Friday, June 12, 2015

Mr Felix Ubogu Passed On: A Great Loss to the LIS Community

The news of the death of the University Librarian of University of Witwatersrand, South Africa came as a rude shock to all of us. He died on Thursday 4, June, 2015 after a brief illmess. He was a seasoned Univesity Librarian, a loving husband, Father and a Professional to the core. He will be greatly missed by all of us in Africa. Mr Ubogu was the Chairman of the Nigerian Library Association (Oyo State Chapter) before relocating to South Africa over two decades ago. A memorial service at took place at Wits on 9th June, 2015, while 11th June 2015 was for Commendation Service in Joburg. Funeral rites is slated for 20th June, 2015. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

Please find below the message from Wits' Vice Chancellor. Source: Simon Tanner

MESSAGE FROM THE WITS VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL

Dear Colleagues

It is with great sadness that the University learnt of the passing of Mr Felix Ubogu, the University’s Librarian yesterday. Mr Ubogu passed away after a prolonged illness and will be sorely missed by his colleagues at Wits with whom he has built close relationships in the last 15 years.

Mr Ubogu joined Wits in 2000 from Rhodes University, where he served as its chief librarian.

He will be remembered for spearheading the digitisation of university libraries and for initiating the move towards digitising theses, with the aim of spreading African scholarship across the globe. In recognition of him using the e-environment to advance scholarship, Mr Ubogu was named the recipient of the Electronic Theses and Dissertation (ETD) Leadership Award in 2011.

Mr Ubogu advocated the benefits of ETD which ultimately led to the formation of the National Electronic Theses and Dissertations project funded by the National Research Foundation. He chaired the Advisory Committee of the Database of African Theses and Dissertations Pilot Project from July 2000 to February 2005. From 2003 to 2004 he served as the Project Manager of a UNESCO pilot project to improve the management of and access to theses and dissertations.

He has hosted several international conferences and seminars on ETD and related topics. In 2009 he was one of the organisers of the First International Conference on African Digital Libraries and Archives. He has served on the Board of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, the Editorial Board of the African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science, and has also been a member of the Board of the South African Library for the Blind.

Mr Ubogu was also known for campaigning for the use of multimedia in dissertations and for expanding the University’s electronic databases, research analysis tools and software acquisitions.

Felix is survived by his wife and three children. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his family, colleagues and friends, during this difficult period. The University will announce further details about his funeral and memorial service after consultation with his family.

Prof. Adam Habib
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
5 June 2015



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