In Memoriam

Portrait of Amy J. Vilz.

Amy J. Vilz

A life of service, innovation and impact

Amy J. Vilz was one of 11 librarians selected this year to receive the New York State Outstanding Librarian Award recognizing service to their communities. It was a bittersweet recognition, coming a month after her death at 47 from cancer on March 4.

Vilz accomplished a great deal in her 47 years.

A native of Buffalo, she received a BA in history in 1995, and a MLS in 2006, both from UB. Before joining the University Libraries as UB’s archivist in 2013, she held archival positions at Rochester Institute of Technology, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, D’Youville College and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library Rare Book Room.

Vilz worked tirelessly to make the UB Libraries a more effective service organization, and demonstrated leadership, guidance and innovative efforts that will have a lasting impact on the university, particularly her work to digitize UB’s vast audiovisual holdings.
Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, vice provost for UB Libraries, noted:  “Amy’s commitment to the profession and her collaborative, creative spirit brought a thoughtful and forward-thinking perspective to her leadership of the University Archives.”

Vilz served as co-editor-in-chief of the open access journal she co-founded, The Reading Room. She was a member of the Western New York/Ontario Association of College and Research Libraries.

 She was determined to live life to the fullest. After receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, she traveled to Europe, bought a house, planted a perennial garden, toured Buffalo as if she were a tourist and wrote her own obituary.