CHICAGO — Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman is the winner of the 2014 Joseph W Lippincott Award, which honors distinguished service to the profession of librarianship. This annual award is sponsored by Joseph W. Lippincott III and presented by the American Library Association.
“The jury for the 2014 Joseph W. Lippincott Award is delighted to honor Dr. Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman,” said Lippincott Chair Patricia Glass Schuman. "Mitch is an outspoken and visionary leader and a tireless advocate for better salaries and pay equity for all library workers, and for the humanistic application of technology in libraries. His contributions have had profound and lasting impact on who we are, what we do, our values, and what our work is worth. He has literally changed the way librarians talk about our libraries and our profession.”
Among the many achievements cited by those who wrote in support of the nomination is his visionary leadership. Freedman’s tireless advocacy for socially responsible cataloging and library technologies and processes has had a profound impact on our profession, nationally and internationally. He has been chosen as consultant and speaker for the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Information Service and other auspices in close to 30 countries on five continents. For example, he led a team to design a resource sharing and online information network for the eight largest research libraries in Latvia. In addition the report he wrote for the Pusan (Korea) National University Library is considered “legendary” at the university’s library school and is required reading for the school’s library management course.
Freedman’s ardent advocacy for those who work in libraries has had world-wide impact. Before his sharp focus on salary issues, many in our association viewed discussions about improving compensation for librarians and library workers as self-serving. His intense concentration on this issue resulted in tools, training and advocacy programs that have helped to make the conversation about fair pay and improved status for library workers acceptable — and welcome. In fact, the establishment of the APA (Allied Professional Association) followed his presidency.
Freedman is a prolific author and has been an in-demand speaker for decades on topics including cataloging, information technology, salaries and jazz CDs. His career included important management positions at the Library of Congress, Information Dynamics Corp., the Hennepin County (Minn.) Library, The New York Public Library as well as the Westchester Library System and currently the New City (N.Y.) Library. He has taught in the library and information science programs of Columbia University, Pratt Institute and Rutgers University and lectured at numerous library schools in the U.S. and internationally.
In addition to chair Schuman, retired President of Neal-Schuman Publishers and ALA past-President (1991-92), the members of the 2014 Joseph W. Lippincott Award jury are: Karen Downing, University of Michigan; Nancy Bolt, Nancy Bolt and Associates; Joseph Eagan, Montgomery County Library; and Amy Roberson, Trinity University.
The deadline for submission of applications for the 2015 Joseph W. Lippincott Award is Dec. 1.