Meet the Library’s Class of 2020!

Every year, the graduating seniors who are working in the library are invited to pick a favorite book and say something about what it was like to work in the library. Learn more about the Senior Book Project.

Alyssa J. Franzmeier

Alyssa J. Franzmeier

Hometown: Sartell, MN

Years in the Library: 3

Book Selection:

Les MiserablesLes Miserables by Victor Hugo

“You can tell if someone really cares about you if they sit there willingly as you passionately describe the whole plot of this book for two hours. They do it because they love you.”

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

I love the work culture here! We love helping others get what they need, and that extends to each other.

James Hartzer

James Hartzer

Hometown: South Bend, IN

Years in the Library: 3

Book Selection:

Confessions of a FoxConfessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg

“I came upon this book by accident while working in the library during the summer, browsing lists of the best recently published books. I tore through it and loved seeing trans and queer characters depicted in such exciting ways. Plus historical fiction is just plain fun. I feel like I’m recommending this book all the time!”

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“The people really make this job. Everyone is so nice and supportive, and I’ve had a ton of fun, especially in the summers. Plus first access to new books has been pretty sweet! ”

Sam Hopkinson

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Years in the Library: 3

Book Selection:

los perritosLos perritos son así by Jan Pfloog

“It’s my favorite library discovery.”

 

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“Everything! It really gave me a leg-up in research.”

Lilli Kay

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Years in the Library: 3

Book Selection:

Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf

“This book has stuck with me since I first read it about 12 or 13 years ago. The historical context showing a lesser known story of horrific Nazi occupation from the eyes of a young girl captured my attention instantly. Years later, I was fortunate enough to visit the Czech Republic and made a special effort to visit Lidice due to my fond recollections of this book. The memorial site in the city was incredible, and made the book even more special to me.”

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“I’ve enjoyed the amazing people I get to work with every day, and the variety of questions we get asked at the desk. There’s always something new to keep us on our toes!”

Dylan Larsen

Dylan Larsen

Hometown: Longmont, CO

Years in the Library: 4

Book Selection:

Mistakes were made (but not by me) by Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson

“I really enjoyed reading about how our minds make sense of the world, especially when we make mistakes. We construct stories that explain away the mistake we made. It also shows some of the biases that exist in every person, and their potential positive and negative impacts on ourselves and others. Finally, they talk about how admitting your mistakes actually has a positive effect on the person admitting the wrong.”

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“I have enjoyed working at the library. I love working with books. I love what I can do to keep the library running, and hopefully bring some laughs. My job involves a whole lot of different tasks ranging from book processing, invoicing, working with periodicals, and also helping fix problems with some books as they arise, and I enjoy most of them (Inventory notwithstanding). I have liked working with Denise, Mary Lou, Laura, Jack, Erin, and the many student coworkers over the years.”

Michael Milner

Hometown: Oak Park, IL

Years in the Library: 2

Book Selection:

The IdiotThe Idiot by Elif Batuman

“It’s a story about a naïve student beginning college who I, as a sophomore at Mac, felt I could identify with. I enjoyed reading it mostly because of how the narrator describes everything in tedious detail. And since it’s set in the 1990s, there are references to contemporary bands like The Cranberries and Nirvana. ”

 

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“Working with nice people and overhearing conversations going on at the circulation desk.”

Maria Peterson

Maria Peterson

Hometown: Outside Grinnell, IA
Years in the Library: 4

Book Selection:

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

“I read this book my first year and haven’t stopped thinking about it since – when we’re inside the Mac Bubble, we tend to get tunnel vision regarding what is intellectual and academic and what isn’t, and this book pushed at the boundaries of those definitions for me. I appreciated the ideas that the choice to pursue a meaningful education is liberating (and that ‘meaningful education’ has many definitions) and that self-reflection and personal growth can be as intellectually rigorous as reading Dead White Men in class. The book does a good job of both portraying a woman typically considered an outsider in academic contexts both succeeding within those contexts and finding meaning outside of them.”

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“I appreciated the community fostered by the welcoming atmosphere at the circulation desk, the ability to meet students outside of my relatively small academic circle, and a job that offered a break from my sometimes tedious classroom work. Working at the library also allowed me to prioritize my own reading in a way I may not have found an excuse for had I not worked surrounded by books. Finally, I appreciated that the library staff listened to my recommendations for acquisitions, and now we own the Derby Stallion on DVD, starring a young Zac Efron (The Heart Of A Boy – The Soul Of A Champion). Check it out today!”

Jinzhou Tian

Jinzhou Tian

Hometown: Taiyuan, China

Years in the Library: 3

Book Selection:

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

“It provides a different perspective of evolution, life and future. A journey of logic, biology and moral.”

 

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“First, I like the quiet working environment and supporting, intimate working atmosphere. In addition, I particularly enjoyed contributing to the establishment of collections of resources that help my peers with their studying and exploring (of the library).”

 

Peroushini Villiamma

Hometown: Mauritius

Years in the Library: 4

Book Selection:

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

“There is something for everyone in this book. What is meaningful is subjective to one’s own perspectives and to time therefore one should always keep seeking whatever is meaningful to them.”

 

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“The spectrum of conversations I either participated in or overheard.”

Emma Wellman

Emma Wellman

Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

Years in the Library: 4

Book Selection:

Blindness by José Saramago

“I often devour books, but then a few weeks later I forget what they’re about. This book was different; I read it a few years ago, and I still remember it. To me, this indicates that it’s a good book, so I wanted to share it with others.”

 

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“Working in the library office has given me the chance to be creative and think in a different way than I usually do for classes. I also like knowing what’s going on and (some of) the ins and outs of the library (massage chairs! onesies! idea lab events!). Plus, I get to work with some amazing people.”

zaineb

Shireen Zaineb

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Years in the Library: 1

Book Selection:

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mizna

“Reading this book as a Pakistani-American Muslim was the first time that I felt my identity reflected in a fiction book, which was a really important moment for me.”

 

What have you enjoyed about working in the library?

“I’ve worked at the library archives for nearly a year now, and have enjoyed every bit of it! Specifically, I’ve loved getting to look at pictures, articles, letters, and objects from years, decades, and sometimes centuries ago.”