eNews Edition: Fall 2021
Contributed by Joyclyn Dunham
In the Library’s Guest Services department, Mike Villalobos is a champion for student success and access to resources. On staff with the Library since 2000, he loves his job and the opportunity to meet students from around the globe. During challenging pandemic times, Mike was steadfast in leading necessary pivots to ensure students’ needs were met under critical safety guidelines. Get to know Mike, a dedicated and courageous front-line staff member on our team.
Tell us about yourself
I came to CSUN in 1992 as a student and was later hired in 2000 as a full-time staff member in the Library, closing nights and weekends. I was promoted in 2007 to the position I am in now, the Circulation Services Lead. I never got a chance to finish my bachelor's degree, so I will be returning in Spring 2022 to restart my academic career. I hope to complete my Bachelor's in Liberal Studies in 2024, and then move on to working on my master’s degree in Library Science. I hope to be a full-fledged librarian in the next 5 years.
What is your role in the Library?
Ultimately, I am accountable for the daily operation of the Guest Services Desk, the shelving of over 300,000 items in the library, and the oversight of the first Automated Storage and Retrieval System in the United States, which currently holds over 800,000 items. My success is measured in terms of the way the Circulation Services area performs on a daily basis and how we manage challenges as a team. I have to make sure that the work gets done, costs are controlled, employees work as a group, and ultimately, students are satisfied with the services that we offer and responsibilities that we take on.
What do you love most about your job in the Library?
What are some of the most frequently asked questions from students?
“Why aren't there more study spaces in the library?” I'd like to say we are currently working on it, and will have more spaces very soon. Stay tuned!
What is the greatest challenge you overcame during the pandemic?
Overcoming my fear to contract COVID-19 by working with the public again. I simply had to educate myself by listening to the medical experts and taking personal responsibility for my safety and others by getting vaccinated.
What motivates you to work hard?
Knowing that my job has an impact on students, thus helping to create a more knowledgeable community.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Overcoming my fear of public speaking. This was the catalyst in dealing with my anxiety disorder, as I was very shy growing up, and had difficulty socializing with others. I was so shy, I was awarded "Most Quiet" when I graduated high school. Thanks to CSUN Professor Annette Cardona, I was not only able to overcome my public speaking fear, but I was also finally able to speak up for myself, period. This led me to pursue supervisory and management positions that I had been avoiding in my career. To be clear, I wouldn't be in the position I'm in today or on my way to becoming a Librarian, if it wasn't for her. She was an amazing professor, but also a kind, thoughtful person who taught me the tools to finally be myself and be comfortable in my own skin.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
A police officer, but DJ is a close second.
What do you do for fun?
I like listening to new music and making mixtapes. I still DJ when I get a chance, so I need to stay sharp!
Who is your favorite author or musical artist?
Prince. I had the opportunity to see him live four times and of course, I have all of his records. I love the fact that he produced, wrote and performed on all of his music. He's a real musical genius in my opinion.
Favorite album of all time?
Purple Rain of course. Every track on that album is a classic. Make sure to see the movie first though, it's just as good.
If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Play with my dogs and BBQ.
What is something that most people don’t know about you (but are willing to share)?
I'm a wrestling fanatic, and currently loving all the AEW shows.
Any nicknames you are willing to share?
I have my fair share of cool DJ names that I have used throughout the years, but "DJ Mike" seems to have stuck unfortunately. LOL.
Who is your hero?
My dad. He worked on the many ranches of the San Joaquin Valley for 3 decades, so my sister and I could have a better life. He never complained and was always grateful to be working and putting food on the tables of people all over the world. He was also a proud Marine who served in the Vietnam War and loved our country as much as his family.
Best thing about CSUN as a student?
I got more out of my education than I ever bargained for.
Best thing about CSUN as an employee?
I love the fact that I get to see new faces every year and meet new people from all around the world.
What was/is the hardest challenge you’ve overcome? Why are you proud of the outcome?
Moving from a small town of 6,000, McFarland, to a huge city of millions, Los Angeles, in 1992. It was the scariest thing I had ever done at 17 years old, but I am so glad I did it. It was hard, but well worth it. I consider myself an official Angeleno and proud of it!
What makes you stay at CSUN?
I am very fortunate to work at the Library, where I am supported as an employee and students are equally supported and listened to.