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Supporting Thomas Memorial Library

Bill’s Thriller Mysteries

and for generations to come

Bill’s Thriller Mysteries

This is a story about how the Thomas Memorial Library helps retirees enjoy life.
During forty years as a professor of psychology, William Marshall read hundreds, perhaps
thousands of research papers. To keep up with the publication explosion in his field and help
students understand them, Bill had little time for reading for pleasure and missed his favorite
genre, mystery novels.

After Bill retired and moved to Cape Elizabeth, and as time allowed for him to do some reading,
he found many similarities in these mystery novels to research papers. Both start with a theory
on what happened, and both explore the need for solid evidence that the theory is correct or
incorrect. But in two respects they are very different. Research papers are often highly technical
with lots of jargon and hence are arduous, tiring reading (even for professors), and second,
research papers are not exactly page turners. It wasn’t long before Bill again enjoyed and
became addicted to the mystery novel series by Lee Child, Harlan Coben, David Baldacci and
Agatha Christie.


While the Thomas Memorial Library had many of the novels by these authors, it did not have all
of them and often the ones Bill needed in the series were checked out for another several
weeks. Nancy, his wife and a retired librarian, suggested he explore finding the rest through
interlibrary loan.

Bill has been delighted to find how easily and quickly he could get these books, and continues on
the hunt for new mystery authors.

This true story is one example of the almost 1,800 items per month that come from the
interlibrary loan program. Since the online catalog provides access to many more
resources than is feasible for any one library to hold, it saves our library money.

George Morse, a member of the Thomas Memorial Library Foundation’s Story Team, authored
this true story as told to him by Nancy Marshall and Bill Marshall. Nancy and Bill helped to edit
the article as well. Nancy is a retired University of Wisconsin librarian. Bill is a retired
psychology professor.

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