A retirement reception was held April 2, 2015, in the
library for Alice Specht to the theme of Alice
in Wonderland. She was first hired as the head of public services of the
libraries and took the dean of libraries position in 1988.
Specht earned an undergraduate degree from Ramon College at
the University of the Pacific, attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia
toward a Master of Science in Library and Information, and finished her master’s
work at HSU.
Her first library job in the library was as social sciences
librarian at the University of North Texas, then proceeded to work for the
Lubbock Public Library, followed by the Abilene Public Library’s state
consultant for public libraries in the region until finally coming to work for
Specht said, “One of the joys of being at HSU has been the
people. I think the administration and the people on campus, and the people in
the library have been really nice to work with. I will miss that the most.”
Not only does Specht work as the Dean of Libraries, but she
is also a member of the Deans Council, she was the only female on the dean’s
council at the time meeting with the chief academic officer, academic
committee, library committee and committee on committees. At one time she
served on the chapel committee, Western Heritage lecture series committee, and
was secretary of the faculty.
Specht also is the Hardin-Simmons University representative
for the Abilene Library Consortium, Texas Library Association, a member of the
board of the Grace Museum, and is a member of the Abilene Preservation League.
Specht occasionally will do library instruction for classes
that request it and usually has a graduate research class she instructs.
Specht advises students to, “Stay curious. Think about
different ways and different things you could be doing. Whether it’s choosing
your career or answering an essay question. I really appreciate students and
faculty who have some curiosity.”
Changes have been made during her time as dean. The library now
has 90,000 electronic books and more than 40,000 electronic full text journals.
The library is now designed to handle more group work done by students,
furniture has been changed to be more flexible and colorful. Group study rooms,
and quiet study rooms have been added, and computer labs have also been added
to the library.
Ashley Wiggins, sophomore accounting major and library
student worker from Charlotte, North Carolina, said, “She’s made some fantastic
changes and is a really sweet and genuine person.”
Dr. Specht’s smiling face will be missed on the
Hardin-Simmons campus but she promises to visit from time to time and is
looking forward to the opening of the new “Gilbert’s Coffee Shot” that will
proudly brew Starbucks coffee, in the fall of 2015.