Irma Rayne Tomberlin was a most revered teacher, colleague, and friend to all who knew her, an exemplary Professor of Library Science from 1962-1985, and a long-time sponsor and national representative of Lambda Chapter of Beta Phi Mu Honor Society. On the occasion of her retirement in 1985, the Irma Rayne Tomberlin Scholarship Award was established to recognize a student who is enrolled in the School of Library and Information Studies of the University of Oklahoma and who holds a distinguished rank in his class in the School.
The high standard of scholarship that Dr. Tomberlin attained and her unique and invaluable contribution to the field of cataloging and classification set her apart from others. She always had time for sharing her knowledge with the rest of the library world. She received the OLA Distinguished Service Award in 1976 and the David Ross Boyd Distinguished Professorship in 1978. She was President of OLA in 1958 and served on the ALA Council from 1972-76. She is remembered for her judgment and conscientiousness, and the diligence with which she fulfilled her assignments. She was noted for the breadth and depth of her knowledge in descriptive cataloging, subject analysis, government publications, and special libraries administration. Hundreds of former students and the Oklahoma library community paid tribute to her at a colloquium in April, 1985. She was named David Ross Boy Professor Emeritus that same year as she retired.
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