2009 Recipients of the Library Excellence Award
Library Excellence Awards are given to professional librarians and classified staff in the University of Texas Libraries who have made extraordinary contributions.
A strong theme runs through Benn’s recommendations: his technical expertise, unfailing courtesy and sincere dedication to helping his coworkers. Allow me to share some quotes with you, starting with his expertise:
"I can count on Benn to help whenever there is a problem. He knows what he is doing and he can figure out how to fix things or find a work around. I think of myself as somewhat computer savvy, but I can't tell you how many times I've had to call Benn to retrieve lost data. He always arrives with a smile on his face and never makes me feel stupid."
"If you have a problem with your computer, [Benn] will find out what is wrong and fix it. And …do [so] in a professional, congenial manner. … if the problem persists, he will doggedly pursue it until resolution. …[Benn] continues to learn, and understand the latest technological advances. And not in an academic, teckno-geek way, but in the practical world of 'my-computer-is-broke-and-I-want-it-fixed.'"
And here’s a nice segue from Benn’s computer savvy to his “human savvy”:
"Technical Services is in a constant flux of upgrading hardware, software, and peripherials. What this means is there's a constant learning curve for staff, some come along faster than others. What I have learned in working with Benn all these years, is, that above all, he is patient with his colleagues. He wants to help and he never judges. He brings a wonderful sense of humor to the workplace that helps lighten even the most frustrating situations."
Like most of us, the majority of library staff are unaware of what the person down the hall does on a daily basis. Although Jeff's accomplishments are only seen by a handful of people, most of the Library will recognize the superior work done on the Spring Staff Recognition Event and the annual holiday party. Jeff is the person responsible for such things as venue, menu planning, entertainment, parking, pricing and billing. Given the economic situation of our University, Jeff's challenge in the future will be to plan for these 2 annual events (as well as numerous ad hoc events) on a much reduced budget, but still not lose the ambiance. He truly cares about the Library and wants these events to be memorable.
In addition to paying $10 Million in invoices for Library materials Jeff is the “go to” guy for Administrative Services. All expenditures must be paid within the guidelines of the State of Texas and the University and payment scenarios can be strange and complicated. Jeff either knows how to do it or knows who to call to find out how to do it. He never says “No” to a challenge and always follows through until the problem is solved.
Since the formation of Technical Integration Services, Aaron and his team have shown a great deal of initiative and dedication to collaboratively upgrading our website and implementing new, useful search tools. His leadership and creativity have been vital to making many new discovery projects come to fruition.
Most recently, his work with the human rights project is much appreciated. As a member of the human rights project team, Aaron has provided both technical expertise and professional work ethic to meet fast deadlines. He has consistently been a strong and dependable link in the human rights project workflow, meeting extraordinary demands in both quality and quantity. In the words of a nominator, “His work product has been critical to the success of the project, but even more so, his critical thinking and intellectual initiative have helped to make it a better project.”