Susan Powers, the CMU Libraries’ Manager/Librarian for Access and User Services, retired from CMU on May 31, 2022.
Susan joined the CMU Libraries in January 2009 as a Reference Specialist in the Clarke Historical Library, where she helped researchers find the materials they needed. In 2011, she became the Coordinator of Documents on Demand and oversaw the library’s document delivery and interlibrary loan operations. Under her leadership the department underwent substantial changes and added such services as article and book chapter scanning for all CMU patrons, RapidILL, and Reprints Desk. Each of these changes have helped deliver materials more quickly to library users. In 2017, she became the Manager/Librarian for Access and User Services, where she continued to oversee the operations of the Documents on Demand unit but also the library’s public service desks, the circulation of materials, course reserves, study rooms, events, and the opening and closing of the building.
Susan and her team successfully worked through the many challenges associated with the COVID pandemic. They installed signage, put furniture in temporary storage to help with social distancing, and urged patron compliance with the (frequently updated) university and CDC safety regulations. They played a key role in keeping library services and spaces operational during a very difficult time. In 2020, her department also created the contactless book pickup service, which allowed quick, touch-free pick-up of requested materials while the library building was closed. The library still offers this service because students and faculty appreciate the convenience of picking up their materials in the lobby.
During her time at CMU, Susan served on several library and professional service committees throughout the state and especially enjoyed being a member of the Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference inaugural planning committee. She also enjoyed her service as the subject librarian for the Betty McDonald Children’s Literature Collection in the Park Library.
In retirement Susan plans to relocate to the Lansing area where she can be closer to her family, including her new granddaughter. All of us in the University Libraries thank Susan for her collegiality and her many contributions over the years and wish her a very happy retirement!