• Beth Roberts

Shelf Talk 33: Employee of the Quarter Mary Razor


The Mississippi County Library System (MCLS) is delighted to announce Mary Razor as the MCLS Employee of the Quarter for 1st Quarter 2021. Congratulations, Mary!



Service with a smile. If we had to capture the knowledge, wisdom, patience, and humility that Mary brings to her job in just one phrase, that would be it. For over 30 years, Mary has served customers, other staff, and the community with excellence. “Ms. Mary is the sweetest lady to everyone she comes in contact with, helping everyone in any way she can,” says Lilly McGarrity, MCLS staffer. “She has patience with children of all ages and adults also. [She is a] sweet lady and a great boss!”


Mary is the manager of the Blytheville Library, the busiest branch in the MCLS System. Open seven days a week, thousands of people pass through the doors every month. Yet Mary knows her customers by name. She knows what they like to read and which computer they like to use. She’s always willing to offer help with printing, find a resource, answer a question, or just lend a helping hand. She plays with children (and sneaks them free books!), engages with teenagers, and listens to those who need to talk.


“Mary’s longevity as an employee of the MCLS is a major strength as she knows and understands the Blytheville Public Library community and customers very well,” says MCLS Director Lowell Walters. “She consistently offers excellent customer service and takes a very effective and wholesome approach while dealing with the behaviors of some of our younger, more ornery guests who remind me of myself when I was their age. Mary is a fine example of why “institutional knowledge” is an important, highly-valued asset and implements it well during contact with the public and in communication with me as I consider various matters.”


As a notary public, Mary provides an essential service to anyone who needs a witness. She is also the chief cataloger for the libraries: every book in all six MCLS branches passes through her hands. Mary makes sure that our collections are clearly labelled, cataloged, and easy to find. She knows the library so well that she can point out its shelf location without even having to look!


Mary’s greatest strength is her heart. “Mary is also very caring for her colleagues. She demonstrates this by often transferring "paid time off" hours to other employees in need,” says Lowell Walters. Her coworkers agree. “You’ll never meet a more dedicated person than Mary Razor,” says Mandy Hill, Manila Library Manager. MCLS Technology Specialist Randy Newman continues, “Mary does it all. She will step up to any job, at any time, without complaint. She will do whatever needs to be done for the betterment of the library and patrons in general. Mary is the default employee: if something needs doing, she’s the first one there to help.”


When young people visit the library, Mary makes a special effort to make them feel welcome. She hands out books, activities, and motherly advice. When library visitors are hungry, she works to make sure they’re fed. This year, several students have used the Blytheville library during the day to attend virtual school. They work hard on their assignments, but do not have lunch. Mary worked with Bill Kenner of First United Methodist Church and New Mt. Olive Church to provide daily lunches for the hungry students. Of the experience, Bill says, “I learned real quick that [Mary] runs a tight ship. All successful organizations have a key employee. Mary Razor is that employee.”


Please join us in congratulating Mary Razor on the MCLS Employee of the Quarter award. If you have an idea for a service or resource the Mississippi County Library System could provide, or would like to volunteer at one of our library branches, let us know! As always, feel free to contact me at broberts@mclibrary.net anytime with questions or suggestions.


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