SILS distinguis​hed alumnus, Larry Alford, named Chief Librarian at the University of Toronto

Larry Alford, SILS alumnus (MSLS ’77) and current vice provost for Libraries, university librarian and dean of University Libraries at Temple University, has been named the chief librarian at the University of Toronto. Alford is set to begin his new seven-year appointment Aug. 1, 2011.

An internationally recognized leader in library science, Alford began his career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was the deputy university librarian. After leaving UNC at Chapel Hill, he became the vice provost for Libraries and university librarian at Temple University in 2005. In 2007, he was also named Temple University’s dean of University Libraries. In his current position, he is responsible for five academic libraries in the Paley Library System, as well as the Ginsburg Health Sciences Library, the Podiatric Medicine Library and Temple University Press.

“Alford’s engagement in numerous library operations, including the development of print and electronic collections, library services and the renovation and building of libraries, has resulted in a superb vision for research libraries in the 21st Century,” lauds Cheryl Misak, University of Toronto vice-president and provost. “He has a lengthy and successful record of leadership in cooperative activities among libraries, first in North Carolina and then nationally and globally, culminating in his chairing for the last four years the Board of Trustees of OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), a global library cooperative that serves 72,000 libraries. He is passionate about libraries as partners in research and learning and over the last six years he has been leading a transformation of the libraries at Temple.”

“I am sad to leave Temple University which is flourishing under the transformative leadership of its president, Ann Weaver Hart, but I am deeply honored and very excited to be joining one of the world’s great universities with one of the top four university libraries in North America,” said Alford. “I am indebted to The University of North Carolina both for my undergraduate and graduate education and for the opportunity to hone my skills as a librarian and library leader in the great UNC Library.”

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. He has been a member of the American Library Association (ALA) and has served as chair of the ALA Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group. From 2004 – 2006 he served as chair of the Collection Management and Development Section of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services and from 2005-2009 as an elected member of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) Steering Committee. He is a member of the Association of Research Libraries Special Collections Working Group and the ARL Committee on Statistics.

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