Larry P. Alford wins 2018 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/01/2018


Chase Ollis

Program Officer


CHICAGO — Larry P. Alford, chief librarian at the University of Toronto, has been named the 2018 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. Alford will receive a cash award and citation during the ACRL President’s Program on Saturday, June 23, 2018, at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Named in honor of one of the pioneers of library automation, the Atkinson Award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management and has made notable improvements in library services or research.

“The committee selected Larry P. Alford because of his distinguished career as an academic librarian, including his outstanding experience in library automation and library management, as well as his demonstrated risk taking in redesigning library spaces and securing funding for renovations,” said Theresa S. Byrd, Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award committee chair and dean of the Copley Library at the University of San Diego. “As chair of the OCLC Board, Larry focused on technology, and he is currently involved with linked data, digital preservation, entrepreneurship, and research data management projects.”

“Additionally, throughout his library career, Larry has increased money for collections and championed public service initiatives,” continued Byrd. “He believes in nurturing new library professionals and has served as a mentor in both the Northern Exposure to Leadership Initiative and the Senior Fellow Program at UCLA. Larry’s colleagues in both Canada and the United States spoke of his collaborative spirit within the libraries he worked and with external library partners. He has numerous publications, presentations, and extensive professional and university service. Larry, an innovator and visionary, epitomizes what Hugh C. Atkinson represented to our profession.”

Alford received his B.A. and M.S.L.S. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The Hugh C. Atkinson Award is jointly sponsored by four divisions of the American Library Association: the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA). The award is funded from an endowment established to honor Hugh C. Atkinson.

For more information regarding the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.


About ACRL
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing nearly 10,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

ALCTS is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, metadata, collection management, preservation, electronic and continuing resources. ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.

About LITA
LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of more than 2,500 system librarians, library administrators, library schools, vendors, and others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. For more information, visit the LITA website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, and stay current on all things library tech through the LITA Blog.

The Library Leadership and Management Association advances outstanding leadership and management practices in library and information services by encouraging and nurturing individual excellence in current and aspiring library leaders.