Bebout Award

Lois Bebout Reference Service Award History



Honoring Ms. Bebout

After the publication of the third edition of Texas Reference Sources, the RRT Executive Board discussed how to further honor Lois Bebout for her dedication to the project begun in 1972 at its meeting on April 28,1988. She had already received an official commendation from RRT April 25, 1988 for her "dedication, perseverance and professionalism" as editor of the Texas Reference Sources and the Texas List. Options discussed were nominating her for a TLA award or establishing a distinguished service award to be given by RRT. A motion was approved to create a distinguished service award with Lois Bebout to be its first recipient and to name the award after her.

Establishing Award Guidelines

At the April 12, 1989 RRT business meeting, Ann Moore distributed draft quidelines for the "Lois Bebout Reference Services Award". Suggestions were solicited from those in attendance and the guidelines were to be published in the RRT Newsletter to solicit further comments from RRT members. The October 1988 newsletter carried a notice in the "Report from the Chair" that a decision to establish the award had been made and that criteria for the award had not been finalized but it would not necessarily be awarded every year.

The award was discussed at the Executive Board meeting July 21, 1989. A motion passed to include a $150 stipend and a plaque for award recipients. The possibility of presenting the award at the April 1990 conference was considered. It also was suggested that permission be requested to announce the award at the TLA awards ceremony. Lois Bebout was announced the recipient of the award during the 1990 Annual Conference in Dallas. She received her honorarium but her plaque was not presented until the TLA Annual Assembly luncheon in July. At the July 27, 1990 RRT Executive Board meeting, Melinda Townsel-Winston was appointed to chair a committee to establish guidelines for future awards. Also appointed to the committee were Lynn Hambric (Texas A&M University) and Cherry Beth Luedtke (Austin Community College).

Proposed guidelines were presented to the RRT Executive Board at its 9 April 1991 meeting. Minor changes in wording were made. The spring issue of the RRT Newsletter was suggested as a vehicle to call for nominations to be submitted until the start of the TLA annual conference. If nominations were received, the RRT Chair would appoint an ad hoc committee to evaluate the nominees and present a report to the RRT Executive Board during the Annual Assembly. The Bebout award would be presented at annual conferences, but would not necessarily be awarded each year. It was noted that the award would have to be approved by the TLA Awards Committee. At the RRT business meeting April 11, Melinda Townsel-Winston announced that the guidelines had been discussed at the Executive Board meeting and were being revised.

In a letter to the TLA Executive Board 17 July 1991, Melinda Townsel-Winston submitted "what I hope is the final version" of the Lois Bebout Reference Service Award guidelines for their approval. The guidelines had been reviewed and approved by the TLA Awards Committee with some changes recommended by Gretchen Staas, TLA Awards Committee Chair. The wording to outline the process for submission and acceptance of nominations was discussed at the 25 July 1991 RRT Executive Board meeting, but no change was made in the wording as it appeared in the version submitted to the TLA Executive Board. Upon approval by the TLA Executive Board, active solicitation of nominations for the award were undertaken with an article in the fall 1991 RRT Newsletter.

Guidelines Overview

The guidelines for the Lois Bebout Reference Service Award specified that the award was bestowed by the Reference Round Table "to recognize and honor a librarian for outstanding lifetime achievements in reference and public service". Nominations for the award could be submitted to the RRT Executive Board at any time, but a formal call for nominations was to appear in the fall issue of the RRT Newsletter. Nominations would then be accepted by the RRT Chair until the first day of the annual conference. If nominations were received, the Chair would appoint an ad hoc committee to review the nominations and present recommendations to the RRT Executive Board at the Annual Assembly. The Executive Board then would decide to accept or decline the ad hoc committee's recommendation. If an awardee was chosen, the plaque and honorarium would be presented at the next annual conference. The guidelines stipulated that the award "is not necessarily awarded annually". Nominees were required to be member of both TLA and RRT. Distinction was achieved through "sustained or singular activity" (1) enhancing reference and public service through active and creative promotion of reference and public service, (2) strengthening librarians/library's role(s) and position(s) in communities through professional leadership in the professional community, and/or (3) scholarly contributions. The nomination was to be presented with a cover letter, including the names and addresses of both the nominator and the nominee, stating the award sought and specific reasons for the nomination. A one-page listing of qualifications, library accomplishments, library and other activities, and library recognitions and awards was to accompany the cover letter. Two additional supporting statements could be submitted to the RRT Chair or to the Chair of the award committee. The first deadline for the submission of nominations was 8 April 1992.

