The University Libraries stand out as one of the most popular employment options for students on campus. Each year the Libraries employ students in a variety of departments and roles, from Access Services to Special Collections and Archives, as well as the Office of the Dean. Without the assistance of these students, the Libraries would not be able to serve the campus community with the level of excellence they expect from us. 

“The success of the University Libraries is a reflection of the dedication and hard work performed by our invaluable student workforce!” said Candice Church, one of the student supervisors in Access Services.

Kendall McGowan, the Access Services Evening Associate, echoed this sentiment. “As their reduced presence over the summer makes clear, student employees are an essential part of our team! Their duties include handling a wide variety of questions and transactions at the front desk, pulling and reshelving materials, and performing stacks maintenance work so books are kept accessible and in good condition,” she said. “Not only this, they're a source of infectious energy and creativity, and keep us better informed of what's going on around campus. They're well worth getting to know through this newsletter, and in real life!”

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Layaan Roufai in the stacks

Layaan Roufai, Informatics and History (Bronx, New York), managing the stacks

The Library Update newsletter had the pleasure of touching base with several of our student employees to discuss their experiences. 

Describe your job at the University Libraries in your own words.

“My job at the library is a graduate student assistant. I help to open the Science Library, I help pull books, and I work the desk. I help in any way I’m needed to keep things running smoothly.” – Emma Woods, English MA program (Syracuse, New York)

“I assist the full-time staff with the daily tasks of the library. Depending on where I’m needed, I’ll shelve books, work the desk, take inventory, et cetera.” – Layaan Roufai, Informatics and History (Bronx, New York)

“AMAZING!” – Amella Rodriguez, History (Bronx, New York)

What are some of the things you’ve learned working here?

“Working at the library has been a journey of experience. My communication skills have grown tremendously because of my day-to-day conversations with staff and patrons, as has my self-confidence. Trust me, when you have staff members who are never tired of you asking questions, they can guide you in all things.” – Chinemerem Ogbonna, Educational Psychology (Nigeria)

“I learned books are circulated throughout the library.” – Chris Alcindor, Computer Science (Brooklyn, New York)

“I learned how to read call numbers, which looks confusing but is actually easy.” – David Frimpong, Psychology (Bronx, New York)

“I learned to be organized. I also learned how to think on my feet more and think about alternative options. I also learned more about this school and what resources I can use to make my school work easier.” – Citaly Monray, Biology (Brooklyn, New York)

“Book management can be pretty complicated when millions of books are involved!” – Jupiter Z., Biology (New York City)

"You would be surprised to find out that there’s more to the library than just checking out books.” - Adriana Grullon

What surprised you about working in the library?

“The number of books in the library and what goes into managing them!” – Moustafa Jawara, Business and Accounting (Bronx, New York)

“The library is a very calm and peaceful place to work. The librarians are nicer than I thought they would be, too.” – Angela Chen, Accounting (Long Island, New York)

“All the different room numbers and where they’re located.” – Xavier Sacta, Computer Science (Queens, New York)

“Something that surprised me about working in the library would be the long process that goes on behind everything. You would be surprised to find out that there’s more to the library than just checking out books.” – Adriana Grullon, Criminal Justice (Bronx, New York)

“I didn’t expect to learn a lot from working here, but it helped me learn about new things and ideas.” – Dylan Persad, Economics and Cybersecurity (Queens, New York)

What do you like about working here?

“What I like about working here is the staff. The staff members here are welcoming. Another thing I like about working here is that I’m untroubled and don’t feel anxious.” – Mia Hertzog-Patterson, Criminal Justice (New York City)

“I really like the people I work with. They have all been so kind and helpful. I also love being able to help other patrons get the reading material they need. As an English major, I have used the interlibrary loan department many times. So when given the opportunity to volunteer here, I was so excited.” – Angela Capovani, English (Glenville, New York)

“Something I really enjoy about working here is getting to help people at the circulation desk. Many people have all sorts of questions about the library and can be nervous to come up and ask. I know that feeling, so I always greet them with a smile.” – Lisairy Severino, Psychology (Bronx, New York)

“I like the people and the environment. I also like seeing new people each day and how calm it is.” – Ethan Zenteno, Informatics (Manhattan, New York)

“The friendly staff.” – Keran Saray, Accounting (Colombia and Queens, New York)

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Lisa Severino, student employee, at the front desk

Lisa Severino, Psychology (Bronx, New York), staffs the Circulation Desk

What’s something you’re proud of in your work here?

“I believe most of my colleagues think I am kind and hardworking, which makes me proud of myself.” – Tahseen Fathima Syed, Data Science and Applied Mathematics (India)

“Being able to send patrons exactly where they need to go.” – Misi Ogunnaike, Communications (Brooklyn, New York)

“I am proud of the way I interact with patrons and how I shelve the books.” – Wania Hermanstyne, Political Science (Queensbury, New York)

“I am proud of learning the Library of Congress classification system because it did take me a while and some practice, but it is definitely a skill I could incorporate outside this job.” – Precious Rodriguez, Psychology (Brooklyn, New York)

Student workforce

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