John Phillips, 1994 Edna Mae Phelps Award Winner
This story originally appeared in the Summer 1994 Perspectives.
John Phillips: The Library's Mover & Shaker
John Phillips is the first recipient of the Edna Mae Phelps Award for contributions to the OSU Library "above and beyond the call of duty." He earned this award for his devotion to a job, which, as even he will admit, can sometimes be a pain in the back.
Phillips has worked in the Documents Department of the Library for 21 years, starting as an assistant librarian. Gradually advancing to department head in 1989, he gained an encylopedic knowledge of the Documents collection and the needs of his clientele, in addition to honing his administrative abilities. So seriously does he take his responsibilities that he frequently works 50-60 hours per week.
Besides his work in Documents, Phillips is frequently called on to assist in other areas of the Library. A literal "mover and shaker,"he developed a plan for shifting almost the entire contents of the third and fourth floors when the Library was reorganized in 1992. At least part of this shift he oversaw from a hospital bed, where he was recovering from back surgery; later, he became a familiar sight as he hobbled around with the help of a cane or supervised from a chair nearby.
Committee work for the Library takes up what little free time Phillips has left, but he has also taught classes and given workshops on government documents and U.S. patents for people both inside and outside the Library. All of this activity made him a natural for the first Phelps award. The question is: will anyone be able to top this next year?
For more information on giving to the Library contact the Tylerr Ropp, Senior Director of Development, at tropp@OSUgiving.com or 405-385-5664.