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Staff News

She wants to see it all!


Merdelle Stepp shows off her congratulatory cake as the staff of Access Services gather at a surprise party in honor of her 40th year of working at the UGA Libraries.

Working is a way of life for Merdelle Stepp. Anyone needing proof need only know that today marks the 40th anniversary of her employment -- a second career really -- at the UGA Libraries.

At a surprise party in Access Services, students one-fourth her age circled around around her lovingly and folks from other departments dropped by to wish her well. Words like "dogged determination" and "perserverance" were heard describing her skills at searching for lost books, her primary duty for 29 years. But often heard was the word "grandmother."

"She's this department's grandmother," said Claire Colombo, head of access services. While the rest of the library would like to claim her as their own, "I'm not willing to let them claim that. She's our grandmother."

"She's like a grandmother to all of us," said Paul Van Wicklen, head of shelving, adding that for every special occasion, Merdelle brings in goodies for students and staff alike. She even brought two cakes to her own party Friday, thinking it was just the customary monthly department party.

"When we have parties, she always brings me a plate. I think I can eat it and it doesn't count as calories because she fixed it for me," Claire said.

Security assistants know to be on time opening the doors each morning because Merdelle will be waiting on the steps when they arrive.

"I have great health. Every morning I wake up ready to get started (at 5 a.m.)," Merdelle said. "Early morning is the best part of my day."

Away from the office she stays "busy all the time." She enjoys sewing, growing flowers, and works in her church library, Beech Haven Baptist, for three hours each Sunday.

But, "the weekend is a much as I can stand. I've got to get back," she said. "I love doing it or I wouldn't still be here. I've just got to have a challenge."

Merdelle is known for decorating the luncheon area for the staff Thanksgiving feast.

"I love to decorate," she said. "I love to go to the crafts store and browse. I keep telling them they need to get some young blood, but they still come back and ask me."

Paul recently had to do the searching for lost books while Merdelle was out of work.

"Paul did the searching and it just about killed him. He cannot do what she does," according to Claire.

"I call her the Silver Streak," Paul said. "She has ways of finding stuff no one else can. Maybe it's built-in instinct. I hope I'm that spry when I'm her age."

"I hate to be defeated," Merdelle said.

"I want to see the person who could!" Claire retorted.

The greatest change during her time at the Libraries has been the conversion to electronic technology, but other than the growth which has occurred at the university over the last 40 years, things are really much the same.

"The students are extremely nice to me. If I walk out to the street with a bag or a box, they will ask if they can carry it for me and I've never seen them before! I always try to bring them up and not down and say encouraging things to them," Merdelle said. "They are super. I love them all."

The mother of two, Merdelle has two granddaughters and three great-granddaughters she enjoys spending time with. Family pictures crowd her desk. A full private life doesn't keep her away from the UGA Libraries.

"They pay me to look and I want to see it all," she said.

April Anniversaries

Bellew, June

Accounting & Purchasing

April 9, 1981

Blakey, Renee

Cataloging

April 6, 1978

Cutshall, Tom

Cataloging

April 15, 1993

Harvey, Stacy

Access Services

April 26, 2004

Kannan, Kamala

Cataloging

April 13, 1987

Kelso, Gregory

Cataloging

April 27, 1981

Mitchell, Melvin

Mail & Delivery Services

April 3, 2000

Nolan, Sandra

Acquisitions

April 7, 1994

Payne, Matthew

Acquisitions

April 19, 2001

Ray, Todd

Cataloging

April 12, 2004

Shirley, James “Chip”

Access Services

April 23, 2001

Stamper, Nancy

Hargrett

April 16, 1979

Stepp, Merdelle

Access Services

April 1, 1965

Who's New

Emily Kutney, Library Assistant III in Access Services. Effective 3/28/05.

Who's Leaving the Libraries

Sara Kirkpatrick, Library Assistant II in Access Services. Effective 4/12/05

Pamela Herren, Library Assistant II in Access Services, Effective 4/13/05

Who's Changing in the Libraries

No personnel changes to report.

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual

A handy reference tool is the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (http://www.busfin.uga.edu/manual/).

FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA):

In accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, an eligible employee may be entitled to up to 12 work weeks of leave during any 12-month period for a qualifying event (qualifying events are listed in the guidelines linked below). Take note, if you are taking approved leave for a qualifying event for longer than three days, that leave must be granted under the FMLA guidelines, counted as part of the 12 weeks of granted leave, and special FMLA paperwork must be completed.  Read over the guidelines and paperwork required at UGA HR website, http://www.hr.uga.edu/fmla/fmla_intro.html .

Position Postings

Visit and bookmark the Libraries' HR site for an up-to-the-minute listing: www.libs.uga.edu/humres/jobs/index.html.

Training Calendar and Standing Meeting Schedule

Training, workshops or presentations, and standing meeting schedule for upcoming months can be found at www.libs.uga.edu/events.

Student Employee Payroll Calendar

THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2005- WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2005

Student Employee Information Forms: due to Becky Wortham by noon on Monday April 11, 2005.
Hourly (student) timesheests: due to Betty Mayweather by 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 14, 2005.

Information on the procedures for hiring, changing status, or terminating student assistants can be found at www.libs.uga.edu/staff/studentproc.html.

Visit www.busfin.uga.edu/staff/orient.html for "Online Orienation" for all new student employees.

If you have any questions, please contact Becky Wortham at 542-2716 or at bwortham@uga.edu.

Share Your Knowledge

The Professional Research and Development Committee requests that anyone who has attended a conference, given a paper or presentation, or anything else of note, drop the committee a line at prodev@uga.edu.

Online HR Newsletter

UGA Human Resources will periodically publish an online newsletter to keep faculty and staff updated on the latest HR initiatives. Each newsletter will be advertised through the Staff and Admin-Memo listservs. The HR newsletter is located at www.hr.uga.edu/news_intro.html.

Library Worklife Newsletter

The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) is currently seeking submissions for " Library Worklife: HR E-News for Today's Leaders ." Library Worklife informs readers about issues - career advancement, certification, human resources practice, pay equity, recruitment, research, work/life balance - that concern all library workers. One way to ensure that the publication reflects your concerns and celebrates your victories is to become a featured author. Published monthly, Library Worklife is received by thousands of librarians and other library workers. For more information, please see http://www.ala-apa.org/newsletter/newsletter.html .

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