Feature Friday: ILL Will Soon Be Even Faster (Mikki Butcher)

Posted on: December 11, 2020

JMU’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is about to get even faster, and Mikki Butcher (’20) is the person you can thank.

You may be familiar with Interlibrary Loan – when you need a book, article, or another resource that’s not part of JMU’s collection, you submit an ILL request, and we use the global network of libraries to get the resource into your hands, free of charge. Today, we’re highlighting our Director of Interlibrary Loan & Course Reserves, Mikki Butcher.

Mikki manages the team that gives you access to the world’s library through ILL. She says, “It’s like Christmas every day, when opening packages from our daily UPS delivery. Reciprocity is the foundation of our work, which means we’ve shared materials from JMU Libraries collections to libraries in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Greece, Israel, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Scotland, South Korea, and Thailand to name a few.”

Mikki especially enjoys working with faculty members who submit tough citations. She says, “Frequently, faculty will contact ILL staff and say ‘I have these citations in German, but they’re for books that are in Russian. I couldn’t find them – would you mind working your magic?’ I love that we have a department that can do that AND that people know we can do that!”

Q & A with Mikki

What excites you most about your work right now?

I’m excited to be part of the resource sharing community around the world! We’re about to roll out RapidILL, a resource sharing system that augments JMU’s current resource sharing software (ILLiad). You will experience shorter turnaround time for requested materials using the same request process you are familiar with.

What’s your favorite local restaurant or local attraction?

That’s a tough one, we have so many great places unique to the ‘Burg, although I’ll go with El Charro Mexican restaurant. The staff are always welcoming and the white cheese dip and frozen margaritas are killer! The food is good, albeit my reason for saying it’s my favorite is because over the years this has been a gathering location for my friends and family to celebrate and/or cry as we’ve navigated this thing called life. 

What would you like everyone at JMU to know about you?

I’m one of four generations in my family to be employed at James Madison University. My maternal grandmother worked with President Ronald Carrier, and my mother worked in Academic Affairs, both of whom have retired. My oldest daughter worked as a student assistant during her four years as an undergraduate. To say we bleed purple is an understatement!

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