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GAC Profile: Barbara A. Zaborowski, Ph.D.

Barbara Zaborowski.
Barbara Zaborowski

Dr. Zaborowski has been a librarian for 28 years during which time she has served in school, public, and academic libraries. Currently, she serves as Dean of Library Resources at the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.

Starting at the College in 1995, she has been instrumental in building the library and promoting library services to students and faculty. In addition, Dr. Zaborowski also serves as Special Assistant to the President.  As Special Assistant, she has served as Co-chair for three Middle States Association accreditation self-study committees, in addition to acting as grant writer and project manager for several College grants; including a $1.9-million-dollar Title III federal grant.

Dr. Zaborowski received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing and Secondary Education (1982), a Master’s degree in Library Science (1990) and a Doctorate in Information Science (2008) from the University of Pittsburgh.  While an undergraduate, she was a member and officer in Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. As a graduate student, she was inducted into the Pi Chapter of Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honor Society. She is a member of the 1787 Society which recognizes her planned gift to the University of Pittsburgh and a lifetime member of the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association.

Dr. Zaborowski is a member of the American Library Association and a member of the Pennsylvania Library Association. As a member of the Pennsylvania Library Association, she has served on the Membership Committee, been chair of the Southwest Chapter and chair of the Library Instruction Round Table. In 2013, she served as second vice-president of the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) and was responsible for organization of the PaLA statewide conference held at Seven Springs. She is the current chair of the Interlibrary Delivery System of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Johnstown Branch of the American Association of University Women and author of Last Rites: Preserving the history of the Catholic churches in Cambria City.

In 2004, Dr. Zaborowski began the One Book, One Community Reading Program in Cambria County. By bringing together members from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, St. Francis University, the Cambria County Library System, and the Johnstown Chapter of Rotary International, a county-wide reading program was implemented. In 2006, a middle school component was added which has grown to a multi-day event. In the 13 years of the One Book Middle School Reading Program over 14,720 students have participated. Today, there are students who volunteer for the program who attended the program when they were in fifth grade.  In 2009, her middle school reading program received the Innovation of the Year Award presented by the League for Innovation in Community Colleges and the Ruth T. Toiga award presented by the Cambria County Literacy Council for making a unique contribution to literacy in the community.

In 2010, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association presented her with its Heritage Preservation Award for her efforts in digitizing and preserving the history of Johnstown and for her original research on the Underground Railroad in central Pennsylvania.  In 2012, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Information Science.

In 2016, she received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant which resulted in the digitizing of local history and became the Cambria Memory Project. In 2017, in partnership with HSLC and Commonwealth Libraries, this program was expanded to become the ScanPA project to support the PA Digital and Digital Public Library of America initiatives.

—Each month, a member of the GAC will be profiled in the Compendium. Learn about the Governor’s Advisory Council.

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