Dr. Ismail Abdullahi wins 2018 John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award

For Immediate Release
Fri, 04/06/2018


Delin Guerra

Program Officer

International Relations Office


CHICAGO — Dr. Ismail H. Abdullahi, professor of Global Library and Information Science at the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University, has been named the 2018 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) International Relations Committee’s John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award, presented to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship.

The award, sponsored by OCLC/Forest Press, consists of $1,000 and a plaque to be presented at the International Relations Round Table reception on Monday, June 25, at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. OCLC/Forest Press donated the cash award.

Dr. Abdullahi has spent over four decades immersed in the global library and information community, working to improve the profession around the world. His involvement in the international library field began as a student at the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he had the opportunity to attend his first International Federation of International Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Conference in 1979. Dr. Abdullahi started his career at the Danish National Library of Education in the 1970s, and his Ph.D. dissertation was “A Study of Cooperative Programs Among University and Special Libraries in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania.”  Today he is still actively engaged in connecting the profession around the globe, especially related to LIS education.  He has been a mentor to many LIS programs in the developing world.  Most recently, he has been engaged with the library association of Cameroon and Senegal, meeting with their governments on the role of libraries in national development.

Dr. Abdullahi has brought forward as editor or co-editor seminal books that enlighten and provide information and insight to library faculty and LIS students all over the world on global librarianship.  In 2014 he co-edited “The Future of LIS Education in Developing Countries: The Road Ahead” and edited the second edition of “Global Library and Information Science,” which was recently published. Both are IFLA publications.  He also currently serves on the editorial board of four international journals. As a member of the IFLA Education and Training Section, he established the IFLA LIS Education in Developing Countries Special Interest Group (SIG) and served as its convener 2005-2013.  He is known throughout the world for his efforts to adapt and improve LIS education everywhere, and to teach and encourage global librarianship. Dr. Abdullahi also created a Study Abroad program for the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Denmark.

An ALA member since 1985, Dr. Abdullahi has chaired the International Relations Committee and other numerous committees. He is currently serving his fourth, three-year term as ALA Councilor-at-Large. He also has been actively involved in IFLA for the past twenty-five years, chairing committees and helping to organize programs and workshops that move the profession forward. Among his accolades and awards is the Harold Lancour Award for Excellence in International and Comparative Study in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Abdullahi continues to travel the world to speak, listen, network, and collaborate with his colleagues. In addition, he is faculty advisor for the North Carolina Central University ALA Student Chapter.


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