Librarian recognized for contributing to distance learning in higher education

Librarian recognized for contributing to distance learning in higher education
February 27, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Jack E. Fritts Jr., director of library services at Benedictine University, has been named the 2009 recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Distance Learning Section (DLS) Haworth Press Distance Learning Librarian Conference Sponsorship Award. The award, sponsored by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, honors an ACRL member working in the field of, or contributing to the success of, distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education. “The committee chose Fritts as this year’s award recipient due to his impressive record of accomplishment through more than 20 years of service to distance learners,” said Jerilyn Marshall, chair of the DLS award committee and head of the Reference and Instructional Services Department at the University of Northern Iowa’s Rod Library. “He has served in a variety of roles throughout his career – as a librarian, director, educator, technologist and consultant,” she added. “His mentoring skills and his interest in seeing distance learning librarians and librarianship develop and succeed were mentioned several times in the nomination letters we received. “Jack has long been involved as an active participant in the Distance Learning Section of ACRL and its predecessors,” Marshall added. “Most recently, he was one of the leaders in the successful effort to develop ACRL’s new Standards for Distance Learning Library Services.” Prior to becoming director of library services at Benedictine in 2002, Fritts was executive director of the Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange from 1997-2002. He also worked at the National-Louis University Library in Evanston, where he served at assistant university librarian for library technology (1996-97), assistant university librarian for public services and automation (1992-96), coordinator of public services (1990-92) and public services librarian and coordinator of interlibrary loan (1988-90). Fritts has served as a consultant for the Technology Continuum, where he conducts workshops to train teachers on how to use the Web collaboratively. He also worked with the North Suburban Library System as a trainer during his tenure at National-Louis University and taught adult education courses at National-Louis University, Rosary College and Oakton Community College. Fritts earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education from the National College of Education and a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science from Rosary College. Fritts and his family live in Chicago.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.