Joan Brodsky holds an A.B. from Syracuse University in Latin and Education and a Masters in Library Science, also from Syracuse. She is a librarian and a book and paper conservator. She serves as a trustee of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois and the Newberry Library in Chicago. Brodsky is on the Board of Visitors of the Syracuse University Library and the Advisory Board of the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City and is a member of the Grolier Club in New York City and a life member of the American Library Association. At Syracuse University, she is a founder and sponsor of an annual endowed lecture series and workshop on the conservation of books, paper, photographs, plastics, and other materials maintained by libraries.