Joan S. Mitchell, editor in chief of the DDC since 1993, retired from OCLC on 18 January 2013. She is the ninth editor of the DDC since 1876. Under Joan’s editorship, OCLC published DDC 21 (1996), DDC 22 (2003), and DDC 23 (2011), plus the corresponding abridged editions and 200 Religion Class publications accompanying each full edition. In addition, Joan expanded the DDC’s electronic publications, including Dewey for Windows and WebDewey. Most recently, the DDC has been released as linked data at Dewey.info. Joan oversaw development of various mappings and crosswalks to the system, including mappings from Library of Congress Subject Headings. She oversaw the translation of various versions of the DDC into 18 languages. She started the annual Dewey Translators Meetings held in conjunction with the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA), and those meetings became the International Dewey Users Meetings at IFLA. Joan has been a tireless advocate for Dewey and librarianship, and visited 30 countries on six continents on behalf of Dewey. Under her guidance, input from the worldwide Dewey community often shaped the proposals and conversation at meetings of the Dewey editorial team and meetings of the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC). While at OCLC, she coauthored two books, wrote 30 scholarly papers for publication, and gave over 120 presentations in venues around the world. In 2005, the American Library Association awarded her the Melvil Dewey Medal, which recognizes distinguished service to the profession of librarianship.
Prior to joining OCLC in 1993, she was director of educational technology at Carnegie Mellon University and an adjunct professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh—and a member of EPC. She has also held various positions in technical and public services in academic and special libraries.
The Dewey Section at the Library of Congress feted Joan 10 January, and OCLC feted her 17 January. Her colleagues and friends spoke warmly not only of her professional accomplishments but also about how nice she has been to work with, about how we’ll miss her hearty laugh.
Caroline Saccucci, Head, Dewey Section, Library of Congress, presents Joan with a print of a hallway in LC’s Jefferson Building signed by Joan’s friends and colleagues at LC.
We wish Joan well in pursuing her personal interests:
Good luck, Joan, in this new phase of your life!