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Zachary Adams

  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Lower Level Desk / Lab Manager
  • Worked 2 years in the library

ZACHARY’S BOOK SELECTION

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book had an incredible impact on me as a young high school student. Its narrative on the painful effects of modernization and the Great Depression on one American family helped me to focus my attention on issues of social justice. I am still passionate about these issues to this day and am headed into the Peace Corps this Summer!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

My coworkers.

Siddharth Akali

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Lower Level Desk / Lab Manager
  • Worked 4 years in the library

SIDDHARTH’S BOOK SELECTION

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I love the Fight Club because it lets the punk in me live vicariously.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Working at the library lab for the last four years has been a blast. I really enjoy my co-workers and supervisors. I also really appreciate the flexible, supportive, and entrepreneurial environment that Ron and Laura have provided me to excel and grow in.

Todd Baker

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Reference
  • Worked 4 years in the library

TODD’S BOOK SELECTION

The Analects of Confucius by introduction and notes by Chichung Huang

ABOUT THE SELECTION

My interest in East Asian history, kindled by Professor Yue Him Tam, led me to consider a book dealing with Chinese history in some way. However, I also wanted to select a book that anyone could relate to, that contained in its pages a wisdom that could speak to everyone. Eventually, I decided that one book best fit these criteria: the Analects of Confucius. /Confucius was never a famous person during his lifetime. Neither did he achieve a high post in the government or gain great wealth. He lived out his life as a low-ranking bureaucrat who taught a small group of students on the side. By the American definition of success, Confucius is a dismal failure. /Yet among all of the great thinkers who lived in China during that time, it is his words that we remember the most. Even people who know nothing about Chinese history have heard of this scholar. Centuries after his death, many of his sayings are still applicable in the modern world. How many authors throughout history could say the same? /In a way, Confucius has reached a level of success that few people in any time can ever hope to achieve. There are far worse fates than your wisdom being remembered by civilizations that didn’t exist during your lifetime. That is the ultimate reason I chose this book. It shows that there is no such thing as failure – there are just different ways to succeed.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I’ve enjoyed just about everything about my work here at this library. I’ve enjoyed helping patrons at the Reference Desk, guiding them as best I can though their projects. Interlibrary Loan has provided me with a unique experience in learning how libraries exchange materials, which is something that few people get to see. What I have enjoyed most of all, however, would have to be the people I have been working with the past four years. They started out as my instructors and guides. Today, I consider many of them to be my friends. More than anything, their influence has led me to embark on a career in library science. The only thing I have not enjoyed about working in the library would be scanning documents to be sent to other libraries – a fact to which my coworkers can readily attest. Despite what most people think technological instruments have personalities, and I know the scanners here have never liked me. Fortunately, when I get my master’s degree in library science I will probably never have to scan another document. That’s why student aides were invented.

Sasha Cardenas

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Lower Level Desk / Lab Consultant
  • Worked 1 year in the library

SASHA’S BOOK SELECTION

Love by Toni Morrison

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book was my first encounter with Toni Morrison. I was blown away by her mastery of the English language and how each sentence was like a poem that could stand on its own. I enjoyed her frankness and honest insight of women and their strengths and faults.

Nora Clancy

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

NORA’S BOOK SELECTION

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I love this collection of essays published right when Didion started out as a writer. She is an inspiring woman!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The circulation desk is the best place to people watch…

Jesse DuBois

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Lower Level Desk / Lab Consultant
  • Worked 1 year in the library

JESSE’S BOOK SELECTION

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This was probably the most thought-provoking book I was exposed to during my time here at Macalester.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Being surrounded by tomes of knowledge. I feel at least twice as important when I’m sitting in the library.

Jena Enger

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Periodicals
  • Worked 4 years in the library

JENA’S BOOK SELECTION

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, and Six More byRoald Dahl

ABOUT THE SELECTION

When I was growing up Roald Dahl was my favorite author. I owned four copies of “Matilda,” which was my favorite book. I loved how absurd Dahl’s characters were, but it wasn’t until high school and college that I appreciated how he can put dark adult material and heartwarming heroes in the same story. “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” is full of haunting short stories you remember for a long time after you’ve read them.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Becoming an expert at my job.

Devin Foster

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Reference
  • Worked 4 years in the library

DEVIN’S BOOK SELECTION

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Not only does Neal Stephenson introduce and develop some great characters and employ subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) humor, but this historical fiction novel explores the forefront of the cultural, economic, scientific, and mathematical explosion that ushered in the European Age of Enlightment. Stephenson incorporates real people and events, the global interaction of trade, culture and ideas, and a touch of mystical realism (similar to that of Isabel Allende) in such a way it is exciting, intriguing, and hilarious.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The people I work with, and the research skills that I’ve learned along the way.

