The reference librarians at the University of Mary Washington are also liaisons with faculty departments.  I retired in August 2020 after more than 40 years in the Library, and I certainly enjoyed my work with the professors and students in the humanities (Art and Art History; Classics, Philosophy, and Religion; English, Linguistics and Communication; Historic Preservation; History and American Studies; Modern Foreign Languages; Music; and Theatre and Dance).  Faculty in these disciplines frequently referred students to me, and it was especially gratifying to work with so many students throughout their entire college careers.

As Reference and Humanities Librarian at Simpson Library, I provided not only one-on-one assistance to students needing term paper help but also class instruction that covered both traditional print sources (reference books and indexes) as well as non-print works (electronic databases and online  resources).  I believe that personal, tailor-made instruction is essential to library learning, so I based each class around the professor’s research assignment.  These sessions naturally changed as new materials became available, and during the academic year I often exchanged ideas with both faculty and students as to what they needed from the Library for their classes.  The faculty and I expected the students to become familiar with a diverse array of books, indexes, databases, and other resources.  Towards that end, each semester I scheduled instructional sessions in the Library classroom where I discussed reference works and techniques of research.

Throughout the year, students dropped by to see me and asked questions about their papers.  Of course, I enjoyed seeing it all “come together” for them, and they became proud of their proficiency in research.

I was fortunate to work with wonderful colleagues.  The other reference librarians have duties that were similar to mine, and we often shared ideas and research techniques.

Without a doubt, I reached the top of my professional career on April 14, 2010, when UMW President Richard V. Hurley presented me with the inaugural Richard V. and Rosemary A. Hurley Presidential Commendation for “exceptionally meritorious service to the University.”  I was–and still am–extremely touched and honored.  I considered myself fortunate that throughout my Mary Washington career, I looked forward to coming to work every day.