John W. King

John W. King, (1948-1993) Reference Librarian at Hornbake Library, attended D.C. Public Schools, graduating from Spingarn High School and then from Hampton University where he received a bachelor of science degree. He then earned a master in science degree in speech and hearing from the University of Illinois. For several years John worked in the field of speech therapy as an instructor at Texas Technical University in Lubbock, TX and as a therapist in Baltimore City Public Schools. John returned to Washington D.C. in 1980 and received his second master’s degree in 1982.

He also taught at Catholic University of America and Clarion University of Pennsylvania. It was at Catholic University that John became concerned with providing library services to the handicapped. He learned sign language at Gallaudet University. As a librarian specializing in the services to the handicapped, John worked first at the National Rehabilitation Information Center and then, from 1985, at Hornbake Library here at College Park.

In his more than seven years with the Libraries, John developed skills in Library/Bibliographic Instruction working with, among other subjects, professional writing and journalism classes. He was system selector for Hearing and Speech, and Afro-American and Multi-cultural Studies. He was also Hornbake selector for life sciences, food/nutrition, and medicine.

John was involved in a number of workshops and some consulting activities. He was a member of the District of Columbia Library Association, the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. At the beginning of September 1992, he attended the first annual meeting of the Black Caucus.

John has a lifelong love of music, theatre, and the church as well as an enthusiasm for African-American literature. His impact on campus and the larger community was significant, and he is greatly missed. John W. King’s contributions to the University of Maryland Libraries include:

  • Helping to build the African-American collection of the libraries
  • Creating a special library facility for the hearing and visually impaired and trained students to use the equipment
  • Bringing the TDD/TTY phone system to the libraries
  • Helping establish policies for aiding the disabled in the campus libraries
  • Writing the text for the library brochure, Access for the Disabled
  • Participating as a member of the campus President’s Commission on Disability Issues
  • Being a regular participant at conferences on higher education representing the campus and the libraries.