JUDITH A. SESSIONS

When Judith A. Sessions was young, she developed a passion for books and reading. She knew she wanted to pursue literature professionally in some capacity, so she obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Central Florida University in 1970 and a Master of Library Science from Florida State University in 1971. Her first position in the field was head librarian at the University of South Carolina, Salkehatchie, followed by director of the Library and Learning Resources Center at Mount Vernon College and planning and systems librarian at The George Washington University. During this time, computerization was growing, and Ms. Session was excited at the prospect of joining the front lines of the changes that were coming to libraries across the country. She proceeded to become the acting head of technology services and the assistant university librarian for administration services at The George Washington University, and a university librarian at California State University, Chico. Ms. Sessions counts automating the libraries at the two schools to be among her most important accomplishments. In 1988, however, she turned her attentions to Miami University in Ohio. She really found a home at the institution, and spent the last 25 years of her career as the university librarian and dean of libraries. Ms. Sessions retired in 2013. To further her career, she completed postgraduate coursework at American University in 1980 and at The George Washington University in 1983.

Outside of academia, Ms. Sessions enjoyed using her skills to help out in her community. One of her main causes is the freedom to read; she believes censorship puts the free society and creative culture of the U.S. at risk. Thus, she has held a wide number of positions at the Freedom to Read Foundation of the American Library Association over the years. Ms. Sessions was the president of the group from 1987 to 1988, the treasurer from 1986 to 1987, the vice president from 1985 to 1986, and a trustee from 1984 to 1988, among others. She was also a member of the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the secretary of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table of the American Library Association.

As an expert in library automation, Ms. Sessions was also very active in organizations like the OCLC, or the Online Computer Library Center, and OhioLink, or the Ohio Library and Information Network. She served the former as a member and chairman of the Preservation Resources Interest Group, a member of the Users Council, and a convenor of the Public Academy Library Group, and the latter as a member of the Coordinating Committee and Executive Committee, the governing board chair, and the vice president. Ms. Sessions was also involved with the California Institute of Libraries and Beta Phi Mu – The International Library and Information Studies Honor Society.

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