Randy is the Graduate Research and Instruction Librarian at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA (100,000+ FTE). Randy has been a member of ACL since 2005.
Describe yourself using a book title: The Grace Awakening. If I were to choose a song title to describe my life, it would be Jesus Led Me All the Way. I appreciate my fundamentalist heritage and their deep devotion to biblical truth. Yet, I also am deeply grateful for God’s amazing grace, the great diversity of His creation, and the height, depth, and breadth of His love.
What’s the best thing about being a librarian? I get to wake up every day and get paid to connect people to resources that meet their needs.
What are you currently reading? I am currently enjoying several books written by my friend, biblical scholar Mike Heiser, including The Unseen Realm.
Describe ACL in three words: Connecting Christian Librarians
How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I am a research and instruction librarian, so I teach research classes and work one-on-one primarily with graduate and doctoral students on their research and dissertations.
I began my career as a librarian…I didn’t originally intend to go into librarianship. I began my career as a librarian at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Minnesota. I had formerly been their radio station manager, but the station had to close due to a lack of funds. I didn’t want to leave the school, so I went to the President and asked for the only job open at the time — the library director. The Lord directed that move since he had thought the same thing and agreed. I got my degree in library media education and served there for 15 years. During that time, I converted their card catalog to MARC records. I had a 5-year break where I was a Christian school principal and then applied to be a librarian at Liberty University in 2004. So I’ve gone from one of the smallest ACL libraries to the largest. In 2019, I received an MLIS from Florida State, specializing in reference services. Through the years, I’ve worn several hats at the Jerry Falwell Library (including implementing Digital Commons and managing the reference desk). I love what I’m doing now, primarily helping graduate students.
What do you value about ACL? The fellowship at the annual conference and throughout the year on listservs, etc. ACL is working for our profession here in the states and supporting librarians worldwide.
How were you introduced to ACL? I started librarianship as a solo librarian at a small Bible college in Minnesota. My initial introduction was to attend an ACL conference held at Cedarville (paid for out of pocket since my institution couldn’t afford it). I was hooked! I met librarians I’m still friends with over 30 years later. I greatly appreciated the camaraderie with fellow Christian librarians.
How are you or have you been involved in ACL? Conference presentations, served on the Liberal Arts Section committee and various other committee posts, including the Nominating Committee.