Four Student Employees Win Appreciation Awards

April 23, 2020

Four undergraduate students have received the University Libraries’ Student Employee Appreciation Awards for their exemplary work and contributions.

Each year, the University Libraries and the Student Library Advisory Board (SLAB) present the awards for excellent customer service, leadership in the workplace, integrity, attitude, work ethic, initiative or passion. Nominees must be currently enrolled undergraduate students and must have been working for the University Libraries for at least four semesters.

Our congratulations to this year’s winners: Joseph Holmes, Hannah Lawrence, Kim Nguyen and Scarlett Vandyke. Each will receive $500 from a SLAB endowment.

Joseph Holmes, Class of 2020, Sloane Art Library 

Joseph Holmes

Joseph Holmes

Joseph “embodies the qualities that . . . [give] the Sloane Art Library a reputation for being both welcoming and responsive to our users,” said his nominators, Josh Hockensmith and Alice Whiteside.

In his eight semesters at the Art Library, Joseph has treated everyone who walks through its doors with the same respectful attentiveness, building positive rapport with many “regulars,” whether faculty members, his undergraduate peers or community members.

Hockensmith and Whiteside cite Joseph’s reliability and proactiveness in the busy branch library, where there are many tasks in addition to staffing the desk.

Joseph has taken on responsibility “without prompting and without fanfare, accepting new tasks and instruction thoughtfully and with a smile.” And his consistent willingness to pick up others’ shifts when they needed a substitute—even on short notice—has often prevented coverage emergencies, especially on the weekends.

Joseph’s integrity, positive attitude and work ethic have been impeccable, from the beginning, say his nominators. But they also note that his confidence has improved exponentially over his four years there. As a veteran member of the student staff, he is now giving other students the extra support that he needed when he first joined the Art Library team.

Joseph is now a leader in the workplace and has had a positive impact on the Art Library as a whole.

Hannah Lawrence, Class of 2020, Music Library

Hannah Lawrence

Hannah Lawrence

Hannah is “an example of the absolute best of the University Libraries,” according to her supervisor, Carrie Monette. “Her kindness, expertise and accessibility have made her a role model for all the students who work here,” Monette says.

Versatility has marked Hannah’s four years of work in the Music Library. Her courteous and engaging manner has put patrons at ease. And her attention to detail and passion for her work have given her complete mastery over technical service skills.

Hannah has excelled, whether fielding a difficult question at the desk, processing materials in varying formats, doing bibliographic searching of donated items, assembling course reserves, preparing materials for preservation, or editing records. She has also been a “formidable shelver,” consistently tackling overflowing carts with determined resolve and accuracy.

Hannah’s responsibilities even included peer review of other students’ tasks, an arrangement that seems to have worked well. Her student colleagues frequently express admiration and respect for her knowledge, industry, and investment–as well as her welcoming spirit and willingness to help anyone who needs it.

Kim Nguyen, Class of 2021, Preservation

Kim Nguyen

Kim Nguyen

“Kim Nguyen is one of those student assistants I like to pretend will work here forever,” said her nominator, Jenny Burton.

During her four semesters in preservation, Kim has made contributions to all of the department’s workflows and projects with initiative, precision and passion, as well as flexibility.

“When she inevitably does leave, I have no doubt the reality [of] how much our workflows depend on her will come out in full, painful force,” Burton says.

The department was going through a transition period when Kim arrived. Some directions and tasks kept changing, but Kim took it all in stride, keeping up with the changes as they were thrown at her and never complaining, says Burton.

Kim has completed every task—from placing call number labels on books to getting exact measurements for a protective enclosure—in exemplary fashion with a keen attention to detail.

She has also consistently distinguished herself by putting in extra effort, like when she quickly learned to assemble “trays” for transferring items to remote storage, completed the bulk of the assembly herself and thereby shortened the large special project to just a few weeks.

On top of her exceptional work ethic, Kim goes out of her way to make everyone in the department feel welcome, especially other student assistants.

Scarlett Vandyke, Class of 2020, Davis Library Circulation

Scarlett Vandyke

Scarlett Vandyke

Scarlett Vandyke’s exceptional customer service skills, work ethic, initiative and passion have set her apart from the dozens of students who have worked in the Davis Library circulation department over the past nine semesters, said nominators Michael Hanson and Ben Pierpont.

Circulation students perform a variety of duties—from staffing the public service desk, to filing, to sorting and shelving library books. Scarlett is among the very few who, upon arrival for a shift, has consistently sought out a supervisor to inquire what is most needed rather than going straight to the service desk.

She has taken on the more difficult jobs that others don’t want and, when at the service desk, she has helped patrons find materials or resolve equipment problems herself rather than simply sending them to a supervisor.

Late one evening, Scarlett was off duty but in Davis Library. When she observed that Pierpont was alone at the desk dealing with a protracted emergency situation—and a line of patrons was forming—she, without a word, clocked in to help every patron in line, some with questions or issues that students are not normally prepared to handle. Pierpont says he shudders to think how the night would have gone without Scarlett’s help.

The quality of Scarlett’s work is such that the department has regularly enlisted her for assignments typically handled by full-time staff. She has trained other students, and, on certain procedures, has even trained new full-time staff.

In all of her work, Scarlett has exhibited patience, kindness and a very helpful dose of humor.

Thank you for your outstanding service, Joseph, Hannah, Kim and Scarlett!

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