This semester, we are highlighting the people that make Wardman Library possible. Each week, we will bring you an interview with one person who helps to support the mission of the library at Whittier College. You can find a list of past interviews in our blog archives. This week, we interviewed Collections Management Librarian, Mike Garabedian.
photo credit: Mike Garabedian
What is your job title?
I am the Collections Management Librarian here.
What three words best describe you?
Curious (in all senses of that term), fastidious, fuzzy.
What do you do at Whittier College?
I am in charge of the overall collection development, acquisitions, and maintenance of the monographs (i.e., books) in our collection, as well as their description in the Library Catalog. Like all librarians here, I also assist with reference duties and teach information literacy sessions to classes in the departments for whom I’m a liaison (i.e., English, Religious Studies, Political Science, Sociology, and Social Work).
How would you describe your work space?
My work space is busy with activity but also with artifacts related to several of my vocational and avocational interests, e.g., typography and book history. And toys. And cephalopods.
What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book is currently Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, but I hasten to add that the answer to this question is subject to change according to my ever-evolving worldview (not to mention how I may be feeling on any given day).
What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?
I’m currently reading editor Mark Martin’s I’m With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet (New York: Verso, 2014), watching David Dimbleby’s Seven Ages of Britain (BBC, 2010), and listening to Polish composer Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs as performed by the London Symphony (featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw) back in 1992.
What advice do you have for Whittier College students?
As a Whittier College student you will find one significant kind of satisfaction if you strive to find one or two areas about which you are passionate, and then do excellent work within these areas. However, as importantly, I think you should also use your time to learn about the kinds of things it takes to be a good citizen, and to help us — faculty members, staff, and other students — to continue the important work of building a caring community here. This means recognizing our involvement in a common enterprise; coming up with equitable solutions together to challenges that arise on campus and beyond; sharing burdens and hardships but also joys and successes; and attending to one another by listening well and honing our capacity for compassion and thoughtfulness.
What Wardman Library resource/service would you recommend to students?
Allow me to promote a favorite project of mine and recommend that students check out the Quaker Campus Digital Archive, in which we’re working to digitize all 100+ years of the QC. The archive contains a plethora of fascinating information from the early twentieth through the early twenty-first century, and is important not only to the history of the College, but also to the history of the City of Whittier, and arguably (given our most famous alumnus), to the region and nation itself.
Thank you, Mike, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. Next week, we will bring you an interview with our Office Manager, Mary Garside.
Works mentioned above: