Upon hearing Mary’s announcement for early retirement, our thoughts and feelings were understandably mixed. On the one hand, we are happy for Mary’s well-earned retirement and excited for her future plans. On the other hand, however, we are very sad to lose Mary as a long-time leader, colleague, and mentor. It is difficult to imagine daily life at Minitex without her and all the many skills she has brought to her position.
Mary’s service to Minitex and to libraries has evolved over time. Her substantial career at Minitex began with the kind of reference questions that would stump the best of us. Those were the days when the chief focus of the Reference department was researching and answering questions from across the state using resources available through the University Libraries and Minneapolis Central Library. Along with this reference service, Mary traveled the state with colleagues offering reference workshops known as Minnesota Opportunities for Reference Excellence (MORE). Mary helped launch and administer key Minitex programs that serve libraries of all types throughout the region, including the Electronic Library for Minnesota, Cooperative Purchasing & Electronic Resources Services, and AskMN. Mary has also provided leadership in supporting continuing education opportunities in Minnesota such as the Reference Symposium, eLearning Summit, and the Library Technology Conference to name a few.
Mary’s contribution to libraries extends beyond Minitex. She contributes her time generously to MLA and ALA, with long-time service on several committees within the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) division. She continues to be an avid supporter of both state and national library organizations.
The impact of her work can be seen in the many enduring programs built on library collaboration within and beyond Minnesota. We and community members alike will continue to benefit from her contributions for years to come.
Mary, it is our honor to celebrate your good work, and we wish you the very best.
Rita Baladad, Anne Hatinen, and Tim Peters (Cooperative Purchasing & Electronic Resources Services)
Jennifer Hootman, Matt Lee, Carla Pfahl, and Beth Staats (Reference Outreach & Instruction)