The library’s student employees, Class of 2024, share their favorite work memories

  • Jean Wang
  • Oluwamitoni Oluwatade
  • Librarian Kelly Blanchat (center) with student Joyce Liow
  • Julian Daniel
May 7, 2024

Throughout each year, hundreds of students in the student employment program hold positions in library departments across campus. The library’s student employees build new skills as they assist in library operations in a number of ways, including in digital imaging services, curatorial work, collections maintenance, social media efforts, StatLab consulting, and more. 

To congratulate its Class of 2024 student employees—and to acknowledge their many valuable contributions—the library held an end-of-year celebration in Sterling Memorial Library.

Each year, the library’s student employees are honored with a specially designed bookplate, inscribed with each student’s name and graduating year. The bookplates are placed on the front end papers of a recently acquired book in the library’s collection. This year, 61 student employees were honored with customized bookplates. The students chose the  collections and the books that would carry their bookplates. Collections Maintenance Supervisor Kat Nance was instrumental in gathering the students’ choices. The custom bookplate was designed by letterpress printer Jesse Marsolais, a faculty member in the Yale School of Art.

Several graduating students shared what they will remember most about their time working at the library. Here’s what they said:

“What I will remember most about working at the library is how much I learned. Watching the stacks transform from a mysterious collection of books to a living, breathing, constantly circulating system was so amazing. Learning how to use databases and citation management software and then getting to teach others was so rewarding.”

David Donnan, a Theater, Dance and Performance Studies major, worked in Bass Library’s Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Program for two years and in Collections Maintenance for one year.

“I love, love, love, the library. It is definitely a memory I’ll cherish. Being a library worker made me appreciate the hard work going on behind the scenes!”

Jean Wang, a Mathematics and English major, worked in Sterling Library and Bass Library for one summer.

“The kindness of my supervisors—Kathy, Ro, Amber [Katherine Krasney, Ro Ross, Amber Suess]—who created such a supportive work environment. Their friendship and banter with us as colleagues and friends made me feel welcomed and valued.”

Julian Daniel, a Political Science and History major worked in Front Line Services for three years.

 “I really enjoyed having lovely and in-depth conversations with Kathy, Ro, Amber, and other colleagues. Our bosses were like our friends and cultivated a friendly and support environment. I cannot thank them enough.”

­—Michelle Torres Almache, a Neuroscience major, also worked in Front Line Services for three years.­

 “I will always remember Shana Jackson (senior administrative assistant, Operations) offering snacks when she saw me work long hours. Thanks, Shana!”

Sahil Singh, a M.S. candidate in Statistics and Data Science, worked at Lillian Goldman Law Library.

“Getting to see all the ins and outs of how everything works and discovering the hidden gems of Sterling—like the L&B Room, Andrews Study Room, the Babylonian Collection, the East Asian Studies Reading Room, and more!”

Sasha Nelson, a Classics major, worked in Collections Maintenance for three semesters.

“What I will remember most is getting to hear from patrons about their favorite movies or getting review of films they just screened—sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but always passionate.”

Claire Donnellan, a double major in Theater Studies and Humanities, worked at the Yale Film Archive for two years.

“I will remember the amazing supervisors that I had—shout-out to Archer [Neilson], Zoe [Portman], and Sarah [Tenyer]—and all the incredible films that I never would have known about if I wasn’t at the front desk checking them back in.”

—Joyce Liow, who majored in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, worked at the Yale Film Archive for three years.

“I will remember my amazing supervisors, who are both hilarious and kind. I also will remember the coworkers I got to know on shifts.”

Toni Oluwatade, a major in Cognitive Science, worked in Front Line Services for one year.

Students who are interested in working in the library can log in to the JobX portal in late August to view and apply for paid library positions open in the fall. Learn more about student jobs and about working at Yale Library. Students can also learn more about student employment opportunities at the Undergraduate Academic Fair, which will be held in September.

—Deborah Cannarella

Photos by Monica Reed. Special thanks to Kathryn Webb, director of Yale Library Access Services and Bass Library, for inviting the students’ comments.