The Population Council expresses its sorrow at the passing of Neil Zimmerman, who retired in 2017 following more than four decades of service as Council Librarian. Neil passed away on 27 February 2023.
Neil joined the Population Council in 1974 as our first professional librarian, coordinating acquisitions and information requests for our researchers around the world. In 1985, he cataloged and expanded access to major periodical and social science indexes, including the “Women and Development” collection, which offered many items that were unpublished and unavailable elsewhere.
Spurred in part by changes in the scholarly and publishing environments, Neil created an online catalog in the late 1990s to integrate the library’s records with WorldCat, the world’s database of library collections. This allowed the Council to connect with resources in libraries globally through interlibrary loan. Neil also led an initiative to digitize legacy publications, including the Council’s annual report collection.
Neil was a founding officer of APLIC, the Association of Population/Family Planning Libraries and Information Centers. He developed and implemented a program to provide academic books to libraries in low- and middle-income countries.
The Population Council extends our deepest condolences to Neil’s family and will remember him for his unwavering commitment to providing superior library collections and services for our researchers.