Hardy will assume the role this summer upon the retirement of the library's current dean, Connie McCarthy.
"It's an honor to be chosen as interim dean to succeed Connie McCarthy," said Hardy. "Connie has set a high standard of excellence for Swem, and my hope as interim dean is to continue that."
Provost Michael Halleran announced Hardy as the interim dean in a message to campus on May 20.
"She brings to the job impressive experience and a strong commitment to excellence," said Halleran. "I have asked Bea while serving as interim dean to continue to move the libraries forward as an integral part of the College."
Hardy, who has greatly increased the Special Collection Research Center's outreach during her time there, said that she will seek to expand Swem's overall outreach to faculty, students and others "through a variety of means, some fun and some more serious."
"We will complete the re-design of Swem's website, and we will promote and expand the institutional repository that Swem hosts for the College," she said. "We will be revamping the training modules for the digital information literacy test required of all undergraduates. And we will continue to build our collections and provide services to support teaching and research."
Hardy said that she is grateful for the "outpouring of support" she has received from people at Swem and around campus following the announcement of her interim position.
"I am confident that our outstanding staff will pull together to keep Swem moving forward," she said.
A member of the William & Mary community since 2006, Hardy began her work at the College as director of the Special Collections Research Center and as a lecturer in the history department, a position she still holds. In 2008, she assumed her current title, and two years later, she also became the acting director of research, instruction and outreach services for Swem Library.
Prior to William & Mary, Hardy worked for the Maryland Historical Society as the France-Merrick Director of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library. She has also worked as the outreach and program manager for National History Day and as an assistant professor of history for Coastal Carolina University, among other teaching positions.
She has written numerous scholarly publications and has been awarded several fellowships and grants. Hardy received her undergraduate degree from Goucher College, and she earned her first master's degree in history from the University of Virginia. In 2004, she earned a second master's degree - this one in library science -- from the University of Maryland College Park, and in 1993, she received her PhD in history from the same school.