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Law Librarianship Program - University of Washington

Betty Virginia LeBus, 80
(1923 – 2003)

Betty Virginia LeBus, Bloomington, IN died Sunday at the Meadowood Health Pavilion.

Born in Bremerton, Washington, she attended the University of Washington where she received a B.S. in 1947, an LL.B. in 1948, and a B.A. in Library Science in 1949. She was one of the first graduates of the prestigious Law Librarianship Program at the University of Washington.

Following her graduation Miss LeBus was admitted to the bar in the State of Washington in 1948, and served as assistant librarian at the University of Washington in 1948-50.

In 1950, she accepted the position of Instructor of Law and Law Librarian at Indiana University, the only woman then on the law faculty. In addition to being the administrator of the Law Library, she taught Legal Bibliography to all law students. She was instrumental in the planning of the Law Building completed in 1956 serving as the Law School’s project manager throughout the planning and construction of the facility.

In 1957 Miss LeBus was granted tenure, and in 1977, she was promoted to full Professor of Law. She was the first woman in the Law School to receive tenure and to hold professorial rank.

Miss LeBus was active in numerous law and library organizations, national, regional and local. She was active in the American Association of Law Libraries for over thirty years serving on numerous committees and on the Executive Board from 1969 to 1972. She served for many years as a Law School Site Evaluator for the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. In 1995 she was made an honorary life member of the Washington Bar Association.

A long-time leader of the Indiana Library Association, she was elected president in 1961, and was the chairperson of the Library Planning Committee and the Constitution and By-Laws Committee. She represented the ILA serving as Indiana’s Conference Chairman in co-ordinated activities with the Kentucky Library Association. In 1964, the Indiana Library Trustee Association named her the Librarian of the Year.

During her time as Law Librarian, the IU Law Library collection grew from 57,000 volumes to 194,000 volumes and the staff grew from two to nine full-time and over 30 student assistants. In 1977 the Law Library was one of the first in the country to introduce the faculty and students to computerized legal research.

After 28 years, she resigned her position at Indiana University and returned to Seattle to be with her elderly mother. She completed her career as Law Librarian at the University of Miami School of Law. Upon her retirement in 1984, she returned to Bloomington to reside in the Meadowood Retirement Community.

Miss LeBus was a pioneer in law librarianship and served the university and many organizations in countless ways. The essence of her service, however, is reflected not just in the formal achievements which appear in the records and statistics of an organization, but in the impact she had on the hundreds of former students and colleagues who continue to remember her with affection and esteem.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles B. LeBus and Anna (Nielsen) LeBus, and her sister Martha LeBus. She is survived by her niece Marsha Brown Schultz of Seattle Washington.

At her request there will be no service.

Please contact us any time with comments or questions at UW Law Librarianship Program

University of Washington Law Library
William H. Gates Hall
Box 353025
Seattle, WA 98195-3025
Telephone 206-543-4089
Fax 206-685-2165
    This page updated November 06, 2014
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