Former ALA President Assumes Mortenson Directorship
Barbara J. Ford, American Library Association (ALA) president from 1997 to 1998, has been appointed distinguished professor and director of the prestigious C. Walter and Gerda B. Mortenson Center for International Library Programs. She assumed her new position in January 2003.
Previously assistant commissioner for central library services at the Chicago Public Library, Ford is the second director of the Mortenson Center since its establishment in 1989. She succeeds the first director, Marianna Tax Choldin, who retired in December 2002 after 32 years with the University Library faculty.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to combine my lifelong interests in libraries and international issues in this important position,” says Ford. “Libraries are key to an informed citizenry, and the continued strengthening of international ties among libraries and librarians worldwide is essential. International partnerships such as those developed by the Mortenson Center assist in developing training for librarians and stronger libraries around the world.”
A 1973 graduate of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Ford also is a veteran of the Peace Corps Volunteer program with service in Guarare, Panama, and Managua, Nicaragua. She completed her undergraduate work at Illinois Wesleyan University and is an alumna of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Her academic career includes service as director of libraries at Virginia Commonwealth University, associate director of libraries at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and government documents library head at the University of Illinois at Chicago.