By Alyssa Maxwell
Approximately 30 of former Baylor libraries employee Dr. Sue Margaret Hughes’ closest friends and colleagues attended a reception honoring her as the namesake of the Sue Margaret Hughes Endowed Internship Fund.
The fund will provide more paid summer internships for students in the Baylor libraries.
Kathy Hillman, associate professor and director of special collections for the Baylor libraries, compared Hughes with the “desirable and beneficial gift” that comes from heaven in James 1:17.
“Dr. Sue Margaret Hughes was the marvelous present that came from heaven,” Hillman said. “Hughes gave herself as a gift to Baylor staff, faculty, students and those she mentored.”
Hughes first began her career at the library working in serials in 1960. The only two libraries Baylor had at the time were Carroll Library and Armstrong Browning Library.
“[I’ve] known Hughes for 10 years, may have been longer,” Dr. Tom Hanks, professor of English, said. “There was no one on campus who was more consistently helpful to the faculty than she.”
In her time at Baylor, the libraries forged a partnership with Information Technology Services.
She also helped plan and move the collection of books from Carroll Library to Moody Library, which opened in 1968. Then Hughes had to deal with a bat problem in Moody Library, which she described at the reception.
“The third floor was their habitat,” Hughes said. “You could tell when you got out of the elevator because the odor was terrific.”
The bats would come in at night and couldn’t always find their way out of the library.
“The bats had a long flight from one end [of the library] to the other, and they would swoop down and absolutely terrify some of the girls because they would get in their hair,” Hughes said.
They were finally caught by the library’s circulation boys with butterfly nets and were released in another part of town.
“Eventually maintenance people went brick by brick sealing up the holes,” Hughes said.
When Hughes worked at Moody library, the closing time was midnight.
“It was a secret desire of many students to be able to spend the night in the library,” Hughes said.
But they never found anyone who did.
“We did find a patch of bedding sheets and blankets in a corner,” Hughes said.
But since then, Hughes said, times have changed.
“Needless to say, that’s no problem now to spend the night in the library,” Hughes said.
At the reception, Hughes was gifted with a book that included photos from her guest of honor dinner, which highlighted her dedication to the libraries, and vintage photos that were located in the reception program.
Pattie Orr, vice president for information technology and dean of university libraries, encouraged the reception attendees to give to the Sue Margaret Hughes Endowed Internship Fund.
“My Christmas list is lined up for your fund, Sue Margaret,” Orr said.