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Regina Mays: Library Lover, Voracious Reader, Cat Owner

Regina MaysAt UT: Regina Mays is UT’s first assessment librarian, a position that was created in 2011. She first came to UT’s Center for Information and Communication Studies in 2009 as program manager for the study Lib-Value: Value, Outcomes, and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries, funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Mays has worked with Life of the Mind, UT’s first-year common reading program, and serves on the UT Libraries’ Diversity Committee.

Working with students: “As an assessment librarian, my interaction with students usually involves interviewing or surveying them,” she said. “But this is my favorite part of my job because it has helped me become a better listener, and I have learned to appreciate every person’s perspective.”

Why she chose this field: Mays has a bachelor’s degree in English from UT Chattanooga, and her first job was in a small library in Gate City, Virginia. “It instantly clicked, and I loved that job,” she said. From there, Mays received her master’s degree in information science and technology from UT Knoxville.

Outside interests: Mays’s favorite thing to do is unwind with a book, and her favorite literature is poetry. “I tend to read several books at once,” she said. “Sometimes I’m so excited to start a new book but just haven’t quite finished the last one.”

Favorite book: Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “I don’t read many books more than once because there are so many I want to read, but I have read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy several times,” she said. “I laugh out loud every time I read it.”

If I didn’t do this, I’d: “Cry—because anything else I’d like to do wouldn’t allow me to make money. This really is the perfect job for me.”

Learning new things: In the past few years she’s taken classes in clogging, sewing, mindfulness meditation, and photography. “I also hiked Mount LeConte and stayed overnight at the lodge there—and I am not by any means a hiker. I visited Las Vegas for the first time and won a small jackpot my first time gambling.”

One last thing: Mays has a cat named Sister Monica Joan named after her favorite character from the show Call the Midwife. “My previous roommate and I each had a cat named after our favorite characters—Sister Monica Joan and Chummy,” she said. “When we moved I took Sister Monica Joan, who was more introverted, like me, and she took Chummy, who was more extroverted, like her.”

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