Peter Hernon named ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year

Contact: Megan Griffin
ACRL Program Coordinator
(312) 280-2514

For Immediate Release,
January 29, 2008

Peter Hernon named ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year

CHICAGO - Dr. Peter Hernon, professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, is the 2008 Association of College and Research Libraries' (ACRL) Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by YBP Library Services, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development.

Hernon will receive a $5,000 award on Monday, June 30, at the ACRL President's Program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim.

"Dr. Peter Hernon was selected because of his substantive body of research over a career of more than 30 years. His research, publications and presentations significantly impact the library profession," said award committee Chair Cynthia Steinhoff, library director at the Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md. "He informs us and helps us to face the challenges that lie ahead. He helps us to determine the role of libraries and librarians in the future. Dr. Hernon's work, which focuses on such varied topics as assessment, government information, service quality and leadership, addresses very real issues and questions that academic librarians face every day."

"I am humbled by the receipt of this prestigious award and recognition of the body of research and other scholarly writings that I have produced since 1972," said Hernon. "I continue to conduct research, as there is so much that I still want to continue to learn. As someone who has spent almost his entire career in the profession serving as an LIS educator, this award takes on added significance to me. It reflects that the so-called divide between those in practice and those of us in education need not be great. I appreciate recognition of my scholarship for its contribution both to theory and practice. I enjoy working with library directors and other staff and believe that the award is confirmation of my continued close association with practice."

Hernon has a distinguished record of service to the profession. His research and presentations in the areas of customer service and assessment have assisted many academic libraries in improving the quality of their user relationships. He has published extensively on such topics as library leadership and government information issues, as well as service quality. His 1998 book "Assessing Service Quality: Satisfying the Expectations of Library Customers" was the unanimous winner of the Highsmith Library Literature Award for its outstanding contribution to the body of library literature. A 2007 survey published in College & Research Libraries listed Hernon as the fifth most cited author in LIS journals from 1994-2004. Dr. Hernon's writings have been translated into several languages, including Japanese and Korean.

From 1993-2002, Hernon acted as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Academic Librarianship and is currently co-editor of Library & Information Science Research. He previously served on the editorial boards of College & Research Libraries and Publications in Librarianship, as well as the advisory committee for ALA Editions.

Dr. Hernon served on the faculty at Simmons from 1978 through 1983 and returned in 1986 after a stint at the University of Arizona. His major teaching interests include government information, including information policy; the role of research; reflective inquiry, research design and research methods; evaluation of library services; and academic libraries. He has also acted as a visiting professor in the library and information studies programs at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand; the University of Arizona in Tucson; and the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Currently, he serves as lead professor at Simmons College for the newly created Ph.D. program, Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions, which began in 2005 with a multi-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The innovative program focuses on creating successful future leaders in library and information settings and generating rigorous research to improve the knowledge base and practice of managerial leadership. This program involves faculty from Simmons and professors of practice-leading practitioners in the profession.

Hernon received his B.A and M.A. in History from the University of Colorado - Boulder in 1966 and 1968, respectively. He earned his M.A. in Library Science from the University of Denver in 1971, and Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1978.

The award dates back to 1978, and recent award winners include Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson (2007); Ray English (2006); Ravindra Nath (R. N.) Sharma (2005); Tom Kirk (2004); Ross Atkinson, (2003); Shelley Phipps, (2002); and Larry Hardesty (2001).

For more information regarding the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.