Sunday, July 3, 2011

Founder of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and Pioneer Black Librarian: Dr. E. J. Josey (1924-2009)

    Two years ago today, the library world lost an awesome pioneer and leader -- Dr. E. J. Josey (1924-2009). Josey, founder and first president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (he founded the organization in 1970), was a graduate of the State University of New York Library School in Albany. He was also a graduate of I.C. Norcum High School in Portsmouth, Virginia. Dr. Josey held various positions at the New York State Library, the New York Public Library, Columbia University, Delaware State College, and Savannah State University. Dr. Josey was also a professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s library school. In addition, he was the second African American president of the American Library Association and the first African American member of the Georgia Library Association. During his lifetime, Dr. Josey was very active in the library field, serving on various committees and in several organizations. Dr. Josey also published several books including, The Black Librarian in America, What Black Librarians Are Saying, The Black Librarian in America Revisited, and the first and second editions of The Handbook of Black Librarianship. Dr. Josey passed away on July 3, 2009.     

Update 04/26/2012:

  The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) recently published The 21st Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges in honor of Dr. Josey and his legacy.  This book is a compilation of essays on the challenges and changes faced by African American librarians in the 21st century. It's published by Scarecrow Press and is available from various booksellers including Amazon.

Sources: “Library Pioneer Dr. E.J. Josey Saluted During American Library Assn. Annual Confab.” Jet 88.10 (1995): 33. Print. ; “People.” Jet 56.2 (1979): 18. Print. ; “Librarians Group Elects E.J. Josey to Top Post.” Jet 64.24 (1983): 23. Print. ; “People.” Jet 45.11 (1973): 47. Print. ; “Racial Tension Seething in Library of Congress.” Jet 42.16 (1972): 46-47. Print. ; “Librarian Honored.” Jet 68.9 (1985): 22. Print. ; “Atlanta University Center Exhibition Hall Named for Dr. Virginia Lacy Jones.” Jet 68.16 (1985): 19. Print. ; “People.” Jet 58.22 (1980): 21. Print. ; “A Man Who Goes by the Books.” Ebony 40.9 (1985): 126, 128, 130. Print. ; Kniffel, Leonard. “To Be Black and A Librarian: Talking with E.J. Josey.” American Libraries 31.1 (2000): 80-82. Print. ; “Wilkins Scholarship Aid Goes to Seven Students.” Crisis 81.4 (1974): 138. Print. ; Josey, E.J. “A Dreamer with A Tiny Spark.” The Black Librarian in America. Ed. E.J. Josey. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1970. 297-324. Print. ; BCALA Newsletter 38.4 (2009). [Entire issue was devoted to Dr. Josey]. Print. ; Biblo, Lisa. “Black Caucus of the American Library Association: An Organization of Empowerment.” The Black Librarian in America Revisited. Ed. E.J. Josey.  Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1994. 324-337. Print.; Campbell, Lucy B. “Black Librarians in Virginia.” The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities, Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library Science, 1980. 130-132. Print. ; Berry, John and Norman Oder. “E.J. Josey, Legendary Activist, Librarian, and Leader, Dies at 85.” Library, 6 Jul. 2009. Web. Feb. 26, 2011. ; Josey, E.J. and Ismael Abdullahi. E.J. Josey: An Activist Librarian. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1992. Print. ; Jefferson, Julius C. “The Black Male Librarian: An Endangered Species.” The National Diversity in Libraries Conference. Louisville Marriott Downtown, Louisville, KY. 3 Oct. 2008. Pdf. ; Bobinski, George S. Libraries and Librarianship: Sixty Years of Challenge and Change, 1945-2005. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2007. 100. Print.               

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