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ALA Melvil Dewey Medal recipient named

PRESS RELEASE: for immediate release
August 1997

by IFLA Headquarters

Robert Wedgeworth, university librarian and professor of library administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the 1997 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Melvil Dewey Award.

The award, a citation and medal donated by OCLC/Forest Press,Inc., is given to an individual or group for recent creative professionalachievement in library management, training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.

Wedgeworth was dean of the School of Library Service at Columbia University in New York from 1985-1992. He was executive director of ALA from 1985-1992. He serves as a trustee for the Newberry Library in Chicago and chairs ALA's Advisory Committee for the Office of Information Technology.

"Robert Wedgeworth seemed a natural choice for this award because of the parallels in his career and that of Melvil Dewey, with Wedgeworth leading ALA as executive director, serving as dean of the School of Library Service at Columbia, directing a university library, and working toward the improvement of library services through adoption of the information technology of the day," said Janet Swan Hill, chair of the Dewey Award Jury.

Additionally, if the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) had existed when Dewey was alive, I think it's likely that he, like Wedgeworth, would have served as its president."

Wedgeworth is the author of "The Starvation of Young Black Minds: The Effects of the Book Boycotts in South Africa," (1989) and "Issues Affecting the Development of Digital Libraries in Science and Technology" (1996).

He is the recipient of the International Council of Archives Medal of Honor, the Most Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Illinois and the 1989 ALA Joseph Lippincott Award.

He received a bachelor's degree from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., and a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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