In Memoriam: James Matarazzo
James (“Jim”) Matarazzo, a longtime champion of special libraries and 2016 recipient of SLA’s highest honor, the John Cotton Dana Award, died April 17 in Massachusetts.
Jim joined SLA in 1964 and spent the next 50-plus years dedicating his time and talents to SLA’s advancement. He was especially active in the SLA Leadership & Management Division and the New England Chapter and served as president of the latter when it was known as the Boston Chapter. He also served on SLA’s Board of Directors and on numerous committees, including the Awards and Honors, Research, and Strategic Planning Committees. Most recently, he participated on a task force that revised SLA’s Competencies for Information Professionals, which delineate the skills and knowledge that information professionals use to perform their jobs and support their organizations.
At Simmons College in Boston, where he earned his master’s degree in library science, Jim served on the faculty of the School of Library and Information Science for more than four decades, including 14 years as assistant dean of the library school and 9 years as dean. Although he officially retired from the university in 2002, Jim continued to shape the lives and careers of aspiring librarians, teaching courses on the organization and management of special libraries and serving as a faculty advisor for the Simmons Student Group of SLA.
Jim shared his knowledge of special libraries outside the classroom as well, delivering numerous presentations at SLA Annual Conferences and other industry meetings. He also authored or co-authored nearly 100 articles and papers and wrote and collaborated on several books, most notably with Toby Pearlstein, a fellow SLA member and Dana Award recipient. Their most recent book, Special Libraries: A Survival Guide (2013), is considered the definitive guide to the strategies and tactics that special librarians can use to position their information centers as value drivers in today’s information-on-demand economy.
Jim was named an SLA Fellow in 1988, received the SLA Professional Award in 1983 and 1988, and was recognized with the SLA President’s Award in 1991. He was inducted into the SLA Hall of Fame in 2015.