Second Recipient - Jean Tolbert

A nominee was submitted and approved by the RRT Executive Board at its 24 July 1992 meeting. Jean Tolbert, retired Reference Librarian and Emeritus Associate Professor at Baylor University, was selected to receive the second Lois Bebout Reference Service Award. She was presented a plaque and $150 honorarium to a standing ovation at the RRT business meeting 11 March 1993 in San Antonio. The presentation was the lead article in the fall 1993 RRT Newsletter.

Discussion of the Lois Bebout Reference Service Award guidelines at the RRT Executive Board meeting 23 July 1993 brought up the suggestion to add the award guidelines to the RRT Bylaws. They subsequently were accepted as Annex A to the RRT Bylaws.

Third Recipient - Margaret Irby Nichols

A third nominee for the "Bebout Award" was presented and approved at the RRT Executive Board meeting 13 April 1994 instead of waiting for the annual assembly meeting. The $150 cash award came under discussion but was tabled until the annual assembly, at which time it was endorsed. The annual assembly meeting 21 April 1994 also established that votes by the Executive Board on nominees would be by "private ballot" to maintain confidentiality and to avoid premature release of a recipient's name. Margaret Irby Nichols, University of North Texas, was presented the third Lois Bebout Reference Service Award during the RRT business meeting 6 April 1995.

Question of Name Change and the New Standing Committee

Cherry Luedtke reported at the 30 July 1995 Executive Board meeting that Lois Bebout asked to have her name removed from the award title because she was retired. The Board voted unanimously to have Melinda Townsel contact Lois Bebout and ask her to reconsider her request. Though no further mention of this issue appears in later minutes, it can be assumed the reconsideration was successful because the name of the award did not subsequently change.

With the revision of the RRT Bylaws in 1998, the Lois Bebout Reference Service Award Committee was changed from an ad hoc committee to a standing committee. The "Annex A" from 1993 was eliminated and the guidelines for the award no longer were in the bylaws. The new bylaws indicated the committee would administer the nomination and selection process for the award, the RRT Chair would appoint committee members, and all award nomination information and resources would be available from the committee chair.

Fourth Recipient - Claudette Hagle

No additional nominations were received for the award until committee Chair Jack Becker announced a nomination "was in the works" during the 11 July 1998 RRT Executive Board meeting. This nominee subsequently became the fourth Lois Bebout Reference Service Award winner: Claudette Hagle, retired from the University of Dallas. She accepted her award during the April 1999 annual conference.

When the RRT Bylaws were revised and approved in 2004, the Lois Bebout Reference Service Award Committee was once again made an ad hoc committee to be appointed if at least one nomination for the award was received by the RRT Chair.

Fifth Recipient - John C. Hepner

In 2005, Claudette Hagle submitted a nomination but no action was taken on it at that time. Early in 2007, she again contacted the RRT Chair about the status of the nomination and action was then taken to approve the nominee. John C. Hepner, retired Reference/Documents Librarian at Texas Woman's University and an active RRT member, became the fifth recipient of the Lois Bebout Reference Service Award. He accepted the award in San Antonio at the RRT program on 12 April 2007.


Lois Bebout Reference Service Award Recipients

John Hepner accepts the Lois Bebout Reference Service Award from Lynn Hambric

2007:  John C. Hepner

1999: Claudette S. Hagle

1995: Margaret Irby Nichols

1993: Jean Furr Tolbert

1992: Lois Bebout

Pictured at left: John Hepner accepts the Lois Bebout Reference Service Award from Lynn Hambric

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Created on Jun 18, 2011 | Last updated April 06, 2014