Cole Named Library of Congress Historian; Jackson Appointed Director of Center for the Book

Acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao today announced two leadership appointments.

John Y. Cole is named the Library of Congress Historian, a new position dedicated to serving as the top technical expert and adviser on the history of the Library of Congress, documenting institutional history and conducting historical research. Cole was the founding director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, which was created by law in 1977. He has been instrumental in shaping numerous literacy and reading-promotion programs during his 50-year tenure at the Library and is the author of several books about the institution.

Pam Jackson is named the new director of the Center for the Book, a public-private partnership that promotes books, reading and literacy and includes official affiliates in 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. She has been the deputy assistant director for the Government and Finance Division at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) for six years. Before joining the Library of Congress in 2003, she served for 11 years as the CEO of the Coleman A. Young Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to the educational development of at-risk youth and college-bound students.

Both appointments take effect June 12, 2016.

"John Cole has had a remarkable career of distinguished service at the Library of Congress and has been one of the institution’s leading historians, writing many articles and publications about its developing roles as a legislative, national and international institution," Mao said. "John’s depth and breadth of knowledge about the Library is a particularly critical resource as the institution prepares to transition to new leadership.

"Pam Jackson’s combined experience in leadership, project management, literacy promotion and fundraising make her an ideal candidate to take the helm of the Center for the Book," Mao continued. "This important outreach center has been ably built and led throughout its lifetime by John, and I am confident it will be in capable and enthusiastic hands with Pam."

The Center for the Book, established by Congress to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. It sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers and collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. The Center for the Book is part of the Library’s National and International Outreach service unit.

A librarian and historian, Cole has served the Library of Congress since 1966 following two years of service as a U.S. Army second lieutenant and chief of the library branch of the U.S. Army Intelligence School.

He is the first chair of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards, established in 2013; co-chaired the bicentennial celebration in 2000; and developed the popular reading and writing contest Letters About Literature in 1992. As director of the Center for the Book, he has been instrumental in shaping numerous reading and literacy-promotion programs, including the Books & Beyond author series (1996), the National Book Festival (2001), the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2008), and the Library of Congress Young Readers Center (2009).

Cole has served as a corresponding member and consultant to the Literacy and Reading Section of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) since he was section chair from 1997 to 2001. To honor Cole’s distinguished service to the profession of librarianship, the American Library Association in 2000 presented him with its prestigious Lippincott Award. In 2011, the University of Texas Press, in association with the Library, published a festschrift to recognize his achievements, "The Library of Congress and the Center for the Book: Historical Essays in Honor of John Y. Cole."

Jackson has served the Library for 13 years. As a deputy assistant director for the Government and Finance Division in CRS, she has led and managed research, analysis, consulting and collaboration work of CRS analysts and staff and has contributed to CRS-wide projects, programs and committees.

Prior to her work at the Library and the Coleman A. Young Foundation, Jackson served for six years, from 1994-2000, as an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University in the graduate and undergraduate levels of the School of Business Administration and the College of Liberal Arts. From 1988 to 1994, she served as assistant to the mayor in the city of Detroit’s Mayor’s Executive Office.

Since 2006, Jackson has served as a board member—including a term as board president—for Two Rivers Public Charter School in northeast D.C. and has been an integral part of evolving and expanding the school’s performance and growth.

Jackson received a B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and her Master’s degree and Ph.D in economics from Wayne State University. Her graduate studies and her doctoral dissertation focused on the public-education sector, public-school performance and student achievement.

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