James G. Neal

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James Neal
James G. Neal (43071882111).jpg
Neal in 2018
President of the American Library Association
In office
Preceded byJulie Todaro
Succeeded byLoida Garcia-Febo
Personal details

James G. Neal is an American librarian, library administrator, and a prominent figure in American and international library associations. In 2022 President Joe Biden appointed him to the National Museum and Library Services Board which advises the agency on general policies with respect to the duties, powers, and authority of the Institute of Museum and Library Services relating to museum, library, and information services, as well as the annual selection of National Medals recipients.[1]

Neal is widely active in national and international forums in the areas of copyright and scholarly communication.[2] From 2001 to 2014 he was Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, and he now serves as University Librarian Emeritus. At the Columbia University Libraries, he focused on the development of the digital library, special collections, global resources, instructional technology, library facility construction and renovation, and electronic scholarship. Before taking up his position at Columbia, he was Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University and held administrative positions at Penn State's library, Notre Dame's library, and the City University of New York's library.[3][self-published source?]

In 2007, Neal received the Hugh C. Atkinson Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries, [4] and the American Library Association honored Neal with the 2015 Joseph W. Lippincott Award.[5] In April 2016, Neal was elected president of the American Library Association for 2017-2018.[6]

Columbia Librarian[edit]

The University Librarian at Columbia is charged with overseeing:

  • Columbia's 25-library network.[7]
  • Columbia's Center for Digital Research and Scholarship.[3]
  • Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.[3]
  • Columbia's Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research. He participates on key academic, technology, budget and policy groups at the University.[3]

In addition, Neal participated in key academic, technology, budget and policy groups in the University.[3] At Columbia, he has focused in particular on the development of the digital library, special collections, global resources, instructional technology, building construction/renovation, and fundraising programs.[7]

Columbia-Google digitization partnership[edit]

Neal was ultimately responsible for Columbia's participation in the Google Books Library Project, which involves a series of agreements between Google and major international libraries through which a collection of its public domain books will be scanned in their entirety and made available for free to the public online.[8] Neal moderated the institutional debate about anticipated consequences inherent in conventional content-vs.-collection strategies; and sometimes he took on the role of public spokesman.


Neal is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, consultant and published author, with a focus in the areas of scholarly communication, intellectual property, digital library programs, organizational change and human resource development. He has worked on editorial boards of journals in the field of academic librarianship. He has represented the American library community in testimony on copyright matters before Congressional committees, was an advisor to the U.S. delegation at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) diplomatic conference on copyright, has worked on copyright policy and advisory groups for universities and for professional and higher education associations.[3] In 2019 he was named a Senior Policy Fellow for the American Library Association to advise the Washington Office on Public Policy and Advocacy on licensing and copyright. [9]

In 2022 Neal was elected to Honorary Membership in the American Library Association, its highest honor, for his "influential and wide-ranging role in the arena of information and public policy over four decades."[10] In 2022 he was also honored with the L.Ray Patterson Award which recognizes an individual for supporting the Constitutional use of U.S. Copyright Law, fair use and the public domain [11]

Professional associations[edit]

Published work[edit]

In addition to his own published work, Neal has worked on the editorial boards of journals in the field of academic librarianship.

  • Neal, James G. (2006). "Raised By Wolves: integrating the new generation of feral professionals into the academic library." Library Journal. February 15, 2006.
  • Neal, James G. (2004). "The ReCAP artifactual repository planning project". Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services. 28: 25–28. doi:10.1016/j.lcats.2003.11.004. S2CID 62143475.
  • Neal, James G. (2006). "The Research and Development Imperative in the Academic Library: Path to the Future". Portal: Libraries and the Academy. 6: 1–3. doi:10.1353/pla.2006.0007. S2CID 62170016.
  • Wilson, Lizabeth; Neal, James G.; Jordan, Jay (2006). "Guest Editorial: RLG and OCLC: Combining for the Future". Portal: Libraries and the Academy. 6 (4): 395. doi:10.1353/pla.2006.0061. S2CID 62137176.
  • Neal, James G. (May 13–15, 1998). Research Library Leadership: Network Policy and Applications Development. The Future Network: Transforming Learning and Scholarship. Association of Research Libraries. pp. 103–11. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013.


  1. ^ President Biden Announces Key Appointments to Boards and Commissions. The White House. August 12, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "NISO Board Appoints James Neal as Vice-Chair ...," National Information Standards Organization. November 27, 2006. Archived July 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Neal bio, Columbia University web site
  4. ^ "News Makers". Information Today. 24 (3): 23. March 2007 – via ProQuest Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "People". Library Journal. 140 (10): 25. June 1, 2015 – via ProQuest Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Albanese, Andrew (29 April 2016). "Jim Neal Elected ALA President for 2017-2018". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Neal bio, Library of Congress Archived February 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Columbia University Libraries Becomes Newest Partner in Google Book Search Library Project" (Press release). Columbia University Libraries. December 13, 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  9. ^ ALA names James Neal senior policy fellow.American Library Association Press Release, March, 2019
  10. ^ ALA names Jim Neal Honorary Member American Library Association, February 15, 2022.
  11. ^ ALA Announces 2022 L. Ray Patterson Award Winner James G. Neal ALA News, April 18, 2022.
  12. ^ "Jim Neal wins 2007 Hugh C. Atkinson award". American Library Association. February 6, 2007. Archived from the original on December 17, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2022.


External links[edit]

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by President of the American Library Association
Succeeded by