Ila Taylor Justice (b. 1914), the eldest of three children, was born September 22, 1914 to Sallie Henry and Everett Allen Taylor.
Justice began her undergraduate education in 1932 at Lees-McRae Junior College. She later transferred to Berea College in Kentucky, where she received her A. B. degree in 1936. After graduation, she accepted a position at Westchester County Schools in New York. In 1941 she received her B. S. L. S. from George Peabody College and then accepted a position as librarian and teacher at Pleasant Hill Academy in Tennessee. In 1944 Justice took a position at Eastern Illinois State University. During her tenure at Eastern Illinois she attended summer sessions at George Peabody College and earned her M S. L. S. degree 1947.
Justice’s career at Appalachian State Teachers College began in 1949 (Appalachian State University in 1967), after she accepted a position in the Library Science Department, which later became the Department Educational Media. Shortly after her arrival at ASTC, she met and married John Mitchell Justice who taught history at ASTC until his death in 1963. Justice served as chairperson of the Library Science Department for sixteen years, until 1965, and as acting chairperson in 1973-1974. In 1973 Justice earned her Ed. S. from ASU in elementary education and reading. In 1976 she received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASU’s College of Learning and Human Development. The Ila T. Justice Annual Lecture Series was established in her honor in 1979 and in 1980 she received North Carolina’s Mary Peacock Douglas Award for outstanding contributions to school librarianship. Justice retired on July 1, 1980 and was honored at spring commencement as Chief Faculty Marshall. In 1981, for her contributions to ASU, the Ila Justice-Eunice Query Instructional Materials Center was named in her honor of Justice and her colleague Eunice Query.