Warren James Haas passed away Sept. 9 at the Sussman House in Rockport.
He was born March 22, 1924 to Sam Henry Haas and Lorna Jacobson in Racine, Wis. He attended Racine schools and entered Wabash College (Crawfordsville, Ind.) in 1942 and served three years in the U.S. Army Air Corps before returning to Wabash after WWII in 1946. His last tour of duty with the Cold Weather Test Unit of the Air Corps in Fairbanks, Alaska where he met his wife Peggy Tinker, who was a student at the University of Alaska.
He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wabash in 1948. He did graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin in British history and received a B.L.S. degree from the School of Library Science. He began his library career as head of extension services at the Racine Public Library.
In 1952 he became acquisitions librarian at Johns Hopkins University. In 1959 he became library consultant to the Council of Higher Educational Institutions in New York City and then associate librarian at Columbia University. He became director of libraries at the University of Pennsylvania in 1966 and returned to Columbia University in 1970 as University Librarian and in 1972 was named Vice President of Information Services and University Librarian. In 1978 he became president of the Council on Library Resources (CLR), an operating foundation dedicated to international library issues. When he retired from CLR he was honored by a Festschrift entitled: “Influencing change in research librarianship.”
During the years he was consultant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and planning consultant with the Hillier Group of Architects designing the Czech National Library in Prague and the library addition to the Princeton Theological Seminary and consultant to the Harvard Divinity School library and also to the American Film Foundation and the Kanazawa Institute of Technology in Japan and participated in library bidding competitions for several architectural firms.
He retired to Damariscotta where he was uniquely suited to become president of the local Skidompha Library board during the planning and construction of a new building.
He was particularly proud to be a founding trustee (continuing) of the Library of America, a nonprofit publishing venture dedicated to “Keeping the collected works of American’s foremost authors in print in uniform hardcover editions.”
An ardent bird watcher and enthusiastic fisherman, he served as president and board member of the Damariscotta River Association. He was a good “Mr. Fixit” and enjoyed the relaxation of woodworking projects and even some yard work if it included beautification of his beloved Maine home. He loved listening to classical music, was noted for his sense of humor and was, of course, a reader.
A recipient of many awards Haas received the Henry Elias Howland prize from Yale University, the Melvin E. Dewey award from the American Library Association, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Medal, and the UCLA medal. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has honorary degrees from: Wabash College and Indiana University.
He was predeceased by sons, Warren James Haas Jr., and William Henry Haas.
He leaves his wife of 69 years, Peggy; daughter, Anne Bruington Haas (Rick Wakeland); daughters-in-law, Regina Paul and Christine Carr; grandchildren, Colin Alexander Shankland (Elizabeth), Benjamin Harris Shankland (Alejandra), Warren James Haas III, Charles Robert Haas, Pauline Anne Haas, Lewis Campbell Haas, Jane Tinker Haas, and Sydney Marie Haas; great-grandchildren, John, Aiden, and Clio.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Skidompha Library or the Damariscotta River Association.
Condolences, and messages for the family, may be expressed by visiting www.StrongHancock.com.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta.