Charles E. Beard

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Charles E. Beard (November 17, 1920–April 24, 2006) was a noted librarian in the state of Georgia,[1] having aided in a variety of programs, won numerous awards, and even had an award named after him by the Georgia Library Association.

Early career

According to the University of West Georgia’s web page, Beard began as the last principal of the Fourth District Agricultural & Mechanical School, later becoming the first president of the same institution after it grew to become the West Georgia College.[2] He later became the College’s Director of Libraries in 1978, and continued as a library director for at least 26 years, according to the Library Journal.[3] From there he also went on to serve on numerous committees and chairs, including membership of the White House Conference on Libraries and the Information Services Task Force, the latter of which he became national co-chair of in 1991. In a memorial from the Georgia Library Association, he is also noted to have served on many other committees of the American Library Association such as the ALA Advocacy Assembly, the ALA Chapter Relations Committee, multiple ALA Presidential Campaigns, and the ALA’s own Executive Board.


His impact also goes beyond a single library association, as he is cited to have been President of the Southeastern Library Association and many of its associated committees. In addition, he also served as the Georgia Library Association’s president, chairing many of its committees as well.[4]

Charles Beard was noted by many as an esteemed, dedicated supporter of library advocacy and was mentor to many during his lifetime. This support extended to his involvement in the production of Georgia Library Learning Online. Also known as GALILEO, it was an online resource of Georgia libraries.[5] connected them all in one expansive virtual library that allowed them to easily obtain and read stored articles, scholarly journals, and even books within its database. It gave libraries and their patrons a readily-accessible tool for learning and research in a library that may be missing a specific book, journal, or series of articles, and saved them countless millions of dollars in providing a wide variety of patron-friendly tools and services that would, standing alone, cost much more than some facilities would be able to afford.[6] Through its GIL system, it also connected libraries across the state in a way few thought would be possible by providing quick an easy tools for cataloguing and sharing resources among them, such as magazines, rare books, and encyclopedias.[7] According to Beard’s Memorial Resolution from the GLA, he led GALILEO’s development with the University of Georgia.

Beard’s influence also granted him such memorable status as to have a fund, award, and scholarship named after him. On his retirement from the library, he presided over at the University of West Georgia, the Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library the Charles E. Beard Ingram Library Endowment Fund was established to as a tribute to promote the longevity of the library in his memory.[8] Within the Georgia Library Association, they renamed their Library Advocacy Award, which was first awarded in 1995, into the Charles Beard Library Advocacy Award on the year of his death in his memory.[9] In addition, the GLA also named one of their scholarships after him; The Beard Scholarship, which is meant to provide financial assistance to those pursuing a Master’s degree in Library Science who “inspire and motivate their peers in the profession and in professional associations.”[10]


Such recognition has solidified the influence that Charles Beard has had on Georgia’s libraries as well as libraries across the nation.[who?] His involvement in numerous state and national committees and projects, his forty years of dedication, and participation in projects such as the development of GALILEO have all shown his impact.[who?] He fell ill in 2004, and was unable to attend even his retirement ceremony that took place mere days prior to his death. He left a long and valuable legacy in his wake, which is still honored and respected by libraries all over Georgia.[who?]


  1. "Charles E. Beard Obituary - Sarasota, Florida". Retrieved 2013-03-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. University of West Georgia Libraries. “The Charles E. Beard Ingram Library Endowment Fund” via web,
  3. Library “West Georgia's Beard, Library Advocate, Dies at 63” Library Journal. June 9, 2004. via web,
  4. Georgia Library Association. “Memorial Resolution Honoring Charles E. Beard” 2004 ALA Annual Conference. Via web,
  5. GALILEO. “About the Initiative” via web,
  6. GALILEO Facts
  7. GIL Facts
  8. Stevens, C. “In Memory of Charles” Ingram Library, University of West Georgia. via web,
  9. Georgia Library Association. “Charles Beard Library Advocacy Award.” via web,
  10. Georgia Library Association. “The Beard Scholarship.” via web,