Cherry was an early enthusiast and adopter of online information systems. When she was awarded the Claude McCarthy Fellowship in 1991 she used it to visit overseas libraries, information services and consortia and attend information technology conferences to explore practices in CD-ROM and online information management and delivery.
Cherry demonstrated a huge commitment to attending and participating in professional conferences, seminars and workshops, where she could always be relied upon to ask intelligent and probing questions. At these events she was a tireless advocate for the needs of libraries and was greatly respected for the depth of her research and understanding. She developed professional relationships with a huge range of people and was always ready to use these to further the cause of libraries. At events it was always amazing to see the range of people she knew and to witness the respect they had for her.
Cherry was an enthusiastic and committed supporter of LIANZA and had a long and active involvement in its activities, including membership of regional and special interest committees in Wellington, Waikato, Auckland, Central North Island. She was active in the Research-SIG and SLISS. In addition, she belonged to many professional allied organisations, presented at conferences and authored a substantial body of publications. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to libraries and LIANZA, Cherry was presented with a LIANZA Associateship in 2007.
Cherry was probably best known for her expertise on copyright and her advocacy about copyright and the TPPA. She was a member of LIANZA’s Taskforce on Copyright and served on the LIANZA Standing Committee on Copyright from 2013 to 2017. In this role, Cherry made important contributions to the Standing Committee’s educational, advocacy and advisory work. Cherry also participated in the wider copyright community and was an executive committee member of the Asia-Pacific Copyright Association (APCA). Cherry regularly attended copyright symposia and was known in the academic community as an enthusiastic contributor to copyright discussions.
While Cherry was known to many of you as a vocal champion of copyright reform, what you may not have realised was why this issue was so important to her. Jennifer Campion, law lecturer at Te Piringa-Faculty of Law and former Chair of the LIANZA Standing Committee on Copyright, recalls: “Cherry once told me that she was so passionate about copyright because she understood the way copyright could be used to restrict people accessing information. Cherry said that she had grown up in a small town and libraries were the places that really opened her horizons and made it possible for her to get an education. She wanted all New Zealanders to have that opportunity, and fought against a future where education would only be available to those who could afford it.”
Jennifer adds: “Cherry impressed me not just with her passion, but also her compassion. Cherry was an incredibly helpful person, who would go the extra mile to help others. There was no copyright query she would not try to assist with, and she contributed greatly to the Standing Committee’s work over a number of years.”
Cherry lived with cancer from 2010. One of her sisters said that “being a librarian was what helped her”. The research Cherry did for medical students led her to attend oncology conferences and research the very rare form of cancer she had. She got to know many of the oncologists and followed their advice. One of her sisters also said that "she did not know how to stop” and this was certainly the experience of those of us who were privileged to work with her during her last years.
As Jan Rivers wrote, “her passion seemed to be driven all the more by knowing her time was limited”. Cherry could be extremely difficult to keep up with because she was so very driven, and her capacity to research an issue was impressive. She was always ready to share the results of her research and provide citations and links so that you could delve into an issue for yourself; she was hugely generous in sharing her expertise, time and support.
As Mandy Henk wrote, “the New Zealand library community was made better through her engagement and her voice”. She will be greatly missed.