After combining for nearly 125 years of service to Upper Iowa University, staff members Carol Orr, Becky Wadian and Mary White will soon be checking out of Henderson-Wilder Library to enjoy the life of retirement. The trio of loyal UIU employees have worked side by side in the Fayette campus library for over three decades. Currently serving as associate director of library services, Orr was hired by the University in 1970. Wadian joined the staff four years later and the dedicated team of librarians was completed with White’s employment in 1981.
“I am a product of my mentor Muriel Cooper, who was my library science professor. She was a wonderful person, teacher, librarian, supervisor and friend,” said Wadian, a ’72 UIU graduate and now the University’s director of library services. “Carol, Mary and myself have grown together and respect and love each other as sisters. Our strengths and weaknesses serve us well as the best team one could put together.
“I have found it very rewarding to help nurture students become more diligent researchers. This is among the many reasons I continued working in the library,” she added. “No two days are alike and there is always something new to explore. I can use my creative independence to work toward common goals, while helping others learn skills and achieve success in their research.”
“I have been fortunate over the years to work with great coworkers, including our extended family of student employees,” said Orr. “Becky has especially provided me with a great amount of support, both professionally and in my personal life.”
“The late Braulic Caballero and George Capell always provided me with good advice when I first started here,” interjected White, who serves as assistant director of library services. “Since then I have cherished every moment I had in getting to know Becky, Carol, and the students.”
Among the biggest changes the librarians have witnessed to library services over the years is the ever-changing technology, increased use of e-journals and e-books, and cuts to the budget. In addition to meeting new students each year, among their favorite duties have been helping all learners with research projects and finding publications through the interlibrary loan program.
While each of the retirees are looking forward to additional “me time,” they are also eagerly anticipating the opportunity to creating more memorable moments with their respective families. Days that are much deserved and you could say, are long overdue.
In addition to library staff members Carol Orr, Becky Wadian and Mary White, Upper Iowa University will host a reception honoring fellow retirees Larry Bond, director of maintenance, 36 years of service to UIU; Cindy Waters, professor of education, 15; Monica Heaton, associate vice president for communications and marketing, 7. The public event will be held from 4 – 5:30 p.m. in Henderson-Wilder Library on the Fayette Campus on Thursday, April 28.