Student employees are an essential part of the Library team. In many ways, our services, programs, and resources are robust and dynamic because of their commitment and creativity. Across the country, colleges and universities are celebrating National Student Employment Week during April 12-18, 2021. Supervisors will be recognizing the students who work in their departments throughout the week.
To aid our celebration, we invited students to reflect on their experiences as members of our team. We’ve found student employees are excellent ambassadors, successfully connecting our resources to their peers and classmates. In a matter of weeks, we will have a large void as many Library departments include a number of graduating seniors. Five members of the class of 2021 answered our reflection questions and their thoughtful responses highlight the outstanding contributions of all of our student employees! We hope you enjoy the insights shared by:
Genevieve Collette (Marketing) – Reference, Instruction, and Academic Engagement (RIAE)
Olivia Lindsley (Film) – Special Collections and Archives (SPCA)
Dana Miller (History) – RIAE and SPCA
Jade Ryerson (Public History) – SPCA
Braylen Stevens (Accounting) – Library Administration
Why did you apply to the library?
Genevieve: “To become more familiar about the resources available to students, as well as to advocate for students to use more of these resources. To change students’ perception that research and library materials are intimidating.”
What did you enjoy about being a member of the library staff?
Braylen: “I really enjoy seeing and meeting new people. What is so unique is that aside from the other library staff, I cross paths with other DePaul workers, students, staff and faculty. Because of the pandemic, a lot of the opportunities to meet new people has been limited; but I gain energy and drive from interacting with others and my work at the library has rewarded me in this area. I also enjoy the fact that though I am a senior, I am still learning about the different resources that the library offers and have been sharing this information with friends, peers, and my mentees.”
What was your favorite collection or project that you worked on?
Olivia: “I’ve learned a lot about the city of Chicago and related people, organizations, and events because of the archival materials I’ve worked with. There’s such a diverse range of topics covered in the collections, and I have enjoyed spending time with them while working on various projects. I also really enjoyed watching and listening to the files included in collections about the Plowshares activists. I knew nothing about Catholic opposition to nuclear weapons/war before starting this job, and now that I’ve spent hours looking through news footage and interviews about it I have a huge appreciation for the work that was (and continues to be) done.”
Is there a gem you’ve discovered while working?
Jade: “I am super biased, but to me, Special Collections and Archives itself is a hidden gem. I remember how excited I was to learn that the Library stewards a pair of shoes that Susan Sarandon wore when she played Sr. Helen Prejean in the movie Dead Man Walking.”
Do you think you increased existing or learned new skills that will help you after you graduate?
Dana: “As a member of the library staff, I have both strengthened and learned skills that have helped me academically and beyond. Through my position as a Peer Research Tutor in RIAE, I have strengthened my ability to think critically and conduct scholarly research. One key aspect to this position is not always knowing what the answer is, but from where or whom you can find the answer. Becoming familiar with our institution’s holdings, subscriptions, and services and knowing how they can be used has only enhanced my experience as an undergraduate student. Through my position as a Student Assistant in SPCA, I have strengthened my skills in decision making and communication. I have also learned about some industry-related terminology and technology, which will help me in both my graduate education and career. My experience as a student employee in the library has not only made me an ad-hoc library liaison to my friends (something valuable in itself) but has also provided me with tremendous support in my intellectual and professional development.”
Thank you so much to all of our student employees for all you do to welcome people to our library, assist users with their research, and provide access to our collections! We wish you great success as you pursue plans for professional careers and graduate school!
To apply for a position in the Library, check the Office of Student Employment Campus Job Board for opportunities which are posted as they are available.