Member of the Week: Robert P. Holley

Robert P. Holley

Robert P. HolleyRobert P. Holley is a professor emeritus at Wayne State University in Huntington Woods, MI. Robert has been a member of ACRL since 1974 and is your ACRL member of the week for June 19, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Intellectual, curious, eclectic.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Laclos to maintain my fluency in French.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Innovative, focused, valuable.

4. What do you value about ACRL? The national conferences. I’ve attended all but two since they began in Boston in 1979. Beyond the practical sessions on library issues, I remember the amazing keynote speakers. My favorite choice for its audacity and support for intellectual freedom was John Waters at the 2007 Baltimore conference. This unconventional media star shocked some in the audience but exemplified for me the counter culture aspects of many librarians.

5. What have you as an academic librarian contributed to your campus? Until my retirement in 2015, I worked as a librarian and library educator in three large research universities. One of my goals was to undermine the negative stereotypes about librarians by being active in the intellectual, political, and social life of the university. Having this dual career, I also worked to bridge the divide between librarians and faculty by sharing my perspectives on how the two groups sometimes misunderstood each other.

6. In your own words: The best thing that ever happened to me was not getting a faculty appointment in 1971, the first year of the PhD glut. I became a library assistant in the Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, and six months later started commuting to Columbia University to get my library science degree. I’ve been extremely happy as a librarian, teacher, and researcher. I have wide ranging interests and delight in synthesizing information from multiple sources, two traits librarianship values. I’m pleased that I ended my career with broad experience both as a librarian and an educator.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.