Last year, when the Edith O’Donnell Institute donated a huge, unique valuable art auction catalog collection from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to the Eugene McDermott Library, Una Scott didn’t’ hesitate to step up and volunteer to analyze and catalogue the Library’s newest treasures, which totaled nearly 3,600 items, a daunting task well beyond her regular duties.
A copy cataloging coordinator, Scott is one this year’s two recipients of the Ethel Ward-McLemore Award for Library Excellence, an honor that rewards Library staff members who have exhibited excellent service to the UT Dallas community.
“This project is just one example of Una’s willingness to take on something new and go above and beyond her regular responsibilities,” said one McDermott Library staff member who nominated Scott. “Una is a hidden treasure in our Library.”
The second recipient, Interlibrary Loan Librarian (ILL) Travis Goode, was described by colleagues who nominated him for the award as “the epitome of customer service,” someone who has “a quiet enthusiasm to be involved in a way that I think embodies the collaborative/collegial spirit of librarianship” and a manager who “came to us with skills, vision and imagination that far exceeded our hope for our new supervisor.”
Goode demonstrated not just an expert understanding of resource sharing, but an inquisitive and forward-thinking interest in trends and workflow, said one nomination. “His department continues to increase delivery time and fulfillment that coincides with this diligent pursuit of efficiency,” the nomination said.
Goode and Scott each received a certificate, gold pin and $1,000 in a presentation made by Dean of Libraries Dr. Ellen Safley at the McLemore Reception on May 9.
The awards are funded by the late Ethel Ward-McLemore and her husband Robert. Ethel, one of the first female geophysicists, was also a published author of several books. Ward-McLemore often visited McDermott Library. Impressed with the service she received, she established an endowment fund to reward the outstanding efforts of the Library staff.
The McLemore Award has been given to two Library employees annually since 1989. As of this year, 60 people have received the award. In 2015 and 2016, three awards were given.
“It’s an elite and possibly once in a lifetime recognition for library professionals who exceed the standards of their jobs. This is not an award for just doing your job well; it requires exceptionalism beyond mere job competence,” said Chris Edwards, instruction librarian who headed the 2017 selection committee.
Scott joined the McDermott Library in 2012 as a copy cataloguer. Although she graduated with a fine arts degree from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where she is originally from, she decided to turn to a career in the library after working in Circulation and later Tech Services for one of busiest public libraries in Massachusetts.
Throughout her time at the McDermott Library, she has been managing and coordinating multiple responsibilities and was promoted to coordinator of her department when the former coordinator retired in December.
“I actually teared up a little bit when my name was announced for the award,” Scott said. “I was on one of the McLemore committees in the past, so I know people write some pretty moving things about nominees. The thought that people wrote that about me was very touching.”
Goode, who joined the Library in 2014, too, said he was overwhelmed and overjoyed for his colleagues’ support and recognition. Recently promoted to senior librarian, Goode’s duties include managing the ILL department, the department that procures resources from other area librarian that McDermott Library doesn’t own, providing reference services and exploring programs and services in the areas of copyright and data management.
Goode has an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology, and while in college working at the university library as a student worker, enjoyed the environment, work and people. “The college librarians made a lasting impression on me and I fell in love with the library profession.”
Goode also has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science. For him, it’s not about doing a job, but doing a job beyond well-done and going the extra mile for his colleagues and Library patrons.
“I very much enjoy problem-solving and looking for ways to improve procedures, workflows, programs and services. It’s a great feeling when you discover an issue, inefficiency or need that is not being met and make changes for the better,” he said.
Outside of work, Scott enjoys printmaking, an art form that involves carving sheets of linoleum, rolling ink onto the raised areas and then printing them on her etching press. You can see some of her work here. She belongs to the North Texas Printmaking Guild.
“Printmaking fascinates me because it involves so many different artistic skills: drawing, carving and the sometimes mysterious chemistry of mixing and layering inks and ink additives,” she said.
Goode enjoys grilling, traveling and playing the drums. He has played the drums since the fifth grade and enjoys playing jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll.
As for the McLemore prize money, Scott said she plans to use it for a trip this summer to New York and visiting family in Massachusetts. Goode said his money will help stockpile an item every new parent needs, diapers for his 6-month-old son, James.
“Let’s see. I can get 172 diapers for $21.99, so I’ll probably buy 7,822 diapers.