University of North Texas history was made at the 2017 American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting, in Austin, Texas. The Mary Guittard Voegtle Law Librarian and Legal Informatics Endowed Scholarship was announced at the HALL/DALL/SWALL/UNT Alumni Reception on July 16, 2017. This scholarship, established by UNT alumna, Mary Voegtle, ’73 MLS, will be the first endowed scholarship for law librarianship offered by a Texas University and funded by a graduate. Voegtle established the scholarship to honor the work that law librarians do in legal settings, to inspire more students to pursue a career in legal settings, to benefit graduate students in the master’s program, and to help them succeed and live up to their full potential.
“The Voegtle Scholarship is a ground breaking gift to the College of Information,” said Yvonne J. Chandler, associate professor and director of the law librarianship & legal informatics program of study. “This is a gift from the heart of a proud alum that will provide enormous opportunities for future students to pursue careers in law librarianship.”
From an early age, Mary Voegtle had a love for books and reading and knew that she wanted to spend her career working in the library. After obtaining her BA degree from Hendrix College, majoring in English, Mary earned her MS in Library Science in 1973 from the UNT Department of Information Science (formerly the School of Library and Information Sciences). Coming from a family of lawyers influenced her to pursue a career in law librarianship. She began her career in librarianship as a law librarian at the firm of Thompson & Knight LLP. Mary also worked in public and school libraries in Texas. She worked as a children's librarian at Nicholson Memorial Library in Garland, TX but soon realized she needed additional training. She worked at Tyler Street Christian Academy and Arbor Acre Preparatory School, where she was the first librarian.
While getting additional training in elementary education and earning teacher and school librarian certificates at Southern Methodist University, Mary worked at the Christian Academy of Oak Cliff. In order to have a full time job with benefits, she returned to law librarianship at the firm of Meyer, Miller, Middleton, Werner, & Warren (merged with Jones, Day in January, 1981) and began a stellar career in librarianship where she single handedly built the libraries of two prompt Dallas law firms from the ground up. She worked for the next twenty years at major law firms in Dallas including as law library director at Jones Day and Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright). Mary now works as an Independent Legal Services Professional and Consultant with Guittard Information Consultants. She credits UNT with providing her the knowledge and tools to become a successful law librarian.
The UNT Department of Information Science celebrates and honors Mary Voegtle for her contribution to, and support for the University, and UNT Law Librarianship program.