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Carbo Wins 2018 Award of Merit


Photo credit: Amanda Lizé Photography

The Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) is delighted to announce that Professor Toni Carbo is the 2018 recipient of the ASIS&T Award of Merit, the highest honor presented by the Association. The award’s purpose is to recognize an individual deemed to have made particularly noteworthy and sustained contributions to the information science field and is awarded for the sum of a person’s professional career. Candidates are assessed based on 3 criteria:  impact on theory, scholarship, and practice; exemplary leadership and sustained involvement; and education and mentoring.

“Professor Carbo, Professor Emerita, University of Pittsburg, has been a dynamic force in the advancement of Information Science and Technology both inside the ASIS&T and outside for half a century, working on an astonishingly broad range of issues,” wrote Professor Michael Buckland in his letter of support for Professor Carbo’s nomination.

In her letter of nomination, Professor Diane Sonnenwald wrote, “Professor Toni Carbo has been a pioneer representing the information science field and influencing information policy through national and international advisory committee membership and leadership for over 4 decades. Her knowledge and persistent efforts have informed governments and government agencies, leading to their increased understanding regarding the importance of information and increased resources for the design and implementation of effective policies and programs to support information literacy and access in the US and beyond. Strategic advisory committees and organizations that she has made substantial contributions to include: the G7 Ministerial Conference on the Global Information Society, the US National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council, Intergovernmental Council Meeting of the UNESCO General Information Program, Advisory Committee for the Agency for International Development, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)…

Professor Carbo successfully led the iSchool at the University of Pittsburgh for over 16 years. Hallmarks of her tenure as dean include enhancing curriculum standards and increasing ethnic, gender and cultural diversity at the University of Pittsburgh and across our field through intra- and inter-university initiatives. Working independently and collaboratively, she has raised substantial funding to provide scholarships and educational opportunities for minority students in the U.S. and students and professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Professor Buckland went on to write that, “She edited the International Information and Library Review for twenty-two years. Her relentless commitment to promoting international understanding also includes her advocating for the SIG on International Information Issues. She has also worked consistently to sustain and develop the history of Information Science. She played a key role in staging the first ever conference on the history of information science, co-sponsored with National Science Foundation support by ASIST and the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Pittsburgh in 1998.”

“Her teaching and research interests focus on information ethics and information policy. She has focused intensively on e-government initiatives in the United States, the European Union and Sub-Saharan Africa. These experiences deeply informed her teaching, especially her courses on Information Ethics and Policy, the Social Context of Information Professions, and Managing Information Organizations. She has authored numerous articles that share her innovative approaches to teaching information ethics. Her engagement extends beyond the classroom through intensive engagement in international workshops which seek to [educate and] train [information professionals] and others on information ethics, accountability and related e-government issues,” wrote ASIS&T Curator Professor Kathryn La Barre.

Professor Sonnenwald wrote, “Professor Toni Carbo has made many valuable contributions to ASIS&T and our field over the past four decades. These contributions have enhanced our scholarship and practice in the U.S. and globally with respect to information policy and ethics. She has long been an exemplary leader, strengthening ASIS&T and inspiring generations of new leaders. Her focus on inclusion in education has long been note-worthy.”

Upon learning of her selection as the 2018 Award of Merit winner, Professor Carbo said, “I honestly did not think I would ever receive this award; there are so many people who deserve it more than I do. I am truly humbled and honored.  I greatly appreciate Diane Sonnenwald for nominating me, and also those who wrote letters of support: Kathryn LaBarre, Michael Buckland, Marjorie Hlava, and Abebe Rorissa, and all those other ASIS&T colleagues who supported my nomination.”

Dr. Carbo will accept her award at the 2018 meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) which will be held in Vancouver, Canada, November 10-14, 2018.


Founded at the beginning of the information age in 1937, ASIS&T has promoted the development and understanding of information science and documentation. Through its 80 decades, it has reflected a rapidly changing landscape, embracing and promoting new advances in technology to improve all aspects of information collection, management, storage, use, and communications. ASIS&T members are at the forefront of research and practice within Information Science. Leading discoveries on how we organize, relate, learn, and access information, our members are changing the face of information utilization. From fine arts to health informatics, ASIS&T is a synergistic organization that allows the exchange of ideas to flourish for the benefit of the whole international field.