Magazine article Information Today

Remembering Barbara Quint

Magazine article Information Today

Remembering Barbara Quint

Article excerpt

"Even if we start in the right direction, trip and fall, pick ourselves up, start off again, wander off course, fall asleep, and get arrested for vagrancy, at least we'll have tried to seek a better path, to break out of the one-footafter-another rut, to take a new lead. As another wiseacre once said, 'Life is like the Iditarod race. If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes.'"

-Barbara Quint, The Quintessential Searcher

Beth Dempsey, communications and creative services senior manager, ProQuest:

I will remember bq with a smile- she was so kind to me and always made me laugh ... always made me think. Whenever she called, I sat back in my chair, put my feet on my desk, and prepared for a long and interesting conversation. We would start with business and end up, well, any number of places . like which actor was the superior Scrooge (George C. Scott vs. Alastair Sim). Our discussions were lively and warm, but she was challenging. I never let execs meet with her without prep work, helping them buckle in for what would be a very fast, and possibly dangerous, ride. My advice to them: be prepared for tough questions; be honest (you can't fool her); enjoy the debate and have some fun; listen to her and you'll learn something.

She was one of a kind and I'll miss her.

Jane Dysart, senior partner, Dysart & Jones Associates:

Barbara Quint was definitely one of the brightest people in the information industry. Her view was amazing and her reach even more astounding. She would laser focus on a change from a database company and go to the top to find answers and understanding she could share with readers of ONLINE magazine and her column. Heads of the organizations of the information industry not only respected Barbara and her knowledge, but also listened to her thoughts and ideas. And, she was a fantastic ideas person. She and I had many a conversation about her ideas for our industry, for conferences, for articles. Our information community feels the loss of her enthusiastic insights, depth of knowledge, and friendly personality.

Clare Hart, CEO, Sterling Talent Solutions:

We lost a legend on Oct. 4: Barbara Quint, a true pioneer in the information (and data) industry. One of my earliest memories of Barbara is the annual Information Industry Association (IIA) Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., in 1991. At the last minute, I was asked to present the Dow Jones new product-DowVision-story because a colleague could not attend. I was terrified that Barbara Quint would ask me a horrible question that I couldn't answer. Luckily, she didn't. Over the years there were many interviews and conversations with Barbara, and what was most impressive about her was how completely plugged-in she was to what was happening in the information industry. Yes, she asked tough questions-and this became a sport for her, but her true motivation was her readers. Barbara believed she had an obligation to her readers, and her insights, deep analysis, and truths are what drove her loyal following. Of course, her great laugh and strong personality helped too!

Dick Kaser, VP of content, Information Today, Inc.:

Back in the '80s I was working in PR for a database producer. One day my boss walked into my office, threw an issue of her magazine on my desk and said, "Make her quit saying these terrible things about us." How naive-for there was no silencing that voice, until now. A decade later, as the fates would turn, she would come to "report" to me. And that was the first story I told her. How ironic. With a mind as sharp as steel and a tongue that could bite, she was both erudite and witty. During many a long phone call she kept me giggling with her high capacity to turn a phrase. Every politician, every CEO, every industry is enriched by its critics. And our industry is impoverished by her loss.

Amelia Kassel, industry journalist (thanks to bq's energetic encouragement and support):

My heart is breaking. …

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