Beta Phi Mu Award
Annabel K. Stephens
Stephens received a B.A. from Mississippi State College for Women, an M.L.S. from the George Peabody College and a D.L.S. from Columbia University. She held professional positions at the Union County Library System in New Albany, Mississippi, the Memphis and Shelby County Public Library system and the Muscle Shoals Regional Library in North Alabama before joining the faculty at The University of Alabama in 1984, through her retirement in 2007 and subsequent appointment as an adjunct faculty member.
The recipient of numerous and distinguished honors, Stephens was inducted into the 2015 University of Alabama College of Communication & Information Sciences Hall of Fame. In 2007, the same body awarded her its Knox Hagood Award. The award is given annually to those who go beyond typical responsibilities of their positions and contribute to the development of the College’s academic and professional image in an outstanding manner.
In 2006, Stephens was awarded the annual Eminent Librarian award and an award for Lifetime Achievement from the Alabama Library Association. The Eminent Librarian award is given annually to someone who has made an exceptional and enduring contribution toward the development of library service within Alabama. The Lifetime Achievement award is given only on rare occasions where it is evident an individual has made significant contributions to library studies during a career.
An editor and author, Stephens has published two books and has written and contributed to numerous articles and other publications focused on public library services and collections, particularly citizen and staff participation in planning, and the history and development pf Alabama public libraries. Stephens has also provided consultation to directors of Alabama’s small public libraries and to the state library agency and served on advisory boards and committees of state and national professional organizations.
In selecting her for the award, the jury was impressed with Stephens' commitment to public library service and equity throughout the Southeast region. Her devotion to teaching generations of librarians has made Stephens a prominent leader in the field.