We full-time staffers here at the library believe it’s a great place to work.

We enjoy being around books and having access to the world’s knowledge, and it’s immensely gratifying to help connect our users to the information they need. We’re proud of this vocation.

But we couldn’t do it alone, not by a long shot. In fact, the library employs almost as many student workers as full-time staff! In some years, even more. We rely on students to process interlibrary loan requests, assist in keeping the university’s archives well organized, check materials in and out at the circulation desk (especially keys to the perennially popular study rooms!), help patrons use resources like printers and scanners, open and close the building on the weekends, and much more. Student workers are both the front line and the rear echelon support for literally everything we do. Dana Hatab and Alyssa Wagner

And we’re a popular spot to work! Upon arriving on campus, many first-year students who have received a work study stipend as part of their financial aid package come straight to us to inquire about employment. We get frequent job inquiries throughout the year, as well, from students of all class years. (We can often employ a student even in the absence of a work study award, provided we have adequate institutional funding at the time, so those inquiries are always welcome.)

So what’s it like to be a student worker here in the library?

I’ve supervised a great many student employees over the past 22 years (nearly 300!), and while I could offer some views on what I think they’d be likely to say, it’s best to just shut my mouth and let them say it themselves.

Ella Charbonnet ’25, who works at the public services desk, reflected on library work as a family tradition. “I LOVE MY JOB,” Ella writes. “I love working at the library because I feel like I am making my mom proud. My mom worked in the library at her college and is now a school librarian, so doing the same job as her almost feels like an ode to her.” And while Ella expressed great appreciation for her coworkers and their diverse interests and personalities and how much fun the work environment can be, she conceded that working at a public service point can be stressful: “One Sunday, I wasn’t able to sit still for the two hours I was working. At that time, a pipe burst in the atrium and I was running back and forth trying to call Facilities, while simultaneously answering the phone, finding books for people, checking out study rooms, and all the usual activities. Meanwhile, I had ten different people tell me that there was a pipe burst while I was on the phone.” Whoever thinks that library work is just sitting and reading, has no idea how crazy things can get! Emily Huang and Haley Sayrs

But not everything is fast-paced in the day-to-day student worker experience here.

The library relies on a small corps of students who work exclusively “behind the scenes” to do the vital work of keeping the physical collections tidy and in proper catalog order. These are our stacks students (“stacks” just refers to the general holding areas where books are shelved). Nora Elkhadiji ’27 offered her assessment of the advantages of being one of these unsung heroes. “My job is simple, straightforward, and not stressful. I love the flexibility with my schedule as well. My only complaint would be that I wish it paid more.” (Nora is far from alone in this sentiment! Institutions across the country, including Trinity, often struggle to offer satisfactory student worker pay, due largely to budgetary limitations placed by the federal government on the work study program, itself.)

Graduating senior ’24 Jacob Scott (whom I will personally always remember as having wrangled and ushered out, as gently as possible, a highly obnoxious cat that was trespassing in the building), offered his thoughts on our workplace culture: “Overall I have had a very positive experience working at the desk. I would recommend that future students interact with and have fun with the staff members, since that was a fair chunk of the fun and y’all are quite nice people.” Danae Barkocy and Dana Hatab

We feel the same way about our student workers, Jacob! We full-time staff are very fortunate to get to know and work alongside so many bright and interesting young people.

Some of my own best memories…

A member of Trinity’s choir who couldn’t stop herself from singing quietly while working at the desk; I didn’t have the heart to ask her to stop (and frankly, saw no real reason to do so). A student who, in the spirit of Halloween, carved a hole in the bottom of a great big pumpkin, removed the guts, and walked around the entire library, calling himself Count Calabaza. A student who randomly texted me late at night, many years after she had already graduated, to tell me how much she had enjoyed the job (I think maybe there might have been a little alcohol involved in that communication). A first-gen student who never had had any job previously, but who presented himself during the interview with a degree of poise, respect, and professionalism that I have scarcely seen even in adults with long resumes. A student ’13 who is now our Evening Supervisor (Katie Zurovetz), and an alum ’19 (Sarah Zbidi) who is now the Scheduling and Events Manager for Trinity’s Conferences and Special Programs. Some student workers found their calling here and entered Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) programs after graduation. There are just too many dynamic, talented, hardworking, and interesting young people among our library alums to list.

And yes, we hire every August! Reach out to me for details at jhardin@trinity.edu.