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Joel Langford, Director of Library Services

#RUFacultyFriday

joel-langford

Joel Langford is more than the Director of Library Services at Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center. He holds the esteemed informal title of being the go-to for all things Reinhardt history.

An employee since 1985 (second longest tenure next to Bonnie DeBord in the Office of the President), Langford enjoys helping students navigate through the plethora of resources and sharing Reinhardt’s history with anyone who wants to know.

“The favorite part of my job is helping students, faculty and staff find information that they need to be successful in the classroom or in their jobs,” he said. “Helping students navigate through various resources such as databases and books to find just the right information to complete a paper or project is especially rewarding.”

While many people have inspired him over the years, Langford said Barbara Scott and Ann Hamilton were instrumental in developing his career. They were librarians at Birmingham-Southern College while he was an undergrad work-study student. Like the women were to him, Langford surely has been and will be a similar role model to Reinhardt students.

He likes to help students on their journeys and said new students need to recognize that there are so many opportunities at Reinhardt, from academic and social to cultural and athletic. He recommends students get involved but not to get overwhelmed. “Use your years at Reinhardt to develop into a well-rounded person and to create life-long friendships,” he said. “Choose a major because you enjoy learning about that particular discipline and not just because of the job you expect to have after graduation.”

Asked what he would want people to know about his work that they may not know, Langford said he wants students, faculty and staff to know that all of the library’s resources and services are available to them. “Beyond the purely academic research resources, we have numerous resources for both personal growth and recreational pursuits,” he said. “These include popular novels and non-fiction available through our leisure reading collection and access to databases such as ancestry.com and Rosetta Stone.

“You don’t just have to be a student or faculty member doing research to take advantage of what the library has to offer,” he added.

Langford is the son of a United Methodist Minister and moved frequently in the areas of south Alabama and the Florida panhandle while he was growing up. He moved to Georgia to earn his Master of Librarianship at Emory University. He came to Reinhardt shortly after earning his degree. He and his wife, Sheila (a Reinhardt alumna), have been married for 22 years. 

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