Mitchell receives the 2005 Melvil Dewey Medal

Contact: Cheryl Malden

Program Officer

For Immediate Release

May 19, 2005

Mitchell receives the 2005 Melvil Dewey Medal

CHICAGO - Joan S. Mitchell, editor-in-chief of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system at OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. is the 2005 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Melvil Dewey Medal, which recognizes distinguished service to the profession of librarianship.

Mitchell has been closely affiliated with the DDC since 1985, when she became a member of the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee. Mitchell chaired the committee from 1992 until her appointment as Dewey editor in 1993.

"The jury for this year's Melvil Dewey Medal is pleased to recognize Joan Mitchell for her extraordinary leadership in the continuing evolution of the Dewey Decimal Classification system," said Chair Winston Tabb. "It would be hard to envision a recipient more worthy than Joan for this particular award that bears Dewey's name. Not only has Joan led the DDC editorial board in constantly updating DDC to ensure that it continues to provide effective access for users of our library collections in the 21st century, but she has also shown a broad commitment to the needs of users throughout the world, overseeing the adaptation and translation of the Dewey Decimal Classification into numerous languages."

An active participant in the American Library Association, Mitchell has been a member and/or chair of a variety of ALA committees working in the fields of cataloging and classification. She also chaired the IFLA Working Group on the UNIMARC Classification Format for IFLA. Mitchell serves on the editorial board of
Knowledge Organization and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of ISKO. She also is a member of the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences Board of Advisors.

Prior to joining OCLC in 1993, Mitchell was director of educational technology at Carnegie Mellon University and an adjunct professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. She also has held various positions in technical and public services in academic and special libraries.

Mitchell has written and spoken extensively in the area of knowledge organization. She has a bachelor's degree cum laude in economics from Newton College and a master's of library science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Members of the 2005 Melvil Dewey committee are: Chair Winston Tabb, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Emily A. Bergman, Occidental College, Los Angeles; Randolph Call, Detroit Public Library; Anna Liza Posas, University of California-Santa Barbara; and Roxanne Jeanine Sellberg, Northwestern University Library, Evanston, Ill.

The Melvil Dewey Award will be presented Tuesday, June 28, during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.