The American Library Association this week announced that Jim Neal and Maureen Sullivan have been recognized with honorary membership, the ALA’s highest honor, for their outstanding contributions of lasting importance to libraries and librarianship. The award comes after an ALA council vote at last month’s LibLearnX event.

A former ALA President and Treasurer, Jim Neal was recognized for a remarkable career of service to the profession. "Jim Neal’s contributions to libraries and the profession of librarianship are myriad and wide-ranging,” said nominator Damon E. Jaggars, vice provost and dean of university libraries, The Ohio State University. “The people, organizations, and policies his leadership and service have positively affected are countless. His mentorship of multiple generations of library leaders has had broad influence and impact across the profession."

From 2001 to 2014 Neal served as University Librarian at Columbia University, and perviously served as Dean of Libraries at Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University. He currently serves as a senior policy fellow at ALA focusing on copyright issues and was recently appointed to the Copyright Public Modernization Committee (CPMC) by the Librarian of Congress. As ALA president, he led the development of the ALA Policy Corps and the National Advocacy Network.

Maureen Sullivan served as ALA president from 2012-2013 and was co-chair of the Emerging Leaders Initiative from 2006-2010 and 2013-18 as well as chair of the Minority Fellowship Program Advisory Board from 1989-1995. She has served as president of both the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL,1998-99) and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA -1988-89).

"Maureen has had many 'jobs' in her career, which spans many decades,” wrote Ann K. Symons, ALA Honorary Member, and Robert R. Newlen, executive director, Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, in nominating Sullivan. “Her service in ALA and her consulting practice has impacted thousands of librarians. There is virtually no subject that Maureen hasn’t addressed with her innovative contributions that better librarians and libraries.”

Sullivan and Neal will receive their awards in June during the Opening General Session of the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.