Professor Emeritus Named SLIS Friend of the Year | School of Information | Kent State University

Professor Emeritus Named SLIS Friend of the Year

Thomas Froehlich, Ph.D., Served as School's Global Ambassador

Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) has named Thomas J. Froehlich, Ph.D., professor emeritus, its 2016 Friend of the Year for his outstanding service to the School.

“I am honored to be designated the 2016 Friend of SLIS,” Froehlich said. “Because of the School’s friendship to me, I have been able to travel the world as an ambassador for SLIS locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Froehlich established and was the first director of the school’s Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) master’s degree program, which began in 2001; he retired from SLIS in 2015 after 27 years of service.

With grants from SLIS, Froehlich was able to travel to 23 different countries to teach workshops, seminars, courses and classes, or to make presentations. He also spent time on sabbatical in Wuhan, China; Barcelona, Spain; and Wellington, New Zealand.

“I feel that my ambassadorship of SLIS abroad has been a major contribution to and a major benefit from my association with the school,” Froehlich said. “Many times, my professional relationships moved into friendships, which brought visiting scholars to the university, for example.”

Froehlich’s research and the majority of his publications focus on ethical issues in the information professions, sometimes coauthored with colleagues at SLIS. His other research interests include: the philosophical foundations of information science, with special focus on social epistemology and relevance criteria in information retrieval systems; information technologies in library and information centers; and curriculum development in the information professions.

His work has appeared in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, IFLA Journal, Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Library Trends, Encyclopedia of Ethics, Education for Information, The Journal of the American Society, Informationsethik (Germany), Zagadnienia Informacji Naukawej (Poland), Educación y Biblioteca, Revista mensual de documentación y recursos didácticos (Spain), Transinformação (Brazil) and Cadernos de Biblioteconomia, Arquívistica e Documentação (Cadernos BAD) (Portugal).

Froehlich has been active with many professional organizations including the Association for Information Science and Technology, Information Architecture Institute, Association for Library and Information Science Education and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

“After his retirement in 2015, Dr. Froehlich has continued to support the SLIS community by serving on committees and providing guidance for the IAKM program, which now includes concentrations in the emerging fields of health informatics, knowledge management and user experience design,” SLIS Interim Director Jeff Fruit said, in giving Froehlich the award at a ceremony on April 13 at Kent State University.

Froehlich earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from St. Vincent College, a Master of Arts in philosophy from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Science in information science from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Duquesne University.

In addition to SLIS, Froehlich has held faculty positions at Syracuse University, the University of Pittsburgh, the College of Librarianship Wales (now the Department of Information Studies of Aberystwyth University), Duquesne University and Pennsylvania State University; he was a visiting professor at Wuhan University in China in 1995.