Brett Spencer’s Note of Thanks

2013 Librarian of the Year- Brett Spencer

Brett Spencer accepting the Librarian of the Year Award at SLIS Honor’s Day, 5 April 2013


Dear Beta Kappa Chapter of Beta Phi Mu:

Please accept my immense and everlasting thanks for the Librarian of the Year award!  As I was unable to attend the ALLA conference in person, I wanted to thank you on your blog.

I truly can’t thank you enough!  I was quite surprised and humbled by the award, and I felt undeserving.  I never thought I would receive this kind of honor when I started my library career at the University of Alabama in April, 2000.

In addition to the award itself, thank you, Beta Kappa Chapter, for the beautiful ceremonies that you organize each year for all of the honorees at SLIS Honors Day as well as at the ALLA and ALA conferences.  And thank you for all the other work that you do to encourage librarians, library school students, and library educators in Alabama and beyond.

Thank you, President Dupree, for your great leadership of the group this past year.  Heartfelt thanks also to Vice-President Whitver, whom as I found out through one of the other members, came up with the idea for secretly nominating me for this award and gathering nomination letters from other members.  Sara and I have been working together at Gorgas Library for the past year, sharing an office on the first floor, and yet she somehow kept the nomination a secret!  Sara, I wanted to thank you for organizing all this–and for the amazing example of skill, professionalism, enthusiasm, and kindness that you have been as a colleague at UA.  My best wishes to you on your upcoming year as Beta Kappa Vice-President/President and to all of the other officers.

I feel like there are so many people to thank and acknowledge.

First, I would like to thank God.

I would also like to thank my awesome wife Danielle, as well as my incredible son Trent and my dog Nemo, for their support on a daily basis.

I would also like to thank my colleagues at the University of Alabama Libraries, who have helped me out so much over the years with advice, tips, training–and by bailing me out of some situations when I got in over my head!  They are the best colleagues that a librarian could have.  This is a team award.

And I would also like to express my gratitude to all of the stellar colleagues that I have had the opportunity to meet from other libraries around the state.

In addition, I would like to thank the School of Library and Information Studies for the opportunity to work with their students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  Innumerable thanks also to the UA Department of Criminal Justice, History Department, and the other departments that have allowed me the honor of working with their students, faculty, and staff over the years.

Finally, I would like to thank the Jedi Council of Librarians—a term I use to refer to all of the LIS graduate students and interns that I have worked with over the years.  As many of you know from the lightsaber collection that I keep in my office, I’m a bit of a Star Wars fan.   Throughout the years, as I have worked with LIS graduate assistants and interns, I’ve used lots of Star Wars adages and analogies in our meetings and training sessions.  I have come to refer to the wonderful LIS students that have worked at Gorgas Library as “Jedi Knights” and continue to use this nickname for them after they graduate.


To all the Jedi Knights/Former Students all over the galaxy: please accept my heartfelt and never-ending thanks for your camaraderie, encouragement, and support!  I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have come to know all of you.  You have taught me more than I have ever taught you; you are an infinitely-talented group of librarians who have inspired me more than I can ever say.  To quote a Star Wars line again, “the circle is complete”—you all are the Jedi Masters of Librarianship and I am the one who learns and is inspired by you.


In closing, I would again like to convey my deepest thanks to all members of Beta Kappa Chapter, Beta Phi Mu.  I was very humbled, and I still can’t believe it.  I can’t thank you enough.  Words truly cannot convey my gratitude to you.


May the Force be with you all, now and forever.



About sara maurice whitver

Sara Maurice Whitver is the Instruction Coordinator Librarian for the University of Alabama Libraries, where she engages in program development, assessment, and strategic planning for teaching and learning.

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