Middle East Librarians Association



Jonathan Rodgers receives

Partington Award for 2009

CAMBRIDGE, MA (Nov. 20)–Amidst an audience of colleagues and well-wishers, Jonathan Rodgers, Head of the Near East Division at Hatcher Graduate Library, University of Michigan received the 2009 David H. Partington Award. The award was presented at the Middle East Librarians Association’s (MELA) 38th annual conference held this month in Cambridge.

The David H. Partington Award was established to recognize MELA members who have displayed a high standard of excellence and accomplishments in and contributions to the field of Middle East librarianship, librarianship in general, and scholarship, and who have given outstanding service to MELA itself.  

Jonathan Rodgers serves as Head of the Near East Division and Coordinator of Area Programs at Hatcher Graduate Library, University of Michigan. Previously, he was Head Librarian of the Near East Division of the Catalogue Department at Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University; Assistant Librarian and Head of Special Collections and Conservation, and Judaica Librarian at Hebrew Union College Library, Cincinnati.

Jonathan earned a Diploma in Arabic from the Defense Language Institute and a B.A. in Semitic Languages from Harpur College of the State University of New York at Binghamton. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures by Yale University. He then completed an MSLS at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Rodgers has been an active member of MELA for over 20 years. In particular, he has given diligent and outstanding service as Editor of MELA Notes from 1997 to 2007. While serving in that capacity, he was instrumental in initiatives to digitize MELA Notes, as well as MELA Occasional Papers in Middle Eastern Librarianship and the MELA Guides series, which he also worked to revive.

Jonathan’s contributions to Middle East Studies and Middle East Librarianship extend beyond MELA. He has served on the Executive Board of MEMP (Middle East Microform Project) as secretary since 2000. He is a member of the AOS (American Oriental Society) and has served as its Secretary or Secretary-Treasurer for over 20 years. He got his start in the field as a translator in Arabic for the US Army and then as a translator of Arabic for the Joint Publication Research Service. He has been a contributor/advisor to the “Arab Culture and Civilization” project of The National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education and has served in the same capacity to the “The Arab World: Introduction to the Bibliographic Resources”, al-Musharaka Seminar (ACRL Annual Meeting 2003).

Jonathan translated Wolfdietrich Fischer’s Grammatik des klassischen Arabisch, which was published by Yale University Press as Grammar of Classical Arabic in 2001. He has published extensively on Arabic and Semitic linguistics and Middle Eastern bibliographical studies in MELA Notes, IJMES, JAOS, and Studies in Bibliography and Booklore.  He has actively participated in the annual meetings of MELA , the AOS, NACAL (North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics), MESA, and the AJL (Association of Jewish Libraries) as a presenter or panelist.

In the words of Jonathan’s references, he “shows his serious commitment to the advancement of research and learning across the field of contemporary Middle Eastern and ancient Near Eastern Studies. His office is always open for students and faculty to come and consult on matters of research.”  “There is a long list of students who have benefited from Jonathan's deep knowledge.” “He is a model librarian and is a most deserving recipient of the David H. Partington Award.”


Meryle Gaston