In January 2011 Michael Duncan, Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian, retired from the Waco McLennan County Library after 38 years of distinguished service. Michael began his career in 1973; a career full of achievement, contribution, spirit, humor, and tireless service.
Michael has performed numerous duties over the years including Bookmobile Librarian. He visited schools, nursing homes, apartment complexes and even visited the county jail in his travels around McLennan County. His weekly visits to the jail were the subject of at least three stories in the Waco Tribune-Herald in the 1970s & 80s. Neighborhood kids anxiously waited for his arrival on their street. Just last year when Michael went to purchase his new car, the salesman said you look so familiar to me. Finally the salesman realized that Michael was his bookmobile librarian when he was a small boy. He told Michael that he will never forget the first book that he checked out from the Bookmobile. (It was about sharks!) And Michael got a good deal on the car, too.
In 1990 the Bookmobile service came to a halt. Almost half of Michael’s career was spent bringing service to those who could not travel to the library. Director Dorothy Progar said”, Michael has a great rapport with the people. They really feel a close relationship with him.”
In the second half of his career Michael took on a new challenge setting up the library’s Interlibrary Loan system. Michael is a wizard when it comes to locating that book, movie, or article that someone really needs or wants and we do not own. He has worked with the State Library and Amigos in this area of librarianship and was part of the TexShare Resource Sharing Working Group.
At the TexShare Interlibrary Loan Conference in 2005, Waco-McLennan County Library won the award as the top public library in Interlibrary Loan Service in the State of Texas. Michael accepted the award for the library. This accomplishment for the library was due to Michael’s steadfast work and high performance records.
In 2006 Michael received a special Certificate of Appreciation for his work with the Tex Share ILL/Courier Working Group from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. He was selected for this honor due to his experience with the program, his skills with team-based projects, and his ability to effectively represent the public libraries of Texas.
The Reference department will not be the same without Michael. Michael’s educational background from Baylor is in Theater and he is extremely adept at choosing our books for the fiction, art, theater, music, and literature collections. But most of all we will miss him coming in every day and making the coffee, bringing his paper, and being such a good friend to us all.
The Waco McLennan County Library recognizes and thanks him for his contribution, leadership, and long years of service. We wish Michael all the best in his retirement.