Announcing the Library Scholarship Winner, Onyx Bard
May 11, 2023

The Red and Theresa Howse and Jim and Betty Papageorge Library Scholarship provides tuition assistance to a student library worker. The scholarship was created by Beth Howse Baldwin (Business Administration, ’82) in memory of her parents, Red and Theresa Howse, and in honor of her aunt and uncle, Betty and Jim Papageorge. The wonderful memories that these four individuals shared of their lives in Knoxville — ballgames during Coach Neyland’s heyday, dances, homecoming, and other adventures — influenced Beth as a young woman and instilled in her a love for the University of Tennessee.

The scholarship, which provides $1,500 over two semesters, is open to all applicants who are enrolled at the University of Tennessee, are currently working as a student library assistant for the UT Libraries, and have demonstrated successful academic performance.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Red and Theresa Howse and Jim and Betty Papageorge Library Scholarship is Onyx Bard.

Bard has worked as a student library assistant in the Libraries’ Collection Logistics department for two years and has proven to be an exemplary employee. Their responsibilities include paging materials from the stacks to fulfill document delivery and interlibrary loan requests, stacks maintenance, and special projects.

Some might consider retrieving books and keeping the stacks in good order to be tedious and thankless tasks. But, in fact, making materials readily available to researchers is a fundamental and important library service. Bard has embraced the daily challenge of shelving returns, locating missing items, and meeting the 24-hour target for delivering requested materials. “Their ability to manage their time, prioritize the work given them, and to perform with minimal direction serves them well,” said William De Leonardis, Bard’s supervisor.

That admirable work ethic is reflected in Bard’s academic performance. A straight-A student with a major in English (and an Honorable Mention in the UT Libraries’ 2021 Short Story Contest), Bard is also a Chancellor’s Honors Program scholar.

Because of their accumulated skills and scrupulous attention to detail, Bard has been singled out to undertake special projects for the Collection Logistics department, such as the recent reorganization of the children’s and young adult collection.

Bard also excels at customer service. Students working in the stacks are often called upon to assist patrons with queries, directions, and locating material. “Onyx brings a high degree of professionalism in their dealings with patrons,” De Leonardis said. “They understand that they are not only performing their job but are acting as a representative of the library.”