The Oviatt employs approximately 150 CSUN students at any given time. This large and essential component of the Library’s workforce consists of a remarkable cross-section of the university’s highly diverse student population. Library student employees come from across the street and from around the world. They are fluent in numerous languages. They represent cohorts from every college and are pursuing degrees in an impressively wide range of majors. These often distinctly skilled and always hardworking students assist Library patrons at nine different service desks and in two different operational departments.
“The work that our students do is critical to our success in organizing and providing access to information,” says Library Dean Mark Stover. “In many ways, our library student assistants are the ones who really keep the library running.” Dean Stover has first-hand knowledge regarding life as a working student. “As a former library student assistant myself over 30 years ago, I know what a challenging job it can be,” he states. “I am continually grateful to our CSUN students who work in the Oviatt.”
In addition to the inherent challenges that come with working in the Library, there also can be some great rewards. “Aside from the Library being centrally located on campus and a great place to work, students are attracted to working in the Library because of the number of options we have to offer,” says Library Student Employee coordinator Paula Crutcher. “Students with an interest in education might benefit from working in the Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC), or someone who is seeking a degree in Arts, Media, and Communication might like working in the Music & Media department.” There are additional benefits as well, Crutcher notes, including: flexible work hours; a positive working environment; supportive supervisors; and recognition of their many contributions at our annual Student Employee Appreciation Ceremony – an event where thousands of dollars in scholarships are awarded.
At first glance, a large gathering of Library student employees might appear to be a fairly disparate sampling of CSUN’s vast population. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes quickly and irrefutably clear that this sometimes rambunctious bunch have in common a remarkably long list of admirable qualities and perceptive insights. We could easily and with great pride cite those qualities and insights for you here, but we thought it would be better for some of our students to introduce themselves and share in their own words how the variety of vital Library services that they help to provide on a daily basis help all of us at CSUN shine uniquely bright.