November, 2002

John J. DiGilio | Age 31
Legal and business research librarian/ instructor, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart

While his law school classmates were envisioning careers in the courtroom, John DiGilio was relishing the task of library research. That appreciation for research brought him to the University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Sciences to combine his law degree with his research abilities toward a M.L.I.S. Upon graduation, he landed a job as the legal librarian for all of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart's 10 offices, based in downtown Pittsburgh.

"[The classification of] ‘Librarian' carries a wide spectrum of jobs because of this information economy," say DiGilio, dismissing the stereotype that librarians are older women with buns amongst stacks of books. These days, librarian jobs can be based on virtual reference and Internet research, not books. "My real love of the research aspect in the library is getting to the core of the issue -- getting to the nuts and bolts.

"Somebody has to be available not just to point people to the proper research," DiGilio says, "but with so much being available today, they need individuals who can sift through it all to come up with the best research … given the wide variety of resources today."

Actively involved in two professional information-related organizations, DiGilio is president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Special Libraries Association, which brings together specialized collections, such as medical libraries, law or even prison libraries. He's also a member of the Western Pennsylvania Law Libraries Association. He received awards from both organizations in 2001 -- a feat never accomplished before. The SLA recognized his activism within its organization with The Chapter Award, and he was the WPLLA's Librarian of the Year.

"I was completely knocked over, to say the least, because I'm still fairly new to the profession," DiGilio laughs.

He's also involved in the Mount Washington Community Development Corp., working to sustain and improve the area's parks and green areas. As Mount Washington-area representative for the Democratic Party, DiGilio conveys the issues important to the community to Democratic legislators and other elected officials.

"I'd like to see more people use their voice and get involved," says DiGilio, adding that they have no right to complain about the state of affairs if they do nothing to bring about change.

And the Pepperdine University-educated boy (originally from Nesquehoning, northeastern Pennsylvania) has become a real advocate for Pittsburgh. He's happy to open up his guest room to friends and family and show off the town. He's also impressed by the accessibility of Pittsburgh -- he doesn't own a car and has never felt "locked."

DiGilio also has found it easier to find common-interest groups here than in bigger cities like Los Angeles or London. "One of the big reasons I came here is the incredible diversity -- I didn't expect to find Buddhist groups, but I did," DiGilio says, referring to study groups he attends weekly to discuss Buddhist teachings and to meditate. "The diversity here is awesome, and people should come to realize it."

Here is the link for this information in Pittsburgh Magazine.