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• A minimum of five members (i.e. a chair, vice-chair, and three members)
• Additional appointments at the discretion of the Vice-President/President-Elect and Appointments Committee
• Since it is important that the vice-chair/chair be knowledgeable about the responsibilities and concerns of the committee, it is suggested that the committee vice-chair/chair be selected from the existing committee membership.
The Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee was first established as a task force at the ALA Annual Conference in 2002. In 2003, it was made a permanent standing committee by the ACRL Board of Directors at the ALA Annual Conference.
Who was Dr. E. J. Josey (1924–2009), for whom ACRL's Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program is named?
By 1984 [Elonnie Junius Josey, better known as E. J.] had reached the pinnacle of his profession, becoming the second African-American president of the American Library Association (Clara Jones was the first, in 1976) after devoting his professional life to fighting the racism that permeated American society. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing E. J. knew him to be a fighter. Perhaps more than any other member of ALA, Josey represented that changes in the nation and the profession that occurred in the second half of the 20th century. One of the first and foremost African American library educators (University of Pittsburgh) and a trailblazer in Association leadership, he said in a 2000 interview, "I was born and grew up in the days of segregation in the kind of society that not only dehumanizes me as an African American, but dehumanized my family and all African Americans." But he also noted that "people who know me best will also say that I fought for all people who were disadvantaged, including minorities and women, not only in our profession but throughout the world." He organized the Black Caucus of the American Library Association in 1970, and in 2002 he was awarded Honorary Membership in ALA, the Association's highest honor. Not only was E. J. Josey a fighter for human rights, he was also a fighter when it came to the ill health that ultimately put him in a wheelchair. The last time I saw him was at the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting, where the beaming octogenarian received an impromptu introduction to basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It was one of dozens and dozens of proud moments in the illustrious career of a man who changed the face of librarianship and the country.
"Civil Rights Pioneer, Librarian E. J. Josey Dies at 85." American Libraries magazine blog. ALA, 6 July 2009, Web.
Also see Wikipedia's entry on Dr. Josey.
Volunteers will need to complete the volunteer form by February 15 for committee service that begins July 1. More information, including volunteer requirements, can be found on the ACRL volunteer site.
Interested in participating in this program as a mentor? Please see www.ala.org/acrl/membership/mentoring/joseymentoring/mentorprogram and apply today!
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