From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

James, William "Bill"

(born: 1945) 

William James is recognized as the first African American librarian at the University of Kentucky. He came to the university as Director of the College of Law Library in 1974, and he was also an instructor in the College of Library Science and he was an assistant professor in the College of Law [sources: Press Release, UKNews, University of Kentucky Information Services, 02/21/1977, 2pages; "Affirmative Action," The Green Bean, no.1, 05/25/1973, p.1 (online at Explore UK); p.250 in University of Kentucky Course Catalog, v.68, no.5, 1976-77 (online at Explore UK)]; and University of Kentucky Course Catalog, v.69, no.3, 1977-1978 (online at Explore UK)].  William James completed high school in Augusta, GA, and is a 1967 graduate of Morehouse College, and a 1972 graduate of Howard University School of Law. He worked at the Federal Trade Commission before earning a library science degree from Atlanta University in 1973 [now Clark Atlanta University]. He was the Assistant Law Librarian at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville before coming to the University of Kentucky. William James was the first African American librarian at the level of Librarian I (full professor), his rank was last noted in the University of Kentucky Course Catalog, 1988-89, p.307. William James left in 1988 to become Director of the Pulling Law Library at Villanova University. This entry was suggested by Librarian Shawn Livingston and completed with assistance from Librarian Gail Kennedy, both at the University of Kentucky.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: UKNow, University of Kentucky Information Services [William James]

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“James, William "Bill",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 27, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-08-04 18:44:20