In Memoriam: Linda Howard Watkins, 1943-2022

Linda Watkins, who served as the librarian for the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University in Boston for 33 years died on April 29. She was 78 years old.

Watkins was a native of Cambridge and grew up in Hingham, Massachusetts. After graduating from college in 1965, Watkins worked as an au pair in Nice, France. She became fluent in both French and Italian. She moved back to Boston in 1970 and earned a master’s degree in education from Boston University. She then served as a library media specialist at North Quincy High School.

Watkins earned a master of library and information science degree from what is now Simmons University. Upon graduation, Watkins received the Kenneth R. Shaffer Outstanding Student Award and was inducted into the Beta Phi Mu international honorary society for librarianship upon graduation. She was hired as a full-time librarian at the School of Library and Information Science. She served on the staff there until her retirement in 2014.

Michele Cloonan, professor and dean emerita at the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University, said that Watkins “was deeply committed to SLIS students. She made herself available to anyone who needed her. She was also a hard worker: I saw her at Simmons in the evenings as well as on weekends. She was deeply devoted to SLIS — and to the profession. She was the most talented librarian I ever knew.”

In 2014, Watkins was inducted into the Massachusetts Library Association Hall of Fame and received the Simmons Alumni Achievement Award.

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