Professor Joanne Marshall (right),
Dean of SILS from 1999-2004,
accepts her honorary doctorate of
letters from McGill University
Chancellor Richard Pound.
Professor Joanne Marshall of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters from McGill University on May 30.
Dr. Marshall, who served as dean of the UNC School of Information and Library Science from 1999-2004, was awarded the degree based on her years of service to the field of library and information science. Dr. Marshall holds a master’s degree in library science from McGill’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies.
The honorary doctorate is the highest academic honor that McGill University can bestow, and it is generally given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their fields, said Chancellor Richard Pound.
“It is unquestionable that Dr. Marshall’s contributions to the advancement of knowledge and professional practice have been, by any standards, outstanding,” said Dean of Education Roger Slee. “Through her research, professional service and advocacy for access to health information, Joanne has raised the standards of library and information studies research and built bridges between researchers, practitioners and the public.”
After accepting the degree, Dr. Marshall gave the convocation address for McGill’s schools of Education and Library and Information Science. She challenged the graduates to be innovative in applying technology to teaching and to library reference service, and she urged them to use their skills to help disadvantaged people gain access to education and information.
“When I look back to my graduation day at McGill over 35 years ago, I could never have imagined the changes that I would not only see in my field, but that I would actively participate in creating,” she told the graduates. “I would not have had these opportunities, nor would I have had this chance to speak to you today, without my McGill degree.”
Dr. Marshall is best known for pioneering work in developing and evaluating new roles for library and information professionals and for her advocacy for access to health information by the public. In addition to her degree in library science, she also holds a doctorate in public health and a master’s degree in health sciences. She currently is serving as president of the Medical Library Association, a major health sciences information organization with more than 1,000 institutional and 3,600 individual members worldwide.
Dr. Marshall’s research interests focus on health information needs and services, evaluation of library and information services, information technology and the aging workforce, and competencies of library and information professionals. She currently is a co-investigator for an international study on the information technology workforce.
McGill University is located in Montreal, Canada. The school has one of the oldest library and information science programs in North America, having celebrated its 100 th anniversary in 2004.