Mary Louise Munill Retiring as Interlibrary Borrowing and Senior Reference Specialist

September 4, 2018
Patricia R Harrington
Mary Munill
Mary Munill, Interlibrary Borrowing and Senior Reference Specialist has announced her retirement from Stanford University Libraries beginning September 15, 2018. 
  
For almost two decades, Mary has been a one woman show, the sole performer of many best supporting roles to pursue scholarly materials for Stanford researchers. Among the behind the scene characters she played best has been that of a brilliant, even-minded detective like TennnysonHolmesMarple, and PoirotWithin fractured citations, she detected clues. More than Google, her solving the most complicated research mysteries was based upon her reference skills and her MLIS (2003, California State University, San Jose.) When an article request referred to a journal title with two letters, Mary solved The Mystery of The Petit Journal Title. She remembered the Union List of Serials in Libraries of the United States and Canada in the Information Center collection. 
 
Mary’s next best character has been an understated, polished Stanford diplomat. As if she had exotic passports and visas at her finger tips, the daily multiplicity of her border crossings was dizzying, as she traveled to the libraries of distant lands to explore their catalogues. Sometimes it seemed Mission Impossible was her silent theme song, while she researched and stealthily surveilled collections. If a request demanded more sophisticated sleuthing or elegant correspondence in foreign languages, she had a world class corps of Foreign Service officers--Stanford University Libraries Subject Librarians--to support her sensitive operations. Her just the right touch influence upon the talented corps was sorcery. They always accepted the mission of Interlibrary Borrowing to supply precious materials to Stanford researchers. Collaborating together, restrictions softened. As diplomat sorceress, Mary delivered rare materials in respectful accord of both copyright and lending policies.
 
Honoring her miraculous, accomplished research missions, Stanford faculty triumphed in their promotional crusade to have Mary receive the distinguished Marsh O’Neill Award (2006). During the ensuing years, her support of the research enterprise exceeded expectations. In 2015, Mary deepened the subject knowledge about Chinese railroad laborers, when she discovered unknown reports. An enthusiastic faculty member included Mary’s discovery in a conference paper and among listed resources of the  Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University.
 
Gutenberg has several centuries on Google. Whether as ILB or IC Desk Senior Reference Specialist, Mary transitioned many born digital researchers from full-text to go searching to inspiring their tactile curiosity to browse the stacks. She taught gamers to choose and explore subject databases with complex search strategies. Investigating catalogues of the world with patrons became exciting seminars in foreign cultures. Patrons appreciated her calm instruction. She developed their researching confidence. Most importantly Mary guided researchers to the local vault of treasures—the premier collections of Stanford University Libraries.
 
The last performance of Mary Louise Munill in her one woman show will be Friday, September 14, 2018. All admirers are welcome to visit Green Library, Room 161 before her final curtain. 

Mary Louise Munill, your Interlibrary Borrowing and Reference work has been fine performance art. We stand and applaud your excellent mind, steadfast spirit, and genuine heart. Bon Voyage!

Author

Patricia R Harrington

Reference Librarian
Manager of Interlibrary Services/RLCP, Current Periodicals, and Newspapers
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