Eliza Dresang, a well-loved professor in the University of Washington Information School, died on Monday, April 21. She is remembered as a respected friend, colleague, teacher and community member. She was 72.
There will be a campus memorial for Dresang from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 14, in the Husky Union Building Lyceum (room 160).
“Our hearts ache with the loss of our dear friend and colleague,” said Harry Bruce, dean of the Information School. “Eliza had a calling to serve young people. She knew she could make the world a better place for children. She was an outstanding researcher and a master teacher.
“She led us and inspired us with her intelligence, creativity, grace, charm and deep commitment. We loved her. Our grief is overwhelming.”
Dresang, who came to the UW from Florida State University in 2008, held the endowed Beverly Cleary Professorship in Children and Youth Services, and was a champion of children’s literature and digital resources.
She was well known for her 1999 book, “Radical Change: Books for Youth in a Digital Age,” which helped librarians and teachers better understand and evaluate literature written for computer-savvy children. Her latest research, Valuable Lessons in Early Learning that Work Successfully, centered on measuring early literacy in children from birth to kindergarten age.
She earned her doctorate in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1981. Friends and family there will remember Dresang in gatherings May 9 and 10.
Dresang chaired the prestigious Newbery Award, Pura Belpré Award, Batchelder Award and other notable children’s books committees. She also served on committees for the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, the Caldecott Award, Great Websites for Children, and several audiobook committees.
Dresang’s family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Eliza Dresang Endowed Fellowship in Children & Youth Services which seeks to honor and continue her work. Donations to the fund can be made online or sent to the UW Information School, Mary Gates Hall, Suite 370, Box 352840, Seattle, WA 98195-2840.
More information is available on a website created by the iSchool to remember Dresang. The school also invites friends to post memories of her on that site.
- Find the Seattle Times obituary for Dresang online here.