Oak Brook librarian offers a great point of reference
Mary Williamson, of Oak Park, is a longtime reference librarian at the Oak Brook Public Library. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Mary Williamson
USED TO PLAY: The piano
HOBBIES: Cycling, camping, skiing
USES SPARE TIME: To pick up a book to read
LOVES: ‘60s music
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:55PM
OAK BOOK — There is no way of knowing just how many people Mary Williamson has helped over the past 10 years as head of reference services at the Oak Brook Public Library.
The former long-time law library worker hopes to continue providing all the help she can while keeping current with the technology that aids her in her job.
“Technology has had a huge impact on libraries over the past 10 years and more,” Williamson said. “As time has gone on, we’ve grown considerably, both in technology and with electronic books. There are a lot of challenges in staying current, but it is important to keep up on the growing technology.”
Williamson’s 15-year background working in law libraries has been a plus for the Oak Brook Public Library, Director Sue Madorin said.
“She came here with phenomenal experience,” Madorin said. “She is a true reference librarian and has a great knowledge of many databases. She’s also very intelligent.”
Williamson’s first career was in banking, but once she decided to leave that field, she knew it would be a permanent move.
“There was no way I was going back into banking,” she said. “It was definitely time for me to move on. My friend’s husband was an attorney and said there was a job available in a law library. I had no concept of what that was about, but I was told it would involve some research, and that appealed to me.”
Williamson enjoyed working in legal libraries and eventually took contract work that led her to jobs with several companies.
“Contract work was interesting because it allowed me to work in different libraries, and they all had different cultures,” she said.
Williamson has lived in Oak Park for the past 35 years. She came to Oak Brook after getting an advanced degree.
“I had wanted to further my growth and had gotten a master’s degree in library science,” she said. “I decided I wanted to work in more of a home base with the same people, and there was an opening here, so I applied.”
In addition to heading up the reference department at the Oak Brook library, Williamson also teaches classes there.
“We have offered various computer classes, covering things like eBay and Facebook,” she said. “People are interested in these things and want to learn about them, which is another important reason to keep current with technology.”
Williamson said she especially enjoys working with library staff and Oak Brook residents who need her assistance.
“I definitely like working with people and helping,” she said.