St. Louis, Missouri, USA -- September 17, 1996: Data Research Associates, Inc. (DRA) today announced that Vice President Emeritus Jim Michael retired from the company.
"It is truly no exaggeration to say that Jim has had as profound an effect on library automation as anyone else in the past two decades," says Mike Mellinger, DRA President and CEO. "His value to the industry has been illustrated, among other things, by his selection for the 1992 LITA Gaylord Award -- which recognizes lifetime achievement in library automation."
Jim's library career began in the 1950s, when he served as a clerk in several libraries while studying to be a minister and doing graduate work in Hebrew Studies. While he has maintained a life-long interest in his ministry, Jim's fondness for libraries altered his career path. He obtained an MLS from the University of Illinois in 1961, serving first as director of the Concordia Seminary library in St. Louis, and then as Head of the Main Library at the St. Louis Public Library.
While at St. Louis Public Library, Jim was introduced to a then-fledgling DRA. Jim and Mike Mellinger quickly realized they shared a similar vision for the future of library automation, and the critical role that adherence to library-industry standards would play -- today, an accepted fact, but a revolutionary concept in the 1970s.
Jim joined DRA in 1978. Prior to his semi-retirement to Vice President Emeritus in 1995, he served in a wide range of capacities, from generating bids and sales, to installation, training and customer service. Throughout, he continued to travel around the globe "preaching the good news of standards." During his most recent years at DRA, Jim served as Vice President of Standards, a position unique to DRA and reflecting the importance the company continues to place on standards.
Among other professional accomplishments, Jim was named a 1995 Fellow of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), becoming the tenth individual to receive the honor. Jim also was instrumental in establishing the NISO Z39.50 Implementers Group (ZIG); and was co-author of the book, From A to Z39.50: A Networking Primer (with Mark Hinnebusch of the Florida Center for Library Automation). Jim has served as a consultant to the U.S. government's Bureau of Libraries, as well as on numerous boards and councils related to adult education, library services and library automation.
Upon his full retirement from DRA, Jim is devoting more time to his ministry and Hebrew studies, and many other projects -- including an occasional visit to the DRA headquarters in St. Louis. Well-wishers can still reach Jim via his e-mail address, Jim@dra.com. Says Mike, "We wish the best of luck to Jim, and are profoundly grateful for all he has done to bring DRA and the library industry to where it is today."
DRA, headquartered in St. Louis, is a leading systems integrator for libraries and other information providers, offering its own proprietary information services software; third-party software and hardware; Internet, World Wide Web and other networking services; and other related support services. DRA is the sole library automation vendor currently a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an industry consortium to develop Web standards and specifications. DRA's World Wide Web page is located at http://www.dra.com.