Ray English (MSLS ‘77) has been named a 2009 Distinguished Alumnus of the School of Information and Library Science (SILS). He will receive the School's highest honor bestowed to its alumni, the Distinguished Alumni Award, during the school’s spring commencement ceremony on May 10, 2009.
The award recognizes alumni who exhibit a strong commitment to librarianship or information science and demonstrate outstanding professional achievements at the international, national, state or local level. The SILS Alumni Association acknowledges alumni “who demonstrate a high degree of professionalism and outstanding service to our profession and to the School of Information and Library Science.”
English is the Azariah Smith Root director of libraries at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH and he was a primary founder of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) scholarly communication program, serving as chair of the task force that led to the program and also as chair of the Scholarly Communication Committee from its inception until 2006. He is a long-time member and current chair of the SPARC steering committee, of which Oberlin College is a founding member. English has also lectured and written extensively on scholarly communication issues and open access. Since 1988, he has served on more than 15 ALA and ACRL committees and is a former member of the ACRL Board of Directors (1996-98). English was recently chosen to receive the American Library Association's prestigious Hugh C. Atkinson Award. In 2006, he was named Academic Research Librarian of the Year by the Association of College and Research Libraries.
Under English’s leadership, Oberlin became the first private, liberal arts college library to join OhioLINK. In addition, he participated in a cooperative effort with four other Ohio private colleges in establishing a new consortium, the Five Colleges of Ohio, which received a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for library resource sharing. He also coordinated a $475,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to incorporate information literacy into the liberal arts curriculum of the Ohio Five schools. English additionally served as co-project director of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership grant to create a library diversity intern program at Oberlin College from 2000-02 and since 2003 has directed four separate multi-institution grants from the Mellon Foundation totaling more than $2 million that are designed to attract undergraduates from diverse backgrounds into the library profession and encourage leadership development. The Oberlin College Library received the 2002 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in the college category.
English received his A.B. with honors in German from Davidson College in 1969. He earned his Master’s degree in German literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971, where he also received his M.S.L.S. in 1977 and earned his Ph.D. in German literature in 1978.
The Alumni Association selects the distinguished alumni from nominations submitted to the organization throughout the year. Those selected are announced during the spring and winter commencement ceremonies. To nominate an alumni who meets the criteria, please contact the SILS Alumni Association president, Cassidy Sugimoto. Click here for a list of previous SILS Distinguished Alumni.