KHD sends a very sweet story about a librarian at Rhodes College in Memphis. We've been pretty heavy on the public library stories during the Blogathon due to author bias. But college librarians make a big impact on people, too, whether it's showing them how to do research or just giving them enough confidence to navigate those big, scary academic libraries which are, I swear, all designed by prison architects and Foucault afficianados.
And I actually know the librarian she's saying such glowing things about because I worked in the library at Rhodes. He is a really good librarian, and a very kind man, too.
"Paul Williford pretty much got me through Rhodes. I don't know if you remember but pretty much all of the references I needed for my International Studies papers had to come from the University of Memphis library. But their library scared me b/c it was so big and I never could operate their computer system correctly. So absolutely every research paper I had to write started with Paul Williford's help.
I'd walk into the good ol' Burrow Library, go straight to his desk and then tell him my topic. He would pretty much do all of the research for me and then give me a list of magazine articles, etc. to find (and where they were located) when I went to U of M. I blame him for my complete lack of being able to find good articles for research, but God am I grateful for him. I almost called him to help me with one of my Vandy papers, but I called you instead.
I also don't know if you remember this, but you know how I got paid to be the Sou'wester [newspaper] business manager? I felt guilty getting the commission I got when I didn't even work that hard and you guys busted tail and got nada. So I gave all but $75.00 away. $500 went to my high school's drama department, but the rest I used for $100.00 gift certificates to Folk's Folly for those at Rhodes that had influenced me. Those people were Brenda Somes (IS dept secretary), Michta, John Kaltner (religion prof), Kathleen Laakso (for letting me come back to Rhodes a month late that last semester and pretty much keeping tabs on me that entire, god-awful time) and Paul Williford.
I knew he would recognize my face if he saw me, but felt pretty sure he had no idea what my name was. And I was right, but he looked me up in Faces [our campus directory] and sent me the absolute nicest thank you note I have ever received. He even referenced some of the papers I had written."