2009 Beta Phi Mu Award recipient named

Contact: Cheryl Malden

Program Officer

Office of ALA Governance




For Immediate Release

May 12, 2009

Dr. C. James Schmidt, professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, has been selected as the recipient of the American Library Association’s 2009 Beta Phi Mu Award. This annual award, donated by the Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honorary Society, is presented to a library school faculty member or to an individual for distinguished service to education in librarianship.

“In selecting Dr. Schmidt for this award, the Jury commended him for his long and distinguished career as an educator and mentor; his excellence in the classroom in blending the talents of an outstanding practitioner with the skills of a fine teacher; his support of colleagues through collaboration on research; his leadership in promoting intellectual freedom both in and outside of the classroom; his active role in professional organizations; his commitment to scholarship, the university community, the academic library world and the American Library Association; and his advancement of knowledge and promotion of the free exchange of ideas, said jury chair Eric Johnson.”

Dr. Schmidt received a bachelor’s from Catholic University, an M.S.L.S. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Florida State University. He also did graduate work in Political Science at the University of Texas and Ohio State University. He has held positions at the Flint (Mich.) Public Library, General Motors Institute, Southwest Texas State University, Ohio State University and Research Libraries Group; served as director of libraries at the State University of New York at Albany and university librarian at Brown University; and performed as university librarian and acting chief information officer at San Jose State before moving to the School of Library and Information Science. He is also the owner and principal consultant for Schmidt and Associates.

In addition to being selected as a visiting scholar at the University of Nebraska Library and the University Center of Georgia, Dr. Schmidt was the Yuri Nakata lecturer at the University of Illinois/Chicago. His efforts on the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee were recognized in 1991 when he was awarded the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award from the University of Illinois. In 2001 he received the Norwin S. Yoffie Career Achievement Award from the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. A member of innumerable committees, task forces, boards, commissions and panels at local, state, regional and national levels, Dr. Schmidt is the author of a host of articles and book chapters and has lectured and presented throughout the United States and in China.

The 2009 Beta Phi Mu Award will be presented at the ALA Award Ceremony and Reception Tuesday, July 14, during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Members of the 2009 Beta Phi Mu Award jury are Eric W. Johnson, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, La.; Carl A. Antonucci, Capital Community College, Hartford, Conn.; Kathy C. Leeds, Wilton Library, Wilton, Conn.; Charlotte C. Xanders, California State University – Sacramento; and Li Zhang, Mississippi State University, Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State, Miss.

The deadline for submissions of applications for the 2010 Beta Phi Mu Award is Dec. 1, 2009 Guidelines and application forms are available at