Barbara J. Ford (MS '73) named Illinois Library Luminary

Barbara Ford

Alumna Barbara J. Ford (MS '73) has been named an Illinois Library Luminary by the Illinois Library Association. This distinction honors individuals whose efforts have made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries.

Though her career spanned continents, Ford made an indelible impression on libraries in Illinois. As director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and Mortenson Distinguished Professor at the Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign until her retirement in 2014, Ford brought librarians from all over the world to programs and events statewide.

Earlier in her career she held a number of positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago, also held leadership positions in academic libraries in Texas and Virginia, and served as president of the American Library Association (ALA) and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), both based in Chicago. Ford’s international involvement began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama and Nicaragua and continued with her service as an elected member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Governing Board.

The author of many publications and presentations, she traveled the world to address topics such as information literacy, government information, the future of libraries, the role of library associations, international cooperation among libraries, among other topics. Ford holds a bachelor's degree in history and education from Illinois Wesleyan University and a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Lee selected for leadership institute

MS/LIS student Kyra Lee had the opportunity to network with leaders in the LIS field at the 2022 Black Caucus American Library Association (BCALA) Leadership Institute. At the inaugural event, which took place from April 12-14 in Durham, North Carolina, LIS students and early career library professionals gathered for workshops, panels, facilitated discussions, and presentations. Lee was one of eighteen students selected to participate in the institute.

Kyra Lee

2021 Downs Intellectual Freedom Awards given to #FReadom Fighters and ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom staff

For libraries and librarians, 2021 was an especially challenging year in terms of the increase in attempts at censorship. According to the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom, the number of challenges to library materials more than tripled from 2020 to 2021. In addition, current estimates show that 82 to 97 percent of challenges go unreported, suggesting that the total number of challenges are significantly greater.

#FReadom Fighter logo

New project to improve health of patients with kidney failure

There are approximately 600,000 individuals in the U.S. who are undergoing hemodialysis (HD) therapy for kidney failure. In hemodialysis, a machine filters wastes, salts, and fluid from the blood when an individual's kidneys are no longer healthy enough to do this work adequately. While lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and making better nutritional choices would benefit HD patients, they are not popular with patients—leading to poor health outcomes. A new project, led by Assistant Professor Jessie Chin, aims to boost HD patients' commitment to exercise through a long-term motivational interviewing conversational agent (LotMintBot).

Jessie Chin

iSchool alumni named 2022 Movers & Shakers

Five iSchool alumni are included in Library Journal’s 2022 class of Movers & Shakers, an annual list that recognizes 41 professionals who are moving the library field forward as a profession. Jeanie Austin (PhD '17) was honored in the Advocates category, Van McGary (MS/LIS '18) was honored in the Change Agents category, Elisandro Cabada (MS/LIS '17) and Robin Davis (MS/LIS '12) were honored in the Innovators category, and Barbara Alvarez (MS/LIS '12) was honored in the Educators category.

Spectrum Scholar Spotlight: Brandi Hart

Eight iSchool master's students were named 2021-2022 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. This "Spectrum Scholar Spotlight" series highlights the School's scholars. MS/LIS student Brandi Hart earned her BA degree in history and classical studies from Denison University.

Brandi Hart