Meet the Farley Library Staff: Mary Watkins

by Web Services

Mary Watkins

Interlibrary Loan Technician

E.S. Farley Library

1. What do you do as the interlibrary loan technician at the library?

Interlibrary loan offers access to materials needed for research which are not available at Farley Library. I process the interlibrary loan requests on ILLiad (an electronic system used to process interlibrary loans) by identifying libraries that have the item and placing the request. When the item is received, I make it available to the user. We also lend our materials to other libraries.

2. How long have you worked at Wilkes?

I’ve worked at the Farley Library for 40 years.

3. What book you are currently reading and what are some of your favorites:?

The book I recently read is “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail” by Bill Bryson. I enjoyed it because I love the outdoors but I’m more of an armchair hiker. This book is a funny escape into nature.

4. What’s your favorite place/spot in the library?

My favorite spot in the library is in the interlibrary loan office. It has a great view of the Greenway and River Common.

5. What are some changes within your position over the years?

When I started in Farley Library interlibrary loan, it was a small part of the reference department used primarily by professors and grad students. They had to come into the library to fill out a request form by hand.  I used a manual typewriter with carbon paper to type all the citation information onto ALA form and mailed it to the lending library “hoping” they could fill it. Photocopies of the article were received in the mail and the student came in to pick it up. We used the card catalog to look up book call numbers… Automation like ILLiad changed all that. With ILLiad I know immediately what library can supply the item needed and how much the charge. When I receive the material I can send it directly into the patron’s ILLiad account. Nursing requests were recently added to the Farley Library for processing, so now I’m including the National Library of Medicine’s Docline with ILLiad. It is the constant change and learning something new every day that keeps my job interesting and fun.

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