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Meet the PMML Staff - Brandon Driver

Have you ever wondered who's behind the scenes making the PMML run smoothly? It’s our pleasure to pull back the curtain and introduce you to the staff you see during your visits and those that work behind the scenes. This month, we are introducing you to Brandon Driver, the InterLibrary Loan and Circulation Assistant. Brandon began working at the PMML in 2021 and helps members get requested reading material that isn't in our collection.

PMML: Hi Brandon! You're a familiar face behind the circulation desk for our members. And as part of your duties as the InterLibrary Loan and Circulation Assistant, you see a good part of our collection. Is there a particular item or collection that has made a deep impression on you?

BrandonI have to admit, I am pretty awed by the assortment of books and items we have in the Rare Book Collection.  As a student of history, it’s always enjoyable to find a new treasure in our collection. It's one thing to read about a conflict or battle, but it’s another to read a soldier’s personal journal or memoir while participating in the conflict. Items like this remind me that past events aren’t just notated but were “experienced” by our ancestors and countrymen. Since the majority of titles in the Rare Book Room come from donations, these items have an added value/significance because they have a lived history. You’re reading someone’s hymn book they carried into battle, a comic book they read in their free time on the battlefront, or a field manual freshly trained soldiers thumbed through before they left basic training, etc.

PMML: As the InterLibrary Loan and Circulation Assistant, you help members borrow books and other items that we may not have in our collection. What is your favorite part of your job? 

Brandon: I like being able to provide unique resources to members that may struggle to find them.  As The ILL and Circulation Assistant, I help handle the many requests we receive from various libraries around the country.  Many of the items in our collection are unique and harder to find, so many libraries see us as a lender of last resort. In addition, many of the requesting libraries use our collection to help serve their patrons, many of whom are retired military and are looking for more books that remind them of their service or just pique their interest. In that way, I see part of my job is a way of giving back to those who’ve served this country.

PMML: Do you get many reactions from patrons about the books they’ve read? What is your favorite feedback that you’ve gotten? 

Brandon: Our patrons are always happy to share their reactions. I’ve received a wide range of reactions from patrons about the books they’ve read; most being a kind of pleasant shock/surprise. One reaction in particular that stands out is from a patron who came in to try to find more information on her father’s WWII service (his unit, his accolades, and his involvement in certain campaigns). After learning that her father’s unit played a big part in the Rome-Arno Campaign of 1944 in Europe, she checked out a few books in our collection that went into more detail on the US Units involved there, hoping to better contextualize her father’s wartime experience. She as fascinated with what she learned!

PMML: That's excellent! It's great hearing that members are pleasantly surprised with what they learn when diving deeper into our collection. It's so fulfilling! Brandon, the holidays are coming up. Is there any tradition you're particularly excited about this time of year?

Brandon: In my opinion, the holidays are more fun when I can participate in a Secret Santa. I like having to "read" the giftee and pick out a gift that matches their interest. It's rewarding to see their face light up when you've gotten them a great and unexpected gift!

PMML: That is always fun! Brandon, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Happy Holidays! 

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