Retired journalism library head Frances Wilhoit dies
She was the wife of Indiana University emeritus journalism professor Cleve Wilhoit.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and her Master of Science degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Wilhoit became IU journalism librarian and assistant professor in 1975. During her career, she oversaw and directed a major expansion of the School of Journalism library.
“She turned a small reference library and reading room attached to the (Indiana Daily Student) into a resource for students, teachers and scholars that became a model for journalism schools around the country,” said Trevor Brown, professor and dean emeritus of the School of Journalism.
She was curator of IU Libraries’ Ernie Pyle memorabilia collection and worked as personnel officer and development officer for the libraries.
Wilhoit served as editor of Journalism Abstracts, a compilation of abstracts for graduate dissertations and theses, during the 1980s. She wrote Mass Media Bibliography: An Annotated Guide to Books and Journals for Research and Reference with Eleanor Blum of the University of Illinois in 1990.
In 1989, the American Library Association awarded her and IU library colleague Sally Rausch the John Cotton Dana Award for their Indiana Newspaper Project, which preserved and archived Indiana newspapers.
She won the Eleanor Blum Distinguished Service to Research Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 1996. In 1997, she received the William Evans Jenkins Award, IU Libraries’ highest award for library faculty.
“She gave her expertise and leadership at the university level. She was a scholar of distinction, winning national awards for her research as well as her librarianship,” Brown said. “In 25 years of service, France Wilhoit exemplified the distinction that IU’s School of Journalism aspired to and did so with grace, good humor and a generous spirit.”