Lech Harris

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

LECH’S BOOK SELECTION

Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The laughs.

Emily Hedin

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Reference
  • Worked 4 years in the library

EMILY’S BOOK SELECTION

The Conscience Of A Liberal : Reclaiming The Compassionate Agenda by Paul Wellstone

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Paul Wellstone inspired my commitment to social justice activism.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I’ve enjoyed working in the library because I agree with Thomas Jefferson when he said: “I cannot live without books.”

Elizabeth Ho

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Lower Level Desk/Lab Manager
  • Worked 3 years in the library

ELIZABETH’S BOOK SELECTION

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I wanted to pick a Jane Austen book, but I couldn’t decide which one. This book involves a little bit from every one. It’s about a group of really random women who get together each month and talk about Austen books-it’s sort of corny, kind of like the book version of a sappy chick flick, but something you just have to love. I like the idea of being friends with someone for your entire life, which happens in this book, and just having grown up together. I really like all the different themes that come together in this book…getting through horrible times with the help of your friends, never giving up on love, the importance of family. Finally, I love all the literary references scattered throughout…and the fact that I understand each one!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I’ve learned so much about computers since I started working in the lab! I have really enjoyed all the people I’ve met and worked with over the years, people I might not have ever gotten to know otherwise. That has probably been the best part of my job.

Tom Kutsch

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Reserves
  • Worked 1 year in the library

TOM’S BOOK SELECTION

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Written in Kundera’s inimitable ethereal style, the Book of Laughter and Forgetting, composed of 7 distinct short stories, offers some profound reflections on the varieties, good and bad, within the human condition. Offering a wide range of reflections on themes including auto-biography, history, politics, friendship, love, sexuality, musicology, and so on, the book, though lacking in an overarching form, is deep in its insights and generous in its spirit.

Ashley Lambert

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

ASHLEY’S BOOK SELECTION

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I selected “Lolita” for the simple reason that it is a gorgeous, compelling, masterful piece of art. It’s an intimidating book whose reputation precedes it, but I think it’s important, and fun, to read things that challenge you.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Working at the Macalester Library has made me realize that libraries are where I feel most at home. My plan for after graduation is to get my MLS and become a children’s librarian. Thanks to everyone at the Macalester Library for being so great to work with!

Andi Luka

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Reserves
  • Worked 4 years in the library

ANDI’S BOOK SELECTION

The Stranger by Albert Camus

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I’ve read it in 3 different languages and in each one of them it is fascinating. Even though it may seem gloomy and pessimistic I really like Camus’ style of writing and the ideas he presents are beautifully intertwined with each other.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I must say it’s definitely the people who work here; everyone is always helpful and tries to have a good time (even on those cold winter night 3 hour shifts 🙂 )

Kaela Schramm

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

KAELA’S BOOK SELECTION

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book is intelligent and charming. He writes in such an approachable manner. Using a child as his main character allows him to get at the raw pain of grief in a way that is still heartening. Plus who wouldn’t fall in love with the quirky nine-year-old Oskar?

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I really enjoy all of the staff and students that I have gotten to know over the years. Janet and Elvi take a real interest in their student workers, they always ask me about track and they get excited about my successes.

Julia Stanfield

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

JULIA’S BOOK SELECTION

ABOUT THE SELECTIONWhen Animals Are Babies by Charles Schwartz

I chose this book because I love pictures of baby animals and this book is full of them.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I like interacting with all of the students who come to the desk, and I also enjoy hiding in the book drop and sticking my arms out at people.

Dana Terres

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Periodicals
  • Worked 4 years in the library

DANA’S BOOK SELECTION

Le Nozze di Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I fell in love with singing and opera my first year at Mac because opera combined both my interest in theater and in music. Le Nozze di Figaro is my favorite Mozart opera and contains my favorite arias to sing and to listen to.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I always enjoyed chatting and interacting with the other library staff while I was checking in journals. Also, when my classes stressed me out, I knew that when I came into work my only concern was alphabetical order.

Gesse Stark-Smith

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

GESSE’S BOOK SELECTION

The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This wonderful collection includes my favorite short story “The Second Bakery Attack.” Murakami combines the fantastical and the familiar in surprising and riveting ways. You should check it out.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the great people who work at the library, both students and staff. I also like the holiday treats.

Jessica Thimm

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  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Library Department: Lower Level Lab
  • Worked 1 year in the library

JESSICA’S BOOK SELECTION

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

ABOUT THE SELECTION

It is a fabulously written book portraying the situation of Haiti and the efforts of physician/anthropologist Paul Farmer to provide quality health care to all those in need. Having been born and raised in Haiti, I found this book very inspiring and have since decided to pursue a Masters in Public Health.

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