So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye …

Our own dear Mary Pagliero Popp will be retiring and ‘flying the coop’ this Friday, January 31st. This momentous occasion brings with it a barrage of sensations; to name just a few:

  • Excitement for new opportunities that lay ahead of her;
  • Trepidation – how will we manage to go on?;
  • Disbelief;
  • and, to be honest, a dollop of selfish regret (grumble grumble How can you possibly leave us just to retire, Mary! You’ve only given us four decades after all! Why hurry off?)

Simply put, the place won’t be the same without her.

If you are available, please join us in celebrating Mary’s 41 year career with the Libraries on Monday, February 17 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm in the Wells staff lounge to enjoy some cake and leave a note in her memory book. Those unable to attend in person who wish to send comments for inclusion in the memory book to be presented to Mary may send them to Diane Dallis (ddallis at indiana dot edu) by February 14 and they will be included in the book.

Speaking on behalf of myself, the DRS department, and shoot, the whole campus:

Mary, we love you! We will miss you! We’ll be seeing you!

Mary Pagliero PoppMary Pagliero Popp began her career at Indiana University Libraries as Assistant Librarian in the library for Graduate Library School in 1973.  Mary’s performance is remarkable not only for its quality and intensity, but for its consistent excellence, demonstrated throughout her four decades of service at the IU Libraries.  Her contributions in a wide variety of areas — library instruction, electronic resources, online services — have been essential to the function and betterment of the organization, both in Bloomington and statewide.  She worked assiduously to establish and grow library instructional services as art of Undergraduate Library services and later as Head of Library Instruction, then in 1995 transitioned to a new role as Electronic Resources Librarian.  In one sense this marked a transition in the focus of her responsibilities from traditional face-to-face instruction to “machine-assisted” services.  But in a larger sense, Mary remained consistent in her dedication to a user-centered approach, always going the extra mile with the goal of making electronically mediated library transactions as direct and personal as possible.

For many faculty and students, Mary is the face of the library, providing support, encouragement, and an unparalleled dedication to helping them solve problems and achieve their goals.  Mary has been integral to many projects related to online discovery, including the transition from the card catalog to IUCAT, the IU Libraries’ online catalog, and on enhancements to IUCAT — first moving from a command-line to a web-based interface, and most recently in implementing a new discovery layer to serve as a public interface.  She has also been instrumental in the implementation of many large-scale research products intended to increase the breadth and depth of researcher access to information, and her expertise, judgment, and leadership have been essential to the progress of these endeavors.  Mary has for many years been a highly valued contributor to both the Bloomington and University Faculty Councils, and she has remained active in her involvement with the Library Science program.  Nationally Mary is and has been a force for positive change through her extensive involvement with the American Library Association, including a recent term as President of the Reference & User Services Association.

Laying aside her many accomplishments, Mary is also deeply personally invested in not just her work, but in the lives of her colleagues, and is a source of tremendous encouragement and emotional support to everyone around her.  She is insightful, trustworthy, innovative, thorough, persistent, diplomatic, hard-working, a groundbreaker, and a pleasure to work with.  With her retirement on January 31, Mary now embarks on new adventures, and we are grateful for the legacy of caring, compassionate service — both to her colleagues and to all library users — she leaves behind.

Author- Courtney Greene McDonald

Former Head, Discovery & User Experience department. File under: librarian. See also: nerd.