Jim Neal is currently the Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, providing leadership for university academic computing and network services and a system of twenty-five libraries. He also works with the Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC) and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL). He serves on key academic, technology, budget and policy groups at the University. Previously, he served as the Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University, and held administrative positions in the libraries at Penn State, Notre Dame, and the City University of New York. At Columbia, he has focused in particular on the development of the digital library, special collections, global resources, instructional technology, building construction/renovation, and fundraising programs.
Neal has served on the Council and Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA), on the Board and as President of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and as Chair of OCLC's Research Library Advisory Council. He currently is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and on the Board of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). He has also served on numerous international, national and state professional committees, and is an active member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).
Neal is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, consultant and published researcher with a focus in the areas of scholarly communication, intellectual property, digital library programs, organizational change, staff turnover, and fundraising. He has worked on the editorial boards of journals in the field of academic librarianship. He has served on the Board of Project Muse, the electronic journal publishing program at Hopkins, on the Advisory Board for the E-History Book Project at the American Council of Learned Societies, on the Advisory Board of PubMed Central at the National Institutes of Health, on the Scholarly Communication Committees of ARL and ACRL, as Chair of the Steering Committee of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and currently serves on the Board of the Columbia University Press. He has represented the American library community in testimony on copyright matters before Congressional committees and was an advisor to the U.S. delegation at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) diplomatic conference on copyright. He has worked on copyright policy and advisory groups for universities and professional and higher education associations. He was selected the 1997 Academic/Research Librarian of the Year by ALA's Association of College and Research Libraries.