By Laura Fenton
When Regina Cade’s name was announced at the U of M employee recognition ceremony
in the UC Ballroom in late October, she didn’t react.
“I wasn’t blown away, I wasn’t shocked — I was just numb,” she said.
As for her husband, Paul, who slyly coaxed Cade into attending the ceremony thanks
to a tip from Libraries Dean Sylverna Ford, he was almost overcome by tears of joy.
Paul works in Physical Plant.
Regina Cade with her husband, Paul, at the recognition ceremony in late October.
Cade is one of the recipients of the 2012 Distinguished Employee of the Year award,
given to her for her outstanding work as a Library Assistant II at the U of M Ned
R. McWherter Library.
“The University needs more people like Regina,” one nominator said.
In her 31 years with the U of M, Cade worked 15 years in the University Libraries
Cataloging Department and has now worked for the Interlibrary Loan Service for 16
(almost 17) years.
The Interlibrary Loan Service provides access to all materials in the U of M library
for use by other universities. Students, faculty and staff at the U of M can request
materials from other libraries nationally through this resource.
Each year, Cade receives about 12,000 requests from other universities and fills
about 7,000 of them, although she thinks the number “may be more than that now.” In
order to send the books or articles to other universities, she walks the library to
get the books from the stacks, scans the information when necessary and sometimes
mails the books to those who requested them.
And, she leaves no backlogs, according to a nominator.
“Ms. Cade is exceptionally reliable — her word is her bond,” that nominator said.
Another nominator said that Cade “motivates me to excel personally and professionally,
which I greatly appreciate.”
Despite the occasional sore feet from trekking around the library, Cade loves her
job and the environment at the U of M.
“I educate the world and people I will never meet,” she said. “It’s exciting to see
young people come and experience the resources we have at the library. Since I work
in the Interlibrary Loan Service Department, it affords students the opportunity,
from just being a student here, to get things for free. We have so many resources
and so many different ways of getting resources. It is exciting to know that I am
taking part in your education by helping you to acquire your goals.”