Outstanding librarian receives Guy Hudspeth Award

Press release from Alachua County Library District

Branch Manager Otto Pleil received the 14th annual Guy Hudspeth Award from the Alachua County Library District Foundation in April for his commitment to accessibility in library services and extraordinary customer care.

The foundation added Pleil’s name to Katherine’s Tree, a 10-foot glass etching of the Tree of Knowledge standing in Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Ave. Each leaf represents a gift to the Foundation’s endowment fund, which supports library services and facilities.

The Guy Hudspeth Award, sponsored by the Kosman Foundation, honors an outstanding Library District employee annually. The award is named for retired librarian Guy Hudspeth. 

Pleil is known for his exceptional level of professionalism and friendliness and endless patience in sharing his knowledge with colleagues and patrons alike. As eBranch Manager, Pleil took on new importance during the pandemic when the Library District’s web page became the patrons’ primary contact with the Library District. Pleil, who joined the Library District in 2004, is keenly focused on ADA accessibility and ensuring that everyone can easily use the website. Pleil meticulously trains staff on accessibility best practices, including alternative text descriptions for photos. In addition to his library career, Pleil is proud of his service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

“His years of public service are exceptional, distinct, and worthy of recognition,” wrote the award selection committee. Past Guy Hudspeth Award recipients choose the award winner each year.