SILS Distinguished Alumnus Larry P. Alford (MSLS ’77) wins Hugh Atkinson Award

March 19, 2018

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

Larry P. Alford (MSLS '77)
Larry P. Alford (MSLS '77)

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, 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.”

Byrd also praised Alford’s championing of public service initiatives, his mentorship of new library professionals. “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,” Byrd said.  “Larry, an innovator and visionary, epitomizes what Hugh C. Atkinson represented to our profession.”

In addition to his MSLS from SILS, Alford holds a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2005, he received the SILS Distinguished Alumni Award, and he is currently a member of the SILS Board of Visitors.  

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.