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  • Alumni

McMurry Librarian Emeritus Joe Specht to be Inducted into the UNT College of Information Hall of Fame


ImageThe University of North Texas College of Information will induct Joe W. Specht into the 2013 Hall of Fame at the Alumni Dinner on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the Ashton Train Depot in Fort Worth. Specht is one of only nine prominent alumni to receive the prestigious award.

Specht graduated from Denton High School in 1963. He earned his B.A. degree in History from then North Texas State University (NTSU) in 1968. After a two year stint in the U.S. Army, Specht returned to NTSU in 1970 to continue graduate studies. He received an M.L.S. in Library Science in 1972 and M.A. in History in 1973.

Specht’s library career began at NTSU as Professional Library Assistant in the Library Science Library. From 1973 to 1975, he was Social Sciences Reference Librarian at the Texas Tech University Library.

In 1975, Specht became Director of the Jay-Rollins Library at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. At McMurry, he assumed a leadership role in the creation of the Abilene Library Consortium (ALC), a unique cooperative partnership between the Abilene Public Library and the libraries of Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University.

Specht also contributed to the formation of the Llano Estacado Information Access Network (LEIAN) and the Texas Independent College and University Librarians (TICUL), which later merged into the Texas Council of Academic Libraries (TCAL).

After thirty-two years of service, Specht retired from McMurry in 2007. He is currently Collection Manager of the Grady McWhiney Research Foundation.

Specht and his wife Alice Wilson Specht, Dean of Libraries at Hardin-Simmons University, have one daughter Mary Helen Specht, who teaches creative writing at St. Edwards University in Austin.

He is the author of The Women There Don’t Treat You Mean: Abilene in Song (State House Press, 2006) and co-editor of The Roots of Texas Music (Texas A&M University Press, 2003) and Abilene Stories, From Then to Now (Abilene Christian University Press, 2013).

In addition, he has published several articles on a variety of Texas music topics. He is currently working on an oil field song project, Smell That Sweet Perfume: Oil Patch Songs on Record. Specht told Contemporary Authors: “The Lone Star State and all things Texan continue to inspire my writing.”

Alumni ticket price is $30 and student ticket price is $20.