Former Library Science Professors Endowed Scholarship

The Former Library Science Professors Endowed Scholarship awards will be made in memory of Julia Crockett Standley, Grace Harriston Standley, Lesta Norris Burt, and Bennie P. Simons, and in honor of Sara Catherine Howard and Barbara Lewis. Julia Crockett Standley was born September 2, 1930 in Huntsville, Texas. She was the daughter of James Patterson Crockett and Lillie Reed Crockett. in December 1973, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching with a major in English and minors in Business Administration and Library Science at Sam Houston State University. While working as a librarian at the Texas Department of Corrections, she lost her life on August 3, 1974 in what is known as “The Huntsville Siege”, a hostage incident that occurred at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Huntsville Unit education and library facility, from July 24-August 3, 1974. She was one of two women hostages who had volunteered to join the convicts in the armored car the convicts had arranged during negotiations. Grace Harriston Standley was born April 22, 1912 in Crockett, Texas. Ms. Standley earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1955 and Master of Education in 1957, both at Sam Houston State University. In 1960, she earned her Masters in Library Science from Louisiana Stale University. She was an assistant professor, part-time faculty and full-time reference librarian at the Sam Houston State Teachers College Library. After 22 years of service as a social science reference librarian, she retired from the SHSTC faculty as an assistant professor on August 31, 1978. Ms. Standley was a resident of Huntsville, Texas/or over 50 years and was an active member of the Huntsville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. She passed in November 1983. Dr. Lesia Burt-Johnson taught school or was a librarian in Garland, Arlington and Fort Worth Texas, before coming to Sam Houston State University to teach in 1966. She was the Chair of the Department of Library Science from 1966 until 1980 when she took a leave of absence to live in South Africa. She returned to SHSU in 1982 and taught as a professor until she retired in 1991. While at SHSU, she instituted flexible schedules so teachers could keep their positions while continuing their education, was instrumental in starting the master’s degree program, instituted off campus teaching, secured and administered two federally funded nation-wide master’s degree institutes, and led a drive to establish an adolescent book award from The Texas Library Association. Mr. Bennie Perle Simons attended Sam Houston State Teachers College (SHSTC) and earned his Bachelor of Science in physics and chemistry in 1936. In 1939, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Library Science at George Peabody College and his Master of Arts in educational administration at SHSTC in 1946. Among his major accomplishments as Head Librarian were the implementation of the American Library Association’s standards for professionalism and the achievement of Sam Houston State’s status as a government depository library. His background in science led him to concentrate on building the specialized collection in chemistry, which made possible the accreditation of SHSU’s department of chemistry by the American Chemical Society. He and his wife Winnie Simons lived in Huntsville, Texas at the time of his passing on September 25, 1989. Ms. Sara Catherine Howard was born July 1, 1945. Beginning in 1993 she was an adjunct instructor in the Department of Library of Science at Sam Houston State University until 2009. In 2003 Ms. Howard became a representative for ESCU & Associates working with multiple purposes to serve Texas Schools and public libraries. She is still employed there and is an independent Library Consultant. Barbara Lewis was born January 28, 1937 in Ft. Worth, Texas. She taught in the public school system as an elementary teacher in Texas and Washington State for 40+ years. While teaching Ms. Lewis went on to get her master degree in Elementary Education with a Reading Specialist in 1971 and also a Master of Library Science degree in 1983. Both are from Sam Houston State University. She is currently a Library consultant with Region VI Education Service Center and has formed her own company called the Library Lady and works with area schools as a library consultant.