Recalling his start in information science studies, 2012 ASIS&T Research Award winner Kalervo Järvelin explained that reading seminal books in the field influenced his academic and research path. A call to devise a curriculum for classification, indexing and information retrieval drew him away from computer science and firmed his career focus. Driven by the idea that information should be fully accessible for all, regardless of format, language or location, Jarvelin pursued studies on the contribution of natural language processing, ontology-driven query expansion and feedback, cross-language information retrieval and metrics for retrieval evaluation. He spoke of challenges for information retrieval, including morphologic complexity of his native language and others, vocabulary mismatch between query and text, and optimal methods for assessing relevance of search returns. Järvelin's current research is on information retrieval in specific task settings and simulating human information behavior for more efficient analysis. An extensive list of publications and awards provides evidence of Järvelin's significant contributions to information science.