Circle of Friends: Larry L. Hardesty

The ACRL Circle of Friends acknowledges the sustained generosity of those who have been Friends of ACRL for five or more years. The Friends of ACRL was created to provide a means for the association to take bold steps above and beyond its traditional member programs and services. Rapidly changing demographic, economic, and technological trends are presenting academic libraries and librarians with new challenges and competition that demand immediate solutions. The Friends of ACRL have responded to these new challenges and provided additional support that will enhance and ensure the relevance of our profession. To join or learn more about the Friends of ACRL, please visit the ACRL website.

Larry HardestyLarry L. Hardesty served as ACRL President from 1999-2000, received the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award in 2001, and has been a Friend of ACRL since 1998.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Persistent, reliable, productive.

2. Why do you support the Friends of ACRL? ACRL, both the membership and the staff, has been very supportive of me in my career in many ways.  This is my way of “passing along” all this support I have received over the past thirty plus years.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you?  Outside of a few people, I think most people would be surprised to know that just about every leadership role I had in ACRL, ranging from my first committee chair in the College Libraries Section to serving as President of ACRL and chairing an ACRL national conference, I took on very reluctantly.  This also includes, although not technically part of ACRL, my twenty plus years of leadership of the College Library Directors’ Program.  Looking back, I am glad that people had confidence in me and pushed me out of my comfort zone.  I hope I lived up to their expectations.

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way? There are so many people, a lot of them are members of the Circle of Friends, who influenced me in countless important ways.  I wished I could name them all, but since I cannot in the space allowed here, I hope they know who they are.  The singular person who influenced me most was Evan Farber.  Evan gave me numerous opportunities, and he provided a model which I strived to emulate but never came close to achieving. 

5. What do you hope ACRL will achieve in the near future (or the long term)? Being retired and away from ACRL a few years I have not kept up with current goals of ACRL.  Nevertheless, I hope it continues to enhance its role as the professional organization for academic librarians.  This includes establishing and promulgating standards, providing venues for professional development, and encouraging collaboration and cooperation with other professional organizations.  ACRL must continue to work to ensure that individual members know that they are not alone and are part of a larger noble cause.

6. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does? ACRL provides a professional voice for academic librarians through which we can talk both to each other within the profession and to those outside the profession.