Trailblazer of Law Librarianship passes away at 64

Dr. Yvonne Chandler

The College of Information is deeply saddened to share the passing of faculty member Dr. Yvonne Chandler of the Department of Information Science. Dr. Chandler passed away on August 8, 2020. She will be remembered for her devotion to students and her passion for shaping their career paths. 
Dr. Chandler joined UNT in 1993 as an assistant professor. It was then that she began crafting the Law Librarianship and Legal Informatics program to meet the requirements of a challenging field.
She began her career in Atlanta, Georgia where she worked in special collections for the Fulton County Library. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Clark-Atlanta University, a historically black college where she studied history and library science. She went to the University of Michigan and earned a Ph.D. in Information Studies. It was in Ann Arbor that Chandler began a career as an in-house Law Librarian for a local firm.  

It was her foundations at a historically black college which became her inspiration for building a diverse Law Librarianship program. Chandler co-authored and wrote and presented on diversity numerous times. In 2018, she contributed to the second publication of her book Celebrating Diversity - A Legacy of Minority Leadership in the American Association of Law Libraries, William S. Hein Co., other papers included, “Recruitment and Retention: Building a Diverse Library Workforce,” and “Celebrating Diversity: An Updated Snapshot of Ethnic Diversity in Law Librarianship.” 

At the time of her passing at UNT, she was teaching, law library management, legal information, and access services and practicum for the many Information Science Cohorts across the country.  
Dr. Chandler said in her own words that her teaching philosophy was to continue the integration of library and information science in a technological world.   

“I believe that as a professional school, it is our responsibility as faculty to prepare our students to understand the theoretical implications of information science. As graduates of a professional program, they must also be able to adapt those theoretical implications to fit practical applications in all types of information environments.” - Dr. Yvonne Chandler.

The overwhelming online response to her passing came from her students many of them who saw her as both a mentor and friend.

Student Responses

Goodbye to my beloved mentor, the legendary Dr. Yvonne Chandler of @UNTCOI. So many years and so many hilarious memories. I owe her so much of my librarian success.

— A.V. Justice (@chicalibrarian) August 9, 2020

Dr. C was the reason I went to UNT. (She literally drug me away from another school’s info booth to tell me about @UNTsocial!)

She was by far the biggest cheerleader for @UNTCOI students and alumni. Dr. C will definitely be missed.

— Stephanie Freedle (@Steph_Freedle) August 9, 2020

My ex was a TA for the other force of nature in the program: Dr. Ana Cleveland. Having 5600 with the both Chandler and Cleveland, in person in Denton was such a treat!!!

— Jeff the Librarian (@jcoyle_libman) August 10, 2020


Dr. Chandler’s many professional organizations include: Southwestern Association of Law Libraries, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Texas Association of Law Libraries, and the American Library Association. She is the 2020 recipient of the Marion Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award from AALL. 

Many of those organizations also put out a statement about her passing including Texas Library Association, an organization Chandler joined in 1998.

TLA Response:

It is with great sadness that we share that Dr. Yvonne Chandler, former president of TLA (2013-2014) and Associate Professor at the Department of Information Science at UNT, has passed away. Our condolences go to her family; she will be greatly missed. @UNTInfoScience

— Texas Library Assn. (@TXLA) August 10, 2020

“Dr. Chandler’s commitment to impact the quality of library education and have diversity in the workforce of the library profession was evident in all her professional activities. This was demonstrated with her IMLS grants. Her presence was felt beyond UNT, as she gave us visibility at state, national, and international professional associations,” says Dr. Ana Cleveland, Information Science faculty member.

At the College of Information, we will remember her great contributions to the Department of Information Science, to UNT, and to the library profession. We offer our condolences to the Chandler family.