The Libraries is pleased to announce that George D. Oberle III – history librarian, director of the Center for Mason Legacies, and assistant term faculty with the department of history and art history – has been selected to receive the 2022 Distinguished Library Faculty Award. With this award, he is recognized by his library faculty peers for his exemplary professional accomplishments and his dedication as a librarian, historian, scholar, and mentor.
In the snapshot that follows, you will find it no surprise that Dr. Oberle has been called “the most extraordinary librarian I have ever known,” esteemed for his “unflagging work ethic and amazing degree of intellectual curiosity,” and applauded for the literal transformation of Mason’s campus brought about by such projects as the Enslaved Children of George Mason and Black Lives Next Door.
Oberle is a longtime member of the George Mason University community. He began his career with the Libraries as a graduate research assistant in the reference department of Fenwick Library. Since then, he has held several librarian faculty appointments. Having earned his BA and MA in history at Mason, and his master of library science from the University of Maryland (College Park), Oberle returned to his history studies at Mason and earned his PhD in 2016, while working full-time in his librarian role. His dissertation focused on “Institutionalizing the Information Revolution: Debates over Knowledge Institutions in the Early American Republic,” and he is currently working on an adapted book manuscript, Forge of Learning: Institutions of Knowledge in the Early Republic.
By his colleagues in the Libraries, George is named “one of the best librarians I have ever worked with”; praised for never losing sight of the clear role and value libraries and librarians play; known for his “passion for primary source materials” and his consistently high research consultations numbers; and credited for his mentorship of many students, library staff members, and librarians.
By his faculty colleagues across the university he is known as a “distinguished scholar, an eminent practitioner in the field of library sciences, and a caring and devoted educator” committed to student success. His impact on both the instructional and research activity of the history department over the years is “difficult to overstate” and he consistently goes above and beyond, with the result that he is viewed not only as a contributor of valuable resources and information but as an integral and vital part of the history department being able to do their work. By his faculty colleagues outside of the Mason community, he is known as a “wonderful, supportive colleague whose passion for history and education has shaped the experiences of thousands of people.”
Dr. Oberle’s leadership contributed to the founding of the Center for Mason Legacies, which has been recognized at Mason and beyond on the regional and national level. Such work has culminated in his selection for the nationally competitive American Library Association’s I Love My Librarian Award earlier this year.
Please join the Libraries in commending George Oberle for his contributions to the George Mason University Libraries, the George Mason University academic community, and the broader scholarly community, and please join me in congratulating him on his selection by his peers to receive the University Libraries’ Distinguished Faculty Award in 2022.
The award will be presented officially to Dr. Oberle at Mason’s annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence ceremony, hosted by The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning. This year’s ceremony is scheduled for May 2, 2022.