Our esteemed colleague Jane Bloemeke has worked with us here at Duke Libraries for 42 years, starting fresh out of high school in 1979. She started her DUL career working with the Bindery before moving to Serials Receipts where she specialized in Periodicals, finally joining us here in Monograph Acquisitions where she placed and processed orders for librarians all over the libraries. Below are a few of the words of appreciation from co-workers past and present.
Congratulations on your retirement.
I am very lucky to be able to work with you for 20 years. You have been a wonderful neighbor to sit next to all these many years, and every day I go to work I see that you are already working there. When I learned that you were going to retire, I was really sad. The library is like a big family, and you are like members of my family. I will miss us working together and chatting together. I have prepared a gift for you, I hope you like it. When you see it in the future, you will remember the scene of us working together. Thank you for your help in my work. I hope you will enjoy your good life after retirement and you are safe and healthy.
Due to a reorganization in Technical Services, I started working in the same unit with Jane in January of 1991. This team processed the serials, periodicals, and set standing orders. I became aware that Jane had many talents, such as, she has a great singing voice and she can write poems for any occasion. She would give her poems to people at their birthday celebrations or for other occasions. With her enthusiastic spirit, she enjoyed team parties and readily helped with the preparation for them. Jane has always been a friendly and pleasant person to know and to work with throughout the years! Upon her retirement, I wish her much joy and happiness as she begins this new chapter in her life.
I had the good fortune to work with Jane when I was in Order Management, and then lucked out when she became my Order Specialist for music after I transitioned to the Music Library! One quality of Jane’s I’ve enjoyed most over the years is her sense of humor—she has the *most* infectious laugh which always gets me giggling too, usually over crazy ordering snafus on my part, like the time I inadvertently cut off a couple of numbers when copying an OCLC # for her so that instead of a record for an incredibly staid Bach score that I had meant to send her, the number brought up this random and wacky title when she searched for it on OCLC: From artichokes to Zanesville: the story of trucks serving America. I think this was also probably one of many instances where we exchanged some goofy icon with “jazz hands”—appropriate for music orders, but also for the many, many funny circumstances and the many good laughs we had during all of those great years working together. I really appreciated what a fantastic colleague Jane has always been, always helpful, always cheerful, incredibly thorough and conscientious, and just a really caring person. Thank you, Jane, and have a fantastic and fun retirement!
Hi Jane. It was great working with you for so many years. I wish you a long and happy retirement. You deserve it.
I had the privilege of working with Jane for several years in the former Receipts Management Section. In addition to her strong work ethic (and her knowledge of AV materials), I remember her fun sense of humor! We loved talking about Lucille Ball and our favorite “I Love Lucy” episodes. We also looked forward to snow in the weather forecast, and had fun trading this cute cartoon back and forth via email on such occasions! I’ll miss Jane’s presence at Smith Warehouse, but wish her all the best in retirement!
Jane is a caring, funny, and most importantly CAT-LOVING colleague and wonderful friend with whom is has been my deep pleasure to work with over the years. Perhaps my favorite recollection from our ordering days together is that we spoke with each other over the phone almost daily – I miss those times, and I will greatly miss Jane’s presence at Smith. Congratulations on your retirement, Jane, and please, please, please keep in touch!!!
Here are a few snippets from emails and PEPs that illustrate her dedication and good grace:
“OMG, Jane, are you going to drop down in your tracks from all this extra ordering? Yikes!” – 8/10/2012 [Danette to Jane]
“Ms. Bloemeke does an excellent job of communication. She is easy to work with, responsive, and professional in all she does. I feel very lucky to have Ms. Bloemeke on my team!”– 4/8/2013 [contribution to Jane’s PEP]
“I’d like to share a recent excerpt from an email from a user, who benefited from Jane’s proactive work. When Ms. Bloemeke discovered that the DVD requested by [the patron] wouldn’t arrive until payment was received, she asked the filmmaker if a link could be sent to the student who wanted to include an analysis in her senior honors thesis; on Monday, April 4, 2016 [the patron] wrote: “[The filmmaker] just sent me the link to the film after Jane Bloemeke requested it from her. Thanks so much for your help securing it!” – 4/5/2016 [contribution to Jane’s PEP]
“We already ordered this one; you requested it as a rush in January. It has been in production, and just happened to arrive today! Yay!” [Jane to Danette]
“Wow, now that’s service! Thanks, Jane. 😎” [Danette to Jane] – 4/6/2016
From: Jane Bloemeke
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2016 4:57 AM
To: Danette Pachtner
Subject: RE: Rush book for Lilly Reserves; Fall2016
It’ll be here tomorrow. [Jane to Danette]
“Thanks, Jane!!! What time do you awaken… ?! J [Danette to Jane] 9-12-2016
“I miss you SO MUCH!!!! :)))))) Thanks!!! Happy Friday!” 9/20/2019 [Danette to Jane]
It has been an absolute pleasure and honor to work with Jane over my first few years at Smith and DUL. She was a good-natured and patient trainer as I learned the ropes of A/V materials and remained my go-to consultant for all such matters. I especially appreciate her laugh, which would always brighten my day. Jane, I know I made a lot of corny jokes, so thank you for laughing even if you were just humoring my attempts at humor. She was also always willing to help out with whatever questions or issues I or anyone else encountered, and consistently with nothing but upbeatness and cheer. Jane, I wish you nothing but the happiest of retirement. We’ll miss you!
I remember so clearly when I first met Jane – during the interview session for my first (unsuccessful!) attempt to get a job in Order Management. Jane’s wit and friendliness did not fully mask her ability to look straight through me and see that I had little idea what I was talking about where library acquisitions were concerned!
Luckily for me, Jane was welcoming and encouraging when I finally did manage to claw my way into the department. In what I came to understand as standard behavior, Jane helped situate me within the culture of Order Management and offered me guidance on GOBI, workflow management, and the expected responsiveness on the part of the Order Specialist.
When I moved into a position of supervision within the department, it became clear that my experience of Jane was shared throughout DUL. Every year, come PEP time, I heard from librarians who were eager to offer praise and appreciation for Jane’s steady support. It was always such a relief to know that I could count on Jane to focus on her work with good cheer and reliability.
Jane’s spirit and friendliness will be missed in MonoACQ, but we’re so happy for her that she’s able to start her much anticipated retirement! Best of luck, Jane, from a deeply grateful supervisor.