Pocketing Money and Integrity
Every semester, the University of Idaho Library hires students to perform a variety of tasks. Student workers are a vital support resource, helping the library faculty and staff meet the needs of students, faculty and staff as well as patrons from the broader community.
In the fall semester, approximately 25 students will work side-by-side with U of I faculty and staff to ensure library users receive key services and support. Library student employees receive more than a paycheck and a flexible schedule—they also gain valuable skills for life.
Library Job Teaches Education Senior A Lesson or Two
As a freshman at the University of Idaho, Jeremy Sexton wanted a job to earn extra money. But he wanted one that would be flexible with his class schedule and give him the time he needed to focus on schooling.
That’s where the U of I Library came in.
“I needed the money, and I heard that campus jobs were pretty reasonable with scheduling around your classes,” said Sexton, now a senior in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences studying secondary education with an emphasis in math and English. “I found out the library was hiring on the U of I website so I decided to apply.”
He said he is grateful to the library for being reasonable and flexible with his “crazy college schedule.” After he graduates in May 2018, Sexton hopes to become a high school math or English teacher.
“I think this experience (being a library employee) has opened my eyes to what integrity looks like on a very basic level and hopefully I can pass that along to my students one day.”
U of I Secondary Education Senior Jeremy Sexton
In addition to his job and classes, he has a passion for playing the alto saxophone in the Vandal marching band.
For most of his library career, Sexton has worked an average of 15 hours a week in the circulation department as a book shelver.
“It’s a great college job,” he said. “It allows you to slow down and step away from homework and stress for a moment to take a breather.”
The library provides him the freedom to shelve books while wearing headphones, which has made his job even more enjoyable.
“I love the groove one can get into while listening to music or a book on tape and going to town on shelving books!” he said.
Sexton uses his work time efficiently, performing his job and listening to books for class assignments at the same time. He admitted his shelve-while-you-listen-and-learn strategy didn’t work so well with literary classics like the works of Shakespeare and Henry David Thoreau.
“Those were just a bit too deep to comprehend in that medium,” he said.
Sexton is grateful for all that he’s learned as a library student worker, but he says he is most grateful for the ways his library job has enabled him to develop a deeper sense of integrity.
“When you are in the stacks (of books), no one will know if you accidentally shelve a book incorrectly or skip over a section of books that are completely out of order,” he said. “But it’s my job to make sure the library is orderly — even if there is no one paying attention to my every action.”
Article by Lisa Ormond, Division of Infrastructure and U of I Library