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Ricki Brown Librarian of the Year Award

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About the Award
Award recipients are announced each September.  Award recipients receive a $500 award and their name is added to a commemorative plaque at the Abilene Public Library.

This Award was established by the Friends of the Library to honor former City Librarian Ricki Brown, who headed the Abilene Public Library from 1998-2013 before her passing.

Recipients are nominated by the community and selected in recognition of outstanding leadership and accomplishment in library science representing public, academic, and school libraries in Abilene.

Ricki V. Brown
List of Past Award Recipients
Eddy Smith - 2018 Librarian of the Year
2018 Award Recipient
Executive Director of ALC
Eddy Smith is a library professional serving as the Executive Director of the Abilene Library Consortium, as well as being a long-time Friends member and former board member.  As a librarian of 25 years, Smith has spent the past 10 years heading up the Consortium, a regional nonprofit organization for all types of libraries, museums, and information organizations.  Smith is known for his hard-working nature and dedication, along with an infectious personality and laugh that certainly rubs off on you.  It's no wonder Smith was nominated and selected as this year's recipient, an honor certainly well-deserved.

Photo Left to Right: Denise Brunner (2017), Eddy Smith (2018), Alyssa Crow (2016), Kristy Compton (2015)
Eddy Smith & Denise Brunner
2017 Award Recipient
AISD Librarian
Denise Brunner is well-known in the Abilene school system, serving as the lead librarian for five elementary schools including Austin, Bowie, Jackson, Taylor, and Ward, while also serving as the district's early childhood librarian. When it comes to promoting literacy in our community's future leaders, Brunner has been instrumental with launching the Million Word Reader program, designed to encourage reading throughout the school year, which leads to continued reading through the summer. Not only are students asked to read, but they also need to comprehend what they've read, demonstrated through tests. It's a highly successful initiative that certainly does get students engaged in literature.

Photo Left: Denise Brunner (right) receiving award from Eddy Smith (left).

2016 Award Recipient

APL Children's Librarian
Alyssa Crow has served as the first children's librarian at the South Branch location of the Abilene Public Library since 2005.  As her first position as a librarian, Crow has become a strong force when stressing the importance (and love) of reading to kids, families, and the community.  Crow was nominated for introducing literacy kits to the library lineup in 2015, of which will be replicated at all library locations in 2017.  This venture was funded through a grant from the Texas Book Festival, providing children and families with resources to checkout for strengthening reading skills in youth up to Grade 5.

Photo Left: Alyssa Crow (right) receiving award from Eddy Smith (left).

2015 Award Recipient
AISD Librarian
Kristy Compton is a familiar face at the Abilene Independent School District, serving as the librarian at Cooper High School.  Always with a smile on her face and upbeat personality, Compton stated "This is the only award I've ever wanted to win. This is better than the lottery. This means more to me than money."  Compton was nominated not only for the work she has done, but also for her efforts in the genre-fication of the high school collection, as well as developing a program to check out old, out-of-circulation books to students who were unable to pay library fines.

Photo Left: Kristy Compton (center) with Olga Cisneros (left) & Theresa Morales (right)

2014 Award Recipient
HSU Theological Librarian
Teresa Ellis, associate professor and theological librarian at Hardin-Simmons University, received the first Ricki Brown Librarian of the Year Award on Saturday, September 27, 2014.  Ellis received this award for her efforts in enhancing awareness of HSU's Richardson Library among students, faculty, and staff through an event titled "Ask Me."  During this event, library staff stood in locations across campus and served as human information booths for students needing directions or needing help with general questions about the campus.

Photo Left: Teresa Ellis (center) with Judith Phaneuf (left) & Alice Specht, former Dean of HSU Libraries (right)

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