Dodd and Gutiérrez receive Librarian Excellence Awards

Two professional librarians at the University of Texas at Austin, Beth J. Dodd and Margo Gutiérrez, have won 2001 Librarian Excellence Awards from the University’s General Libraries. The awards carry a $1,000 stipend.

“The annual opportunity that we have to recognize truly outstanding contributions by librarians to the General Libraries and to the University of Texas at Austin is a great source of satisfaction,” according to Harold Billings, Director of General Libraries. “These two wonderful colleagues, through their daily efforts, consistently exhibit the best qualities of modern librarianship and are very deserving of this recognition.”

Dodd has served as curator of the Alexander Architectural Archive in the Architecture and Planning Library since 1995. Her responsibilities include supervision, public relations, collection development, liaison with faculty, and technical, preservation and public services related to the Archive’s holdings.

Colleagues and UT Austin School of Architecture faculty identify her as one who has truly made a difference in the growth of the collection and in the high level of services that users have come to expect. “Through her energy, devotion, and ever-expanding network of contacts around the state and in selected cities on the West and East coasts, she has made architects, preservationists, and architectural historians more aware of the riches of the Archive,” according to a colleague. The use of the Archive grew by 365 percent in 2000, due in large measure to the expansion of its collections and the greater awareness within the architectural community of these unique resources that Dodd has helped foster.

Dodd holds a B.A. in art history from the University of Nebraska and a master of information and library studies degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to employment in the General Libraries she was a project cataloger at the University of Pittsburgh, cataloger of architectural drawings in the prestigious Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library of Columbia University, and had art and architecture library-related experience in the universities of Michigan and Nebraska where she also pursued additional post-graduate study. She was the recipient of a Director’s Staff Honors Award in 1999.

Gutiérrez heads the Mexican American Library Program in the internationally renowned Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. As bibliographer for Mexican American and Latino Studies materials, she has been instrumental in acquiring important archival collections for the Benson Collection, bringing her outstanding “people skills”– as colleagues describe–to bear in these sometimes sensitive negotiations. Her most notable recent success was the acquisition of the Américo Paredes Collection.

“Margo has been described as a consistently excellent librarian and is highly regarded by library users,” according to Billings. In addition to her regular responsibilities, she is currently managing a grant-funded microfilming project of rare Mexican newspapers and has also assumed some of the responsibilities of Assistant Head Librarian of the Benson Collection.

Gutiérrez is coauthor of the Encyclopedia of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement (Greenwood, 2000) and serves on the University of Texas at El Paso’s planning committee for the Paso al Norte: Immigration History Museum and Research Center, She is active in the National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. She currently sits on REFORMA’s board of directors, and in 1996 was the local arrangements chairperson for the organization’s first national conference. The recipient of a Director’s Staff Honors Award in 1997, Gutiérrez received the ultimate recognition possible by her national peers when she was named REFORMA Librarian of the Year in 2000.

Gutiérrez holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona, the M.A. from UT Austin in Latin American Studies, and an M.L.S. from Arizona. Prior to joining the General Libraries in 1987, she served in the reference departments of the Blumberg Memorial Library, Texas Lutheran College, and the University of Arizona Library, where she was also a cataloger and serials assistant.