Ila Taylor Justice, ED.S.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Ila Taylor Justice, ED.S.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 23, 2024,

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Ila Taylor Justice, ED.S.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emerita

Biographical Text

Professor Emerita of Library Science Ila Taylor Justice (September 22, 1914-), was born in Crestmont, North Carolina, and reared in Banner Elk, North Carolina. She is the eldest of three children born to Sallie Henry and Everett Allen Taylor. Her brother, Colonel John William Taylor, is now retired from the United States Air Force, and her sister, Kathleen Taylor Arnold, is married to a prominent Houston physician. Justice attended Lees-McRae Junior College from 1932 to 1934, where she was an honor student inducted into membership in Phi Theta Kappa. She then transferred to Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, and received her A.B. degree in history and English in 1936. After earning her degree, Justice accepted a position with the Westchester County schools in New York. In 1941, she received the B.S.L.S. degree from George Peabody College (now affiliated with Vanderbilt University) and accepted a position as librarian and teacher at Pleasant Hill Academy in Tennessee. She worked there until 1944. In 1944, Justice became the librarian of the demonstration school and assistant professor of library science at Eastern Illinois State University, where she taught for six years. Justice worked toward an M.S. degree in library science during this time by attending summer school sessions at George Peabody College, and she received that degree in 1947. In 1949, Justice came to Appalachian State Teachers' College (now Appalachian State University). She served for thirty-one years in the Department of Educational Media (now the Department of Curriculum and Instruction). For sixteen years-until 1965-she was its chair. Mrs. Justice again chaired the department in 1973-74. During her first years at Appalachian State, Justice met and married professor John Mitchell Justice, who taught history at Appalachian State until his death in 1963. While at Appalachian State University, Justice wrote articles which appeared in ASU Faculty Publications, the NCEA Journal, the North Carolina Parent-Teacher Bulletin, and the Wilson Library Bulletin. She reviewed reference works and audio-visual materials in the ALA Booklist and children's books in Junior Libraries and the School Library journal over a period of years. She edited Evaluation of Sets of Reference Books and various bibliographies and publications for the School Library Division of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Justice also critiqued materials for the World Book Encyclopedia and was asked by its editors to give them a written comparison of World Books North Carolina articles and biographical sketches to that of other comparable encyclopedias. She is listed by Halkett and Liang's Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Literature in the English Language as one of the scholars researching materials for the American revision of this work. (Justice was responsible for volumes F and G.) Through the years, Justice was continually involved in Southern Association evaluations of school libraries and media centers and served in an advisory capacity to schools throughout the region. She delivered lectures, made speeches at professional meetings, and served as co-director (with Sarah Reed of the Library School, UNC-Chapel Hill) of two outstanding school library conferences on library education and school library services. Justice served as consultant for a school library conference in the Southeast at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She was also very active on university committees, such as Library and Instructional Services, the Belk Library Expansion Project Committee, the Teacher Education Review Project, and the Re-Admissions Committee (secretary). Justice's professional affiliations included membership in the American Library Association, the Library Education and Library Resource Committees of the North Carolina Library Association, the North Carolina Association of School Librarians, the Southeastern Library Association, the Western North Carolina Library Association, the International Reading Association, the North Carolina Association of Educators, Beta Phi Mu, and Pi Gamma Mu. To further her education, Justice attended summer school sessions at the University of Illinois (1962, 1963), Drexel (1965), the University of Chicago (1966), and Kansas State University (1968). She earned the Ed.S. degree in early childhood education and reading from Appalachian State in 1973. Justice has received numerous awards and commendations for her contributions to the field of library science. In 1976, she received the Trustees' Outstanding Teaching Award from the Appalachian College of Learning and Human Development. That same year, she received the Governor's Citation for Outstanding Volunteer Work for having organized the medical library at Watauga Hospital. In 1979, an annual lecture series (The Ila T. Justice Series) was established in her honor by her former and current students. She received the Mary Peacock Douglas Award, the North Carolina Library Association's most prestigious award recognizing outstanding contributions to school librarianship in 1980, and, in 1981, Appalachian State honored her in a ceremony naming the "Ila Justice-Eunice Query Instructional Media Center" in Belk Library after her and her long-time colleague. Justice retired from the university on July 1, 1980, after serving for thirty-one years. She was the chief faculty marshal for the Appalachian State commencement in 1980, and the August 1980 edition of the Appalachian Media Alumni Newsletter was dedicated to her. Justice has been active in local organizations. She was a charter member of the Boone Chapter of the American Association of University Women, the Appalachian Women's Club (secretary 1959-60 and president 1960-61), and the League of Women Voters (first secretary-treasurer). In retirement, Justice lives in Houston, Texas, for the winter months, but returns to her home in Boone for the summer and fall. Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal correspondence. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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