University of Pittsburgh
April 8, 2002

American Library Association Bestows Highest Honor On Pitt Professor

Contact:  412-624-4147

April 5, 2002

PITTSBURGH—E.J. Josey, emeritus professor of library and information science in the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS), recently was named an honorary member of the American Library Association (ALA). Josey was the first male African American president of the ALA and was instrumental in integrating library associations in the 1960s.

According to the ALA, honorary membership may be conferred on a living citizen of any country whose contribution to librarianship or a closely related field is so outstanding that it is of lasting importance to the advancement of the whole field of library service. By earning this honor, Josey joins such notable individuals as Jimmy Carter, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Barbara Bush, and Andrew Carnegie.

Josey joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1986 and taught the initial Libraries and Librarianship in Society course for the Department of Library and Information Science. He retired from the University in 1995.

Josey earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Howard University, the Master of Arts degree in history from Columbia University, and the Master of Science degree in library science from the State University of New York at Albany. He also has had four honorary degrees conferred upon him, as well as numerous professional, academic, and community honors. He was president of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1984-85, was a member of its council for 30 years, and received its most coveted honor, the Joseph W. Lippincott Award.

A prolific speaker and writer, Josey has authored more than 400 articles and has written or edited 12 books on library and information science.

Upon Josey's retirement from Pitt, The E.J. Josey Endowment Scholarship for Minorities was created in his honor; it is awarded annually to an enrolled African American graduate student in the Department of Library and Information Science who demonstrates potential for academic excellence and leadership. The ALA's Black Caucus established its first independent scholarship, the E.J. Josey Scholarship Award, in his honor; it is given annually to an African American from the United States or Canada pursuing a degree in an ALA-accredited library and information science program.

Pitt's School of Information Sciences celebrated its centennial in 2001. Originally part of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the school moved to the University of Pittsburgh in 1962. The SIS faculty, staff, students, and programs—interdisciplinary, multicultural, and international by design—are dedicated to the building of a global society and an informed citizenship based upon the foundation of knowledge made possible only through access to reliable and useful information. As a result of Josey and the School's Affirmative Action Committee, SIS received the Chancellor's Affirmative Action Award in 2001 honoring the "outstanding University of Pittsburgh program area or individual that has made a significant contribution in affirmative action."