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J. Michael Pemberton

Biography and Vita

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Mike Pemberton has been a faculty member in information management at two universities and has also served as a librarian, an archivist, a records manager, and a consultant. For the last twenty-three years, he has been on the faculty of the School of Information Sciences (SIS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), the state’s senior, public, Research I university. He holds the rank of (full) Professor and teaches courses in records management, archives management, corporate librarianship, knowledge management, and the management of information organizations. He is the advisor for SIS students interested in corporate information resources and has developed a curricular focus plan for this area of the information sciences. In recent years, his presentations and written contributions have focused on issues related to professional advancement of the field of records management, ethical issues in information technology, problems in digital preservation, and the search for the intellectual foundation of the information disciplines.

In addition to faculty roles at UTK, Pemberton has been the Interim Records Manager at UTK's Records Management Office (1997-99), a campus service unit he developed from the ground up in the mid-1980s. In 1989-90, he created the Center for Information Studies, a research and contracting arm of SIS.

Pemberton is an internationally recognized writer and presenter. He has authored over 127 publications (books, articles, proceedings, reviews) and made 85 invited presentations on topics in information management. He is the first two-time winner (1990 and 1995) of the coveted John F. X. Britt Literary Award for the best article appearing in the journal published by the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA International), a professional association of over 10,000 members in 39 countries. He is the Executive Editor (1998 - ) of that association's Information Management Journal (IMJ), an international, interdisciplinary, refereed journal. He has published in the Journal of Information Ethics, the Journal of the International Records Management Congress, Xploration, the Journal for Education in Library and Information Science, the Public Library Journal, College and Research Libraries, as well as being a Contributing Editor (1991-98) to IMJ's predecessor, Records Management Quarterly.

For nineteen years Pemberton has served in leadership roles with ARMA International. In 1993-95, he became the first academic ever elected to ARMA International’s Board of Directors; he was Vice President for Region III (1993-95). He chaired two of the association’s standing committees: Education, Publications and Research Development. He chaired the group that developed ARMA’s Code of Professional Responsibility. Pemberton is a past chair of the inter-association Joint Committee of ARMA and the Society of American Archivists (SAA).

In 1998, Pemberton became a Certified Records Manager (CRM) through a six-part examination administered by the Institute of Certified Records Managers. Based on his career contributions and achievements in the field, he was inducted into ARMA’s prestigious Company of Fellows (October 1998), becoming only one of twenty-two persons then-qualified to use the designation “FAI” (Fellow, ARMA International) and only the fourth academic so honored. He serves on “an independent panel of experts in the Information and Records Management field,” chosen internationally, to evaluate submissions for the Iron Mountain/ARMA International Award for Excellence in Information Management given by the world’s largest commercial records services company. Pemberton has been interviewed on information and records management topics by newspapers such as The Washington Post, The Columbus (OH) Observer, The Los Angeles Times, and The Knoxville (TN) News-Sentinel. He was one of fifty-five Tennesseans invited by the Secretary of State to participate in an “archives summit” to develop strategic goals for an archives infrastructure in the state.

In 1988, Pemberton established a consulting practice, Information Management Associates, Inc. (IMA). These independent consultants address information management needs in organizations of many types and sizes. Their services include records management/archives needs assessments, records facilities and filing systems design, records retention research, development of corporate library services, establishing ethical information practices, and feasibility/cost justification analyses. Pemberton has competitively won contracts for consulting services with organizations such as the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Missouri, and Knox County (TN) government. IMA consultants have undertaken consulting assignments at other organizations, such as Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge Schools, Sevier County (TN), and national-level for-profit organizations such as King Business Forms and Lawler-Wood, a developer.

A native of Nashville, Pemberton graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) with a B.A. in 1964. He has an M.A., an MLS, and a Ph.D.

He is married and has two adult children, one of whom, Anne E. Pemberton , is an SIS graduate and the third family member in successive generations to become an information professional.


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