Betsy Sorrell Retires after 40 Years of Dedicated Service

Betsy Sorrell with her Firefigher Monkey in her Smith Warehouse cube
Betsy’s cube mate, Firefighter Monkey, reminds her of her firefighter husband. Sadly, Firefighter Monkey has not volunteered to stay after her retirement!

As Betsy Sorrell celebrates her 40th year at Duke University Libraries, she is also retiring on October 23! We’ll certainly miss her work in Shelf Preparation Section, as well as her kind spirit and wonderful sense of humor!  All of TS will miss hearing her signature statement, “It’s gonna be allllright!”

Betsy’s Career

Betsy started on December 22, 1980 in the Marking and Repair Unit in Technical Services. One of her early tasks was learning how to use (and clean) the pasting machine. She wasn’t very impressed with that pasting machine, and considered quitting! Well, thank goodness for us, she stuck with it. (Tenacity is one of Betsy’s strong points—she doesn’t give up easily, and has a great attitude about her work!) She started out as a part-time Library Clerk for the first year, then switched with a full-time colleague who wanted to work a part-time schedule.

Over the years, Betsy has gained responsibility on the job, as her position has been upgraded from Library Clerk to Library Assistant to Library Assistant Sr. Her duties have grown, as the name of her unit has changed over the years to better describe the work of Betsy and her colleagues. Betsy started her career in Marking and Repair, which later changed to Materials Processing Unit (or MPU), and last, but not least, Shelf Preparation Section. Betsy’s early duties included typing call number labels on a typewriter, in addition to using the pasting machine that almost sent her jobhunting again! Now Betsy processes a variety of materials, from monographs to DVDs, as well as prepping the YBP shelf-ready materials for delivery to circulation points across campus.

Betsy’s Personal Milestones

Since Betsy’s been at Duke Libraries, she’s gotten married, had two children, and now two darling grandsons who think their “Nana” is the best!

 What Betsy’s Liked the Most about Working at DUL

Betsy has enjoyed learning new things throughout her career, including keeping up with all the new technology over the 40-year span of her career. (No more pasting machines or typewriters!)

But most of all, though, Betsy’s enjoyed getting to know her DUL colleagues, and I have to say that the feeling’s mutual. We’ve really enjoyed knowing Betsy over the years, and we will miss her hard work ethic and fun sense of humor!

And last but not least, here are some comments about Betsy from last week’s DUL Career Service Awards ceremony, captured from the Zoom chat:

  • Thank you, thank you, Betsy! You’ve seen a lot and been an essential part of the Libraries. Thank you for staying with us for 40 years! All the best to you in retirement!
  • My heart is melting and I really want Betsy to stay! 🙂
  • Betsy is the best!
  • Congratulations, Betsy!
  • Wow, Betsy! Congratulations!
  • Congratulations, Betsy! I am going to miss you and the joy and happiness you bring to us in DULTS every day.
  • Congratulations Betsy! I wish you the best, enjoy your retirement! We will miss you lots!
  • I remember Betsy and I filing cards in the public catalog every week. She made a tedious job a lot more pleasurable. I’ll miss you.
  • Congrats, Betsy! Thanks so much for your work and your kindness. I was always happy to see you at Smith.
  • Congratulations, Betsy!! It’s a remarkable career, and I hope you have a wonderful retirement!
  • Congratulations Betsy!! Enjoy retirement!
  • WOW Congrats Betsy….great working with you …..her favorite words…..HEY SHUGG! Enjoy retirement.
  • Congratulations Betsy! We will miss your amazing spirit at DULTS!
  • Congrats Betsy, I will miss you more than you know!
  • You go girrl!
  • And for endearing nicknames when she says hello. “Hey, shug!”