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Remembering Linda Shackle, ‘the soul of Noble Library’

When the Daniel E. Noble Science and Engineering Library officially opened its doors on August 22, 1983, it became a kind of second home for Linda Shackle, who worked as a Science and Engineering Librarian for 35 years at Arizona State University.

Shackle was known for her enthusiasm, curiosity, thoroughness, insight and her desire to teach and be of service to others.

“Linda's passion and enthusiasm for science librarianship were contagious,” wrote Katherine O’Clair, an Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Librarian at California Polytechnic State University, who worked with Shackle during her career at ASU.

Shackle died on November 18, 2017, after a long illness with pancreatic cancer. She was 65.

Considered by some as “the soul of Noble Library,” Shackle took great joy in learning, serving students and faculty, and helping her colleagues, many of whom knew her as a valued mentor and colleague, always willing to offer advice and answer questions.

“I remember Linda’s warm laugh, long insightful emails, deep knowledge, generosity and kindness,” wrote ASU Librarian René Tanner. “She offered her expertise when any of us needed it. She reviewed CVs, cover letters, and shared her annual reviews and other professional materials with anyone who asked. She would spend as much time with you as you needed and mentored many of us through the continuing appointment process. She sincerely wanted us to be successful.”

Shackle's devotion to academic librarianship was evident throughout her career, particularly when a need emerged at ASU for an Engineering Librarian and Shackle took it upon herself to learn the field and curriculum so as to fill in the gaps in supporting a growing number of students majoring in the field.

She went on to become one of the first Engineering Librarians at ASU and arguably one of the most successful.

“She was an inspiring ambassador for ASU, academic librarianship, continuous learning across any and all disciplines,” wrote retired ASU Librarian Sheila Hofstetter. “Her interests and knowledge base were profound. She was delighted to learn something new and loved the ‘hunt.’”

In addition to her vast knowledge, Shackle will be remembered for her kindness and generosity, which was displayed daily through her interactions with students, faculty and fellow colleagues.

“She was generous and kind. She was brilliant,” wrote ASU Learning Services Manager Christina Peck. “She was devoted to the students and loved her job getting to help them every day and took that responsibility seriously."

For many who knew her well, she was synonymous with Noble Library and its strong sense of collegiality among librarians who worked there.

"She was infinitely patient when explaining anything, as well as infinitely charitable with her time," said retired ASU Librarian Julie Tharp. "The most valuable thing she taught me, just through example, was her unflusterability. She didn't panic or overreact, but took things in stride and figured out how to make them work."

Shackle is survived by her husband, Ron, of 35 years.