The Grayslake Area Public Library announces 25-year employee, Mary Fitch, is retiring at the end of December.
Mary began her career at the Grayslake Library in June of 1988 as a Circulation Clerk back when the library occupied a double store-front on Center Street in Downtown Grayslake. She started out working eight hours a week and in 1992 moved into a full-time position as the Interlibrary Loan Clerk.
In this position Mary helps patrons obtain materials from other libraries that are not available at the Grayslake library. In addition, she fills loan requests from different libraries with Grayslake materials that are sent out around the country. When Mary first began working with interlibrary loans, she may have had five to 10 requests from patrons in a week. Now she processes anywhere from 40–50 per week for Grayslake patrons and fulfills 20-30 requests from other libraries.
In addition to the increase in volume of interlibrary loan requests, Mary has seen many changes in her position. When she first began, all the steps involved were done manually: using punch cards, paper and the telephone. With the introduction of computers and the Internet, the system was streamlined and has allowed the library to reach out farther geographically and assist more patrons than ever before.
“Mary Fitch has been a dedicated employee and served our patrons well over the years. She will be missed and we wish her the best as she enters into retirement,” said Library Director Roberta Thomas.
When asked what Mary likes most about her job, the joy of helping someone get the materials they need from another library is at the top of her list. She also mentioned how exciting it was sometimes to see materials arrive in Grayslake from far away locations or obscure places. As for what she will miss the most when retired, Mary said she will miss talking with patrons, especially those who she has helped regularly over the years.Mary is looking forward to her retirement and having the time now to volunteer and get involved in local senior activities. And while she is happy to be able to retire she is also a little sad to leave the Grayslake Area Public Library.
—Submitted by the Grayslake Area Public Library.
Want to share some memories or kind words with Mary on her retirement? Post them in the comments!