Only two members of the McDermott Library staff retired in January but they took 70 years of UT Dallas experience with them.
When Vickie Jimison came to work as a teenager at the fledgling University of Texas at Dallas in 1970, there was one building and fewer than 20 post graduate students. She worked in mail services/supply services/inventory control in the basement of the only edifice amid some North Richardson cropland – Founders Building. Once she passed her probation period at UT Dallas she and Ken Bullock were married. In 1977 Vickie Bullock was hired by the library because she knew how to use the teletype machine in the bookstore for Interlibrary Loan requests to and from other libraries.
Tiah Lambert joined UT Dallas in 1982 as the main cashier in the Bursar’s office located in the basement of McDermott Library. Over a few years she got to know the library staff since she handled the payroll distribution and handled the book fines. She moved over to the library in 1996 to handle cashier operations.
Just like in most university operations the day of massive amounts of paper for Bullock and Lambert faded into the past with emerging technology. Technology streamlined their operations but there has never been a lack for the human touch of public service. Bullock ran ILL with just
three people, the same as she did decades ago. Until replaced, she is the only ILL supervisor the library has ever had. She is known throughout the campus as someone who can deliver an often elusive research document to a faculty member.
Lambert has interacted with students, sometimes paying their fines and advising them to do a good deed for others and become fiscally responsible. She is an expert gardener and works with her husband Don Lambert in making a success of Dallas area community gardens that grow vegetables for the benefit of area charity pantries. Both were presented the library’s top honor – The Ethel-Ward McLemore Award for Library Excellence – Bullock in 1992 and Lambert in 2003.
So with 42 years from Bullock and 28 years from Lambert, UT Dallas and McDermott Library bid farewell with a special reception on Jan. 18 in the McDermott Suite. It was attended by their families and some 70 library staff and selected guests.
“We are now looking for the second ILL supervisor in UT Dallas history,” Director of Libraries Ellen Safley, PhD said of Bullock. “Those are awfully big shoes to fill. Besides the detailed, exacting work Tiah does, she is a kind and generous person who knows no enemies. To both, a sincere thank you for jobs well done.”