Meet Michael May, the inter-library loan and circulation assistant in the Mudd Library. All those times you’ve needed something that our library doesn’t have, May searched until you got it. When your professor had you look up something on electronic reserve, May might have put it there for you.While at East Illinois University in Charleston, May majored in philosophy and minored in history. Before coming to Lawrence, May had a very similar job at the Sterling Public Library in northwest Illinois.
Almost four years ago, in February of 2001, May and his wife moved to the Fox Cities. Ready for a move and to continue Michael’s education, the Mays thought Wisconsin was an excellent choice. Currently May is enrolled at the UW-Milwaukee in the Distance Education program, taking two classes online.
Have you ever wondered what kind of things the inter-library department does? If the Mudd does not have the piece of information you are looking for, there are many ways to get it. It may be overseas, it may across the country, but more than likely another library in Wisconsin has it.
Though we have a pretty extensive collection at the Mudd, there are some things we need to borrow. The library lends or borrows 400-500 items each year, but we tend to lend more than we borrow.
How easy is it to get on the library website and point and click your way to an e-reserve a professor asked you to look at? Getting that article available on e-reserve isn’t always as easy might seem. May says they have to ask permission to post some articles and sometimes there is even a fee. I asked him whether or not they have to think twice when something requires a fee. He answered that they evaluate whether it would be a better investment to simply buy the book for the library’s future reference. But more often than not the requested fee is reasonable.
Outside of his work in the Mudd, May, his wife, and their two-year-old occasionally like to watch the Packer games. May also says that even though he doesn’t have much time to read anything other than what is required for his classes, his favorite kinds of books are American literature and nonfiction. For May, it’s hard to pick just one book as a favorite. Some titles he did mention were “Dark Star Safari” by Paul Theroux and “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac.
Like most employees here at Lawrence, May’s favorite part of his job is helping students and faculty. May says it’s very rewarding to see someone publish something citing a piece of information that he helped get. Even if what he helps students obtain is not for something like a research paper, May says he likes to find media for Lawrentians that they have been waiting for and enjoy getting.