On behalf of the NASIG organization, the Executive Board wishes to express our great sorrow for the loss of John Riddick. Without John’s leadership, vision and driving force, NASIG would not be entering its 32nd year. As our founder, John is held in high regard and is owed a great debt of gratitude.
As NASIG’s primary marketing strategist in 1984/85, John tirelessly promoted the concept of a North American group for all participants in the serials information chain. John believed in what he called the “technique of personal marketing” – hundreds of hand-typed letters traveled throughout North America and designated ambassadors spread the word through visits and phone calls. His plan was a great success and the first conference had over 250 attendees and soon after the organization was off and running.
Self-effacing, never taking credit himself, John always talked about the collaborative efforts of all those involved. In his speech at the 10th conference (1996), John said, “And thus there was no heroic figure … NASIG was conceived and brought forth through the efforts and dedication of many individuals.” John capably motivated the right people and ensured that all sectors of the information chain were represented – libraries, vendors, publishers, and other service entities.
Most of all, he thrived in being a mentor and in seeing NASIG become a leading serials organization. Once he saw that others were able to take over, John stepped back and did not seek recognition. He had other projects to focus on – his research in British India.
In honor of John’s valuable contribution, the Executive Board in 2010 named the student scholarships the “John Riddick Student Grant Award”. The award entitles library school students to attend the NASIG conference with transportation and registration covered by NASIG. John originated the idea and the first scholarships were given in 1988.
To continue to celebrate John’s life, the NASIG Executive Board made a donation to CMU Library. We are so fortunate that John envisioned and then ensured that NASIG continues into the future.