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Will Ritter, Public Services Librarian for User Services
Will Ritter, Public Services Librarian for User Services

Will Ritter, Public Services Librarian for User Services

Tell us about what you do at ZSR Library?

I’m the Public Services Librarian for User Services, where I oversee three key components of the Public Services Department: The Public Services Desk, Collection Maintenance, and Research Support.

What is your favorite library story? (or memorable experience?)

While it may not be the most pleasant experience, it is certainly a memorable one. In a previous library position, I was asked to retrieve donations from a co-worker’s parents. This co-worker assured me that she didn’t care if we just recycled them. Despite knowing that the library didn’t need the items, her parents, who were moving to an assisted living facility, had a massive collection of books. I told her that we likely wouldn’t keep said items, but told her I would help. A week later, I met her parents and collected the books. Since I knew they were destined for recycling, I decided to take them directly to a nearby recycling bin. However, shortly after disposing of almost all the books, I received an urgent call. It turned out that her parents accidentally included items they wanted to keep. Without revealing what I had just done, I obtained a description of the items from her. Luckily, they were unique and easy to identify. Determined to rectify the situation, I saw the items in the recycling bin and devised a plan. Using two umbrellas from my car, I carefully balanced myself on the edge of the recycling bin’s door and skillfully retrieved the books her parents wanted back. I managed to do this swiftly, allowing me to return the items to her and her parents without raising any suspicions. When I later shared this story with a fellow librarian, they jokingly referred to me as the ‘dumpster-diving librarian.’

How did you start working in libraries?

I started working in libraries during my undergraduate studies. As a work-study student, I had the opportunity to work in the library. After completing my undergraduate degree in business and realizing that although I appreciated the theory of business, I didn’t enjoy the practical aspects, I made the decision to pursue a career in libraries.

What is something we can’t know by looking at you?

I’m actually a huge Star Trek fan.

Is there something you want to tell us about yourself?

I have a passion for travel. I eagerly embrace any opportunity to visit the West coast, particularly the Pacific Northwest, although I’ve explored various destinations along the entire coast. So far, I haven’t come across a place I dislike. While I hope to do more international travel, I haven’t had the chance to do so recently.