142 Undergrd Library
1408 W Gregory Dr
Urbana, IL 61801
Barbara J. Ford is the director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and Mortenson Distinguished Professor at the Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was the 1997-1998 president of the American Library Association (ALA) and her theme was “Libraries: Global Reach, Local Touch.” The ALA and Chinese American Librarians Association have recognized her with awards for her significant contributions and dedication to international librarianship.
Barbara previously worked as assistant commissioner for central library services at the Chicago Public Library, executive director of the Virginia Commonwealth University libraries, and associate library director at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She served in several capacities at the University of Illinois at Chicago, including documents librarian and audiovisual librarian. In addition, Barbara was director of the Soybean Insect Research Information Center at the Illinois Natural History Survey and a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama and Nicaragua.
She was president of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of ALA, from 1990 until 1991. From 2005-2009 she served as an elected member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Governing Board. She previously served as the secretary for the IFLA Section on Government Information and Official Publications and on the IFLA Academic and Research Libraries Section.
The author of many publications and presentations, Barbara has traveled around 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.
Barbara earned a bachelor's degree in history and education from Illinois Wesleyan University, a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a master's degree in library science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Additional Campus Affiliations
Ford, Barbara J. "LIS Professionals in a Global Society." The Portable MLIS: Insights from the Experts, Westport, Ct.: Libraries Unlimited, 2008, p. 195-203.
Ford, Barbara J. "A Global Leadership Context for Librarians." Thinking Outside the Borders: Library Leadership in a World Community, Urbana: Mortenson Center, 2008, p. 8-16.
"Developing an International Library Leadership Institute: Thinking Outside the Borders." Continuing Professional Development: Pathways to Leadership in the Library and Information World, Munchen: K.G. Saur, 2007, p. 40-56.
Ford, Barbara J. "Librarians: Our Reach Is Global and Our touch Is Local." Perspectives, Insights & Priorities: 17 Leaders Speak Freely of Librarianship, Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2005, p. 49-54.
"Global Perspectives on Public Libraries." Introduction to Public Librarianship, New York: Neal-Schuman, 2004, p. 265-291.
"Global Perspectives on Public Libraries." Introduction to Public Librarianship, New York: Neal-Schuman, 2011.