University Librarian Achievement Award

Eligibility: Any individual at the University of Michigan who holds a Primary Faculty appointment as Librarian, Archivist, or Curator.

Award: The recipient will be awarded $1,500 to commemorate the honor to be conferred at the annual Faculty Awards occasion.

Selection Criteria: Exceptional distinction reflected in active and innovative career achievements in library, archival or curatorial services. This may include:

  • Developing specialized services for faculty and students, improving access to information,
  • Efficiently managing the library and archival resources (staff, space, funding, collections), or
  • Other activities reflecting a commitment to these professions.

Please submit nomination materials with the librarian awards nomination form. The deadline for the 2024 award cycle is May 3, 2024.

  • A statement of the nominee’s achievements in library, archival or curatorial activities. (Required)
  • A current curriculum vitae. (Required)
  • Internal letters of support from within the nominee’s appointment unit (U-M Library or other) (Required)
  • External letters of support from outside the nominee’s appointment unit (Required). NOTE: No fewer than 3 letters of support should be from external sources. The external letters of support may be from within or from outside the University.

Note: Nominees are eligible for three years: the current year and, if not selected, they will also be automatically included in the pool of candidates for the next two award cycles.

Deirdre Spencer - 2023 Award Recipient

Librarian for history of art, head of the Fine Arts Library in the U-M Library





Spencer has shepherded the Fine Arts Library for more than 35 years. She expanded its art history and visual culture collections to reflect artistic developments nationally and internationally, and has championed campuswide efforts to expand the reach and practice of the arts. Spencer heads the Fine Arts Library, yet representatives from disciplines such as the Medical School, Department of Mathematics, and Environmental Sciences, wrote in support of her nomination. As librarian, she is responsible for collection development, budget management, library instruction, liaison, and outreach to the Department of History of Art and beyond. She is credited with expanding the African and African American collections and “the blooming of South Asian art history at Michigan,” among other areas of the visual arts. Spencer was chosen to serve as secretary of the Faculty Senate, and as a member of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs she launched and chaired its Committee on Anti-Racism. She recruited the first African American professor to the Department of History of Art and is widely praised for inspiring students and young professionals.

The 2023 awardee information (above) was written and provided by the Office of University Development, as published in a 2023 University Record article.

Previous University Librarian Achievement Award Receipients

2022 — Judy Smith, University Library, Health Sciences

2021 — Charles Ransom, University Library, Multicultural and American Culture Studies

2020 — Mark Paul Mac Eachern, University Library, Health Sciences

2019 — Pam MacKintosh, University Library

2018 — Philip A. Hallman, University Library, Arts and Humanities

2017 — Marisa Conte, University Library, Health Sciences

2016 — Robert Fraser, UM-Dearborn, Mardigian Library.

2015 — Jane Blumenthal, Taubman Health Sciences Library

2014 — Peggie Daub, University Library

2013 — Laurie A. Alexander, Associate University Librarian for Learning and Teaching

2012 — Nerea Llamas, Library Research – International Studies

2011 — Scott Dennis, Library Research – Arts and Humanities

2010 — Doreen Bradley, LSA -University Library and Adjunct Lecturer in Curriculum Support

2009 — Timothy Richards, UM Dearborn, Mardigian Library

2008 — Traianos Gagos, University Library

2007 — Grace York, University Library

2005 — Rebecca Dunkle, University Library

2004 — Barbara MacAdam, University Library

2003 — Jean Loup, University Library