Allen C. Benson, Ph.D.

Director Henry E. Eccles Library
Allen Benson Photo


Allen Benson, Ph.D., has been the U.S. Naval War College’s professor of libraries since joining the college in 2011. Prior to his current position, he performed with the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point and served on the music faculties at St. Olaf College, Augsburg University and the University of Minnesota, Duluth. His career in library administration spans 30 years including directorships in public libraries and higher education. He was an early adopter of the internet and has published numerous books on its applications in library and information science. His current research focuses on the philosophy of image, linguistics and ontology-based knowledge representation.

Professional Highlights


Professor of Libraries, U. S. Naval War College

Appointed Library Director and Professor of Information Science, U.S. Naval War College.

Doctoral Student, University of Pittsburgh

School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. Graduate Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in archives and library and information science.

Library Director, Washington & Jefferson College

Appointed Library Director, responsible for operations and planning in the U. Grant Miller Library.

Library Director, Arkansas State University

Appointed Director of the Norma Wood Library and project director of South Shore Memory Project, a digital oral history archives in the Ozark Mountains.

Freelance Writer

Completed two book contracts for Neal-Schuman Publishers: Securing PCs and Data in Libraries and Schools; The Neal-Schuman Complete Internet Companion for Librarians, first edition.

Library Director, Saline County Library System

Appointed Director of the Saline County Library System, including main and branch library. Established one of the country's first public library Internet connections in 1993.

Graduate Student, The University of Alabama

Graduate Research Assistant in the Information Processing Lab; President, Student Advisory Committee; Editor of monthly library school newsletter.

Library Director, Searcy County

Appointed Director of the Searcy County Library system.

United States Military Academy, Bandsman

Served as consultant for Columbia Studios in production of The Blue and the Gray; toured with the United States Military Academy Band, West Point, New York.

Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct faculty and Artist in Residence, music departments at Augsburg College, Carleton College, St. Olaf College, and University of Minnesota, Duluth.


Ph.D., School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 2011, Information Science, Dissertation: Relationship Analysis of Image Descriptions: An Ontological, Content Analytic Approach

M.L.S., School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama, 1993, Recipient, MLS Faculty Scholar Award

Graduate program, New York University, 1980, Music

B.F.A., College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, 1974

Related Credentials

“A Content Analytic, Ontological Approach to Understanding Relationships in Image Descriptions,”
Lecture, The University of Barcelona
April 5, 2011

“Challenges and Opportunities in Information Communications Technology (ICT),”
Lecture, Tashkent State University of Economics, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
December 30, 2003

"Defending Against Sabotage: Security Solutions for Libraries,"
Computers in Libraries national convention, Arlington, VA
March 2-4, 1998

Research Contributions and Publications

"Image descriptions and their relational expressions: a review of the literature and the issues"
Journal of Documentation, Volume 71, No. 1

Capturing relationships expressed in image descriptions: A preliminary investigation
BiD: textos universitaris de biblioteconomia i documentacio, Number 27

OntoPhoto and the Role of Ontology in Organizing Knowledge
Knowledge Organization, 38(2)

Killed Negatives: The Unseen Photographic Archives
Archivaria, 68, 1-37

Photographic Materials Education in Library Schools
The PIEA Journal for Photography Education, 1

The Archival Photograph and Its Meaning: Formalisms for Modeling Images
Journal of Archival Organization, 7 (4)

Connecting Kids & the Web: A Handbook for Teaching Internet Use and Safety
New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers

Neal-Schuman Complete Internet Companion for Librarians, Second Edition
New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers

The South Shore Memory Project: Children Building Digital Libraries
Arkansas Libraries, 14-20
(April 2000)

Connecting Kids and the Internet: A Handbook for Librarians, Teachers and Parents, Second Edition
Co-authored with Linda M. Fodemski
New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers
(April 1999)

Building a Secure Library System
Computers in Libraries, 24-29
(March 1998)

Securing PCs and Data in Libraries and Schools
New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers

The Complete Internet Companion for Librarians
New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers

Awards and Decorations

Recognized by the College of Communications and Information Science, University of Alabama, as one of the College's forty outstanding alumni, 2014.

Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, School of Library and Information Science, University of Alabama, 2013.

Awarded the Outstanding Academic Service Award, August 2000, Arkansas State University Mountain Home.

Library Journal (June 15, 1998) The Complete Internet Companion for Librarians recognized as one of the library profession’s most outstanding pieces of literature.

Awarded MLS Faculty Scholar Award 1993, University of Alabama.

Awarded the Army Commendation Medal for composing original field-music marches for summer Retreat Review Ceremonies at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1982.

External Memberships and Associations

International Society for Knowledge Organization

American Society for Information Science & Technology

Association of College and Research Libraries

Library and Information Technology Association

Society of Photographic Education

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.