Submitted by Fred Stoss, Associate Librarian and Subject Specialist for Biological Sciences, Ecology and Environmental Sciences & Studies, Geology, and Mathematics at SUNY Buffalo. He is also the library liaison to the athletic department, past chair of SLA’s Environmental Information Division, past chair of SRRT’s Task Force on the Environment, and past coordinator of SRRT.
Professor Emerita, Marta L. Dosa, Ph.D. (University of Michigan, 1971), spent nearly four decades contributing to the growth of knowledge in library and information science. There are three major aspects of this career worth describing here as a nomination for recognition as a “Woman of Library History.” Marta Dosa made immeasurable contributions to the field of information science, and was a tireless leader of seminars and conferences worldwide.
First and foremost were her efforts in bridging the availability of and access to the vast data and information repositories between developing regions and the industrialized and more developed regions of the world. Marta Dosa was among the very first academics who realized the vast cultural, social, economic and political differences between those two groups: the data and information rich nations, and the much more impoverished nations in such critical need of that very same base of knowledge on which to improve their standards of living and indicators of a better quality of life.
Marta maintained an ever-present awareness of the importance of problem solving that involved shared points of access, cogent policies related to information resources sharing, the dramatic importance of shared information technologies and above all the need for those cross-disciplinary exchanges of ideas that bridged not only literature, data, and information, but also and perhaps more so, that crossed political philosophies and lines of work.
In addition to her Professorship in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, Marta held an adjunct faculty status at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She was a long-time dedicated member of the Association for Information Science and the Special Libraries Association, where she was instrumental with several Federal librarians and information officers established the SLA Environmental Information Division. Marta served as Chair of the Federation Internationale de Documentation (FID) from 1982-1988, and whose leadership allowed FID to continue is mission and service to advance research in information and library science through international collaboration and recognition in the applied, life and physical sciences; the social sciences; and the humanities.
Marta’s research and teaching included the teaching of the first graduate class on Environmental Information, which was taken not only by students seeking their Masters of Library Science, Masters of Information Resources Management, and Doctor of Philosophy degree, but by students seeking advanced degrees in agriculture and forestry, public health, policy science, law, environmental science and policy, education, and public administration. Marta’s work also provided the first serious examination of the role of data and information management in the areas related to gerontology.
It is, however, worth noting that Marta’s ethical and moral devotion to the concept of free and unfettered access to information is found in her book Libraries in the Public Scene (Greenwood), a dramatic account of German librarian scholars living and working under the repression of National Socialism—an account she witnessed as a Hungarian refugee living in West Germany.
Her honors include receiving the Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award in 1986 from the American Society for Information Science, and the University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award in 1989 from the United Methodist Church.
Dosa’s late husband served as librarian at Syracuse University from 1958 to 1965. Marta Dosa retired from Syracuse after 34 years of teaching, research, and service.