Twenty-four years later, Deloris Thomas is back at the Library of the Health Sciences. Deloris began working for the UIC Library in 1988. She started LHS, and circulated from the Math Library, to the Art & Architecture Library, followed by the Daley Library. In August 2011, after 17 years in different branches in the UIC Library, she resumed work at LHS in Access Services.
“I’m not really ready to retire. I have more energy now than ever,” said Deloris. While she may not feel ready to retire, Deloris is ready for a change. She hopes that after taking two months to visit her family in Mississippi that she can return to part-time work in a library.
Her journey to Mississippi seems fitting after her retirement from the UIC Library. At the University of Mississippi, Deloris held her first library position as a student worker in the University Libraries. “I called my old supervisor when I got the job here, and he told me he just knew I’d end up working in a library” said Deloris.
After her graduation from the University of Mississippi with a degree in social work, Deloris moved to Chicago. A Mississippi native, Deloris was smitten with the city after a visit with family. During her first eight years in Chicago, she held various positions from substitute teacher to administrative assistant before the recommendation of a friend brought her to LHS.
Despite a continued enthusiasm for the city, Deloris returns frequently to Mississippi to visit her family, and enjoys the slower pace of life. “It’s nice there, and in Mississippi I had the greatest childhood. People still wave to you all the time when you pass them in the car,” said Deloris.
Deloris has been a part of numerous branches of the UIC Library and seen a vast amount of change in 24 years. Throughout that time, Deloris has made providing patron services a priority in her work, and it will be the patrons she misses the most after what she hopes will be her final, but not all that final, day of work on April 30th.