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Transcript of interview with Mary Dale Deacon by Shirley Emerson, June 21, 2006


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Mary Dale Deacon was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Her father was a Presbyterian minister who had been called to Las Cruces before she was born. She and her older sister and younger brother loved to read and spent a great deal of time in the public library. They all attended grade school and high school in Las Cruces. Mary earned her undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and also took some graduate courses in history. When she transferred to the University of Denver to work on her librarian degree, she was able to use the history credits as her minor. After graduating, she interviewed for a position at the University of British Columbia, requesting government publications as her field of interest, and worked there for the next three years. During this time, she met and married a Canadian who was also a librarian. In 1969, Mary and her husband interviewed at the University of Arizona library, and her husband received a job offer. Mary became a research associate on a book which was published, and also had a research paper published. She was eventually hired as head of government documents at the university, and later took a position as assistant librarian in charge of public services. Mary was recommended for director of libraries at UNLV in 1982. She accepted the job, with all its many challenges, and worked there until she retired in 1992. During those ten years, she was responsible for increasing the book collection and the funding, changing to an integrated automated program, instigating staff development and developing new positions, and finally getting a new library as the number one building project for the university system.

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Mary Dale Deacon oral history interview, 2006 June 21. OH-00389. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with Mary Dale Deacon An Oral History Conducted by Dr. Shirley Emerson The UNLV @ Fifty Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas 2007 ©UNLV@ FIFTY Oral History Proje