the then-Graduate School of Library and Information Studies before embarking on her academic and professional career.

Susann holds a PhD from the Department of Integrated Studies in Education with doctoral research focusing on the intersection of memory, place, and photography. She has served as a reviewer for several academic journals and was co-editor of the books Productive Memory and Social Agency (Stong-Wilson, Mitchell, Allnutt, & Pithouse-Morgan, 2013, Sense), and Memory and Pedagogy (Mitchell, Strong-Wilson, Pithouse, & Allnutt, 2011, Routledge).

Including her time at the School of Information Studies, Susann has over forty years of service at McGill, including administrative positions at the Office of First Nations and Inuit Education and Dept. of Counselling Education in the Faculty of Education, the Centre for Northern Studies & Research, McGill Counselling Service, as an editorial assistant at McGill Reporter/McGill news, and as a co-instructor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education.

We wish Susann well in her retirement.

The School Welcomes News Staff Members Elysia Donald and Cathy Venetico

The School is pleased to welcome information and communication professional Elysia Donald, MLIS ’12, as Communications Associate. In this newly-created position, Elysia is Chair of the School’s Communications Committee and coordinates communication initiatives at the School, including the alumni newsletter.

Caterina (Cathy) Venetico has joined the School as Administrative Coordinator. Cathy is responsible for administrative functions including payroll and room bookings, and is the friendly face at our Reception office