Thursday, January 29, 2009

Little-known facts about Library Staff: Joel Langford

Blame the Federal government for Joel Langford being the Technical Services Librarian at Reinhardt. During his first semester as a freshman at Birmingham-Southern College, Joel was a student worker in Career Services; however, prior to his second semester the Federal government cut its funding for work-study students. When several less needy students were cut from the program, other students, including Joel, were transferred to areas of the college that were deemed to have more vital student worker needs. Joel ended up in the library where he spent the rest of his work-study career until graduating with a degree in History. Not knowing for sure what he wanted to be when he grew up but fondly remembering his days in the library, Joel found a job at the Livingston University library in Livingston, Alabama.

After four years as a paraprofessional at Livingston, Joel entered graduate school at Emory to pursue his Master’ s degree in Library Science. Upon completion of that degree in August 1985, he found a job at small two-year college in North Georgia called Reinhardt. He also found a home. Through all the changes over the years (becoming a four-year institution and now with masters programs, tripling in size, library renovation, and countless new campus facilities), Joel still loves it here. He met his wife here (she’s a former student), and he is proud of the library’s growth in recent years.

One of the many hats Joel wears at the library is that of the College Archivist. In this role he oversees Reinhardt’s historical documents and memorabilia. His knowledge of these materials has earned him the unofficial title of "College Historian"; however, there is no truth to the rumor that he served as Captain Reinhardt’s assistant.

When you enter his office, you immediately notice that Joel collects Coca-Cola memorabilia. What you see is just a small portion of his collection – most of which is boxed away at home. A self-proclaimed Coke-aholic, he has been collecting Coca-Cola stuff since for more than 30 years. He is also a Parrothead, and you will usually hear Radio Margaritaville playing in his office. A big sports fanatic, Joel bleeds orange and blue during football season as he lives and dies with the Auburn Tigers. So if you ever see Jimmy Buffett wearing an Auburn jersey and drinking a Coke, take a picture and send it to Joel.

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