Arlene G. Taylor

Arlene G. Taylor photo


Independent Library Professional





Graduation year:

"Studying at UNC-Chapel Hill opened my mind to the possibilities for contributing to the profession through research and writing."

Arlene G. Taylor (PhD ’81) is Professor Emerita from the School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, where she taught for 12 years prior to retiring, and holds an honorary appointment as a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at UNC SILS. Her career as a library school educator lasted more than 30 years, and included teaching at Columbia University and the University of Chicago.

She is lead author or co-author of widely-used texts, including Introduction to Cataloging and Classification (6th to 11th editions) and The Organization of Information (four editions). She has an extensive publication record of refereed articles, books and book chapters, and research reports, and she has given more than 90 guest presentations for national, state, and regional library associations, as well as library schools.

Taylor's international activities include serving as workshop leader, teacher, and/or consultant in Brazil, England, Thailand, and Israel. For her work in the latter two countries, she received Fulbright Senior Specialist Program Grants. She has held leadership positions on many professional association committees, including the ALA/ALCTS Catalog Form and Function Committee (Chair, 1995–1998) and the ALA/ALCTS/CCS Subject Analysis Committee (Chair, 1992–1994).

Her professional contributions have been recognized with the ALA/ALCTS Margaret Mann Citation, the ALA/Highsmith Library Literature Award for The Organization of Information, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science Alumni Association.

Prior to earning her Ph.D. at UNC [she was the second student to receive her Ph.D. from SILS], she had worked in libraries as a cataloger at the Library of Congress, Christopher Newport College (now University), and Iowa State University.

Taylor longed to return to North Carolina from the time she left in 1981. After she retired from teaching, she and her husband moved to Chapel Hill in 2007. She continues to write, working with former students on research articles and on new editions of her textbooks.  She also enjoys “cataloging” her many pictures of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, and even one set of great-great-great grandparents, and their families.

"Studying at UNC-Chapel Hill opened my mind to the possibilities for contributing to the profession through research and writing," said Taylor. "In addition, computers were just coming into major play in the late 1970s, and I took every computer course offered at SILS (most taught superbly by Dr. Martin Dillon), which put me into an excellent position to help move cataloging from cards to electronic formats. Before coming to UNC, I had already admired Dr. Lester Asheim from reading his work during my master’s program at the University of Illinois. I was incredibly fortunate to have him as my advisor, teacher, mentor, and friend at SILS. He was the best teacher I ever had, and I did my best to emulate him in my teaching career."