Michael D. Crandall named Distinguished Alumnus for 2013

The 2013 recipient of the University of Washington Information School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award is Michael D. Crandall, a 1986 graduate of the MLIS program. Crandall is a Senior Lecturer in the iSchool, and has chaired the Masters of Science in Information Management program for the better part of a decade.

In choosing Crandall, the selection committee considered his many decades of information-access work in both the private sector and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and well as his later academic work bridging the iSchool’s MLIS, MSIM and Informatics programs.

Crandall began his career at Boeing, where his work in information architecture and online library services helped improve information access company-wide; later, at Microsoft, he was deeply involved with advancing search technology and knowledge organization for MSWeb.

From there, Crandall went on to become technology manager for the U.S. Library program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As such, he oversaw the placement of computers in public libraries across the United States, helping improve public access to computing nationwide. This experience would serve Crandall years later when, as a faculty member at the iSchool, he led a project measuring the impact of public access computing; the largest such study of its kind to date, the results have since enabled libraries across the country to successfully advocate for funding even in the face of constrained budgets. 

Public access to computing has remained a focus for Crandall since joining the iSchool faculty, along with ICT in developing countries, metadata and knowledge organization, social dimensions of knowledge transfer and large-scale information systems. He has served on the Dublin Core Metadata Board of Trustees since its inception in 2001, and is active in the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T). Crandall is also director of the iAffiliates program, which brings together iSchool faculty and area business and library leaders to jointly consider information-related challenges and solutions.

The Information School’s Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award is given each year to an individual whose work benefits the school, its students, and society as a whole. 2013 honoree Michael D. Crandall is a worthy addition to this select group.