Joan R. Challinor is a member of the Board of Visitors and the Louis Round Wilson Academy and Knowledge Trust of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a member of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science from 1994 to 2005 and served as Commission Chairman from 2003-04. She is a member of the Library Council of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She also serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society. She is the Chairperson of the Grants-in-Aid for Scholars Program for the Cosmos Club Foundation, for which she is a Trustee. For 12 years she was a Director of Knight-Ridder, Inc., a newspaper and electronic publisher responsible for 32 daily newspapers and a variety of information services for business, finance, science, technology and the professions.
Dr. Challinor received her Ph.D. degree in history from American University, Washington, D.C., where she was also a Professional Lecturer. In 1985, she received The American University Distinguished Alumni Award.
Dr. Challinor has lectured on a wide range of topics, such as “Are Libraries as We Know Them Endangered Species in the Internet Era?” (New York City, 2006) and “Women in the Developing World and Information Literacy,” (keynote address UNESCO/NCLIS Forum on Information Literacy, Prague Symposium on Information Literacy, 2003).
Her publications include Trust…and Terror: New Demands for Crisis Information Dissemination and Management; a Proposal to Expand the Role of U.S. Libraries in Crisis Information Dissemination and Management, 2002; Arms at Rest: Works of Peace in American History (co-edited with Robert L. Beisner,1987) and Kin and Communities: Families in America (co-edited with Alan J. Lichtman, 1979).