Happy National Library Workers Day: Meet your librarians
April 12, 2016
Libraries offer the public free access to a wealth of information, whether online, in print or in person. Library workers, including librarians, support staff and employees who make library service possible are what keep these resources running and working.
Today is National Library Workers Day, a day to recognize all library workers’ contributions.
The M.D. Anderson Library currently employs over 69 professionals and 135 support staff to help students with their research and library needs.
The Cougar talked to librarians and assistants in honor of National Library Workers Day.
Website developer Keith Komos previously owned his own business but felt it didn’t fulfill him. Then he found the UH libraries and makes a difference by helping students. “We take thousands of years of knowledge and (help) people access it and use it in different ways,” Komos said. “We’re helping people pass their classes, do research that may someday change the world. We’re in the business of connecting people with knowledge, and that’s very important to me.” | Tyler Cossey/The Cougar
Modern and Classical Languages and Ethnic Studies librarian Andrea Malone never thought she’d be a librarian. She planned on going to nursing school until she took a job as a student worker in the library. “In the department where I work, we’re kind of considered like public services,” Malone said. “We’re the ones who work with the students and the faculty and even staff here at the University. There are lots of collaborations and working with people across campus, so we’re not just held up here at the library doing our own thing; we’re out there with everyone. That’s one of the exciting things about working here. I am where I’m supposed to be.” | Tyler Cossey/The Cougar
Technology trainer Chris Holthe said one of the qualities he enjoys about his position is the hands-on process as well as working with students. “I like my job because I get to take really complex things, software and torrents and things like that, and make it easier for people to understand, and I enjoy when it all snaps for them.” | Tyler Cossey/The Cougar
Kelsey Brett, discovery systems librarian in the Resource Discovery Systems Department, didn’t really know about the field of librarianship until her senior year of college. “I was a history major, and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to stay working in academia, and then when I found out about the field of academic librarianship, it just seemed like a perfect fit. I wanted to work in a university setting and I love that the job requires helping people.” | Tyler Cossey/The Cougar
Hispanic Collections Archivist assistant librarian Lisa Curces said she loves her job because she gets to meet new people while following her own passion for history. “I get to meet people from all over the country. As an archivist, I have a really special area that I get to work on, so it’s really nice that my career involves that interest.” | Tyler Cossey/The Cougar
Director of Library Services for the Health Sciences Michelle Malizia always wanted to work in health information and has been a librarian since 1996. She’s helping students get information from real, credible sources. “Health care is such a growing field,” Malizia said. “There’s just so much information on the Internet that people need a good way of locating. Of course, in libraries we show databases and journals, and we want people to go to a good site instead of, you know, ‘how to cure gout.com’. We want them to go to a real site. And for health sciences librarianship, it directly affects patients’ health, so it literally is a matter of life and death in many cases.” | Tyler Cossey/The Cougar
Biology and Biochemistry Librarian Porcia Vaughn has always loved science and, being a librarian made it possible for her to combine her love for science with her other passion of being a librarian. “I am one of the strange ones in that I actually wanted to be a science librarian since middle school when I found out it could be a profession,” Vaughn said. ” (Now), I get to teach in front of the students and help them understand how scientific information is organized and the best way to get that information depending on the need you have.” | Courtesy of Vaughn.