Jamal Williams, resource sharing manager for Clemson Libraries, was recognized as Staff Member of the Game at Clemson’s home football game against Florida Atlantic University on September 16. Williams was invited to the President and First Lady’s Suite as an honored guest and recognized on the field during halftime of the game.
Williams is a Clemson alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in animal and veterinary science. The Pendleton native started working for Clemson Libraries as a student when he took a job in the circulation department. After graduating, he decided a career in veterinary medicine was not what he wanted to pursue, so he got a full-time job with the Libraries in 2005 and he’s been there ever since.
Williams manages borrowing for the Interlibrary Loan program, which allows Clemson Libraries patrons to check out materials from other libraries across the world. If a patron can’t find what they need in Clemson’s collection, Williams finds it for them and arranges for it to be delivered to Clemson, whether it’s coming from across the country or the other side of the globe. He said tracking down items and talking to people from a variety of places keeps his job interesting, and he enjoys helping patrons access the materials they need.
“Sometimes people are surprised that I can find something for them, and it can really make their day — or sometimes their semester,” he said. “I like helping people in that way.”
“Jamal has received multiple accolades for his customer service from Clemson University faculty and students over the years. His work ethic is the definition of the Clemson family helping each other,” said Ariel Turner, associate dean for collections and discovery who nominated Williams for the honor. “He combines his background in STEM with his knowledge of complex searching of library resources in order to find faculty, staff, and students what they need. Jamal is consistently compassionate and convivial with the Clemson University community, pivoting easily in the face of unexpected challenges and demonstrating consistent patience and compassionate leadership.”
The flooding of Cooper Library in December of 2022 provided additional challenges for Williams and his colleagues in resource sharing. Because the majority of the collections in Cooper were inaccessible while repairs were being made after the flooding, nearly everyone who needed to check out books or articles had to use Interlibrary Loan. Not only did his workload increase, but Williams’ office was damaged during the flood, so he had to temporarily relocate his office. But he and the resource sharing team pulled together to ensure that Clemson patrons still had access to the items they needed despite the disruption caused by the flooding.
Prior to his role in resource sharing, Williams held a variety of positions in different departments in the Libraries, including circulation and facilities. When he’s not at work, he enjoys outdoor activities such as fishing, gardening and birdwatching, and he “dabbles” in woodworking and likes to cook.