Between July 2020 and January 2021, six amazing ZSR employees will have retired and we will lose 170 years of valuable knowledge and experience. These individuals helped shape ZSR as well as countless students, faculty and staff.

Because of the pandemic, we cannot celebrate them in person as we would like to do. That will have to wait for a future date. But we can celebrate their legacy and inspiration to all of us.

Doris Jones, 25 years 

Doris worked in Resource Services but her positive impact extended throughout the library and beyond. One of her joys has always been working with the students. Her kindness and patience in teaching our assistants to carry out detailed work in processing new books and binding journals is legendary. Without accuracy in this area, the books and bound journals would not be found in the right places on the shelves! If we averaged 13,000 volumes a year, in 24 years that would be 312,000 books that passed through her hands. Her full legacy really cannot be measured though. Known for her smiling help, she won various awards from the employee recognition program over the years from Unsung Hero to Helping Hands. She has tirelessly organized Wake the Library events, served on the weather team to keep the library open through some serious snowfalls, and brought mouth-watering sausage biscuits to internal Halloween festivities, just to name a few examples of her range of cheerful contributions.

Ellen Makaravage, 25 years

Ellen joined the staff of ZSR after working several years at the Law Library (formerly known as the Professional Center Library). She quickly established herself as the prime motivator for process improvement. Far from being just an ideator though, she not only identified the problems that inhibited our efficiency, but she also was most often the one to roll up her sleeves and get the job done. She considered every problem a logic puzzle that needed solving, and enjoyed getting to that resolution. Her tireless efforts resulted in streamlined operations for our electronic reserves operations, Interlibrary Loan, Offsite Storage, and every other aspect of the work in Access Services. As was noted in her 2016 Employee of the Year nomination, “Ellen’s behind the scenes, patient, persuasion has resulted in a significantly improved service for our students, both those that are here on campus and perhaps even more significantly, for those students taking our online courses.  Her focus on the needs of the students deserves this special recognition!” Her zeal for process improvement will be sorely missed!

Bob Hebert, 28 years

Bob joined ZSR’s faculty in 2013 when the graduate and undergraduate schools of business merged, moving over from the Worrell Professional Center Library where he had been since 1992. He lived for one year in our building before joining Mary Scanlon as permanent residents of the Business Information Commons in the newly-built Farrell Hall. Although we knew Bob before he joined our ranks, it has truly been a pleasure to have him these last 7 years. His work helping us get the BIC up and running, overseeing the Wall Street Journal subscriptions, managing the Bloomberg Terminals, ensuring our online resources for the School of Business met their needs, and so much more has made him an invaluable member of our Research and Instruction team. We will miss him, but wish him all the best as he gets time to explore his love of travel (someday we’ll be able to travel again, right??), cars, and sports photography.

Mary Reeves, 27 years

Mary worked in Access Services as the person in charge of physical Course Reserves and Media. She was known for her expansive knowledge of film, and could always be counted on to provide a good DVD recommendation for a weekend, or better yet, a multi disk series for an impending snowstorm! Her laser focus was always on providing the most excellent, and most personal service possible. Her contact information was on the short list of must haves for any faculty member who utilized film extensively in coursework. It was due largely to her efforts that the Media collection has been able to grow to the expansive collection it is today. She also was one of the motivators for bringing the collection out to open shelves, and building the Media Room adjacent to the auditorium to enable faculty to utilize the collection in support of coursework.She won the 2008 ZSR Employee of the Year award, and was noted for being the Access Services department’s “true north” for providing excellent customer service. Her dedication to the students and faculty, and her passion for film, are truly exceptional, and her work ethic will be missed.

Brigett Beck, 30 years

Quiet and steadfast, preferring to remain behind the scenes, Brigett ensured that our newest books could readily be found with her attention to detail in cataloging for hundreds of thousands of books over the course of her time in Resource Services. Brigett did much more than quality cataloging. We counted on her quite literally — until the day we began pulling data from the computer, she was our compiler of various collection statistics from about ten people for our annual report to IPEDS and other agencies. She also ensured that procedures were well-documented and kept up-to-date as practices changed, keeping us all straight and on the same page. Brigett often proposed changes in process to streamline work and organized many things, including a schedule of library wide participants in keeping the staff lounge clean. For a time she took charge of mail delivery in the building, training a student assistant effectively. She was recognized with the Helping Hand Award for those efforts. Brigett would gladly lend a hand in receiving each time we had surges in shipments of books. A customer service specialty was quickly locating and cataloging new items immediately for a waiting researcher. We depended on Brigett in so many ways! Retirement brings her more time for gardening and we know she does not miss her long, arduous commute!

Scott Adair, 35 years

Scott has had a multifaceted work experience in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library and had the greatest breadth of experience in both behind the scenes and front line work in the library.  He spent numerous years working in Resource Services followed by a stint as the Access Services Manager, and finally, working as the person responsible for bringing our Offsite Storage operations to fruition. When the library first established offsite operations, we recognized the importance of fast turnaround times to meet the needs of faculty and students who requested materials that had been moved to the offsite location 4 miles away. Scott routinely met and frequently exceeded the stated goals.  He was a patient supervisor and readily shared his knowledge with others. In 2011 Scott won the ZSR, and the University’s Employee of the Year award for his steadfast commitment to service.

ZSR would not be the library it is today without the contributions of these individuals. We will greatly miss them and look forward to honoring them properly in the near future!

NOTE: This post was a team effort — many thanks to James, Mary Beth, Lauren, Steve, Jeff, and Roz!