“On the Job” is a weekly feature that highlights the duties, backgrounds and personalities of student employees at Central Michigan University. This week, staff reporter Dominick Mastrangelo sat down with Brown City junior Quintin Pavel to his campus job as library reference technician.
Time spent on the job: Four semesters
Job description: Pavel works at the reference desk on the second floor of Park Library.
CM Life: What are some of your daily responsibilities?
Quintin Pavel: We are here to assist students who are looking to find books, journals or anything that is in the library at all. We see many students everyday for a lot of the same issues.
CM: What is the most commonly asked question or issue students ask about?
QP: People do not know how to print. Many of the issues we help people with are related to printing. We have access to each student’s library printing accounts – not anyone’s personal documents – but we help people navigate the print kiosk and cue system. People are usually pretty relieved when they get help with that.
CM: Are there any reoccurring issues or problems that are especially difficult to manage when students bring them up?
QP: It can be a little more stressful when people come up to the desk with a really general research topic. For example, a person will come up and say, “I need information on World War II.” Do they need information on the Pacific theater or just the Allies or what? The more specific they can be, the better we can serve them.
CM: How closely do you, as a student employee, work with the professional librarians on staff?
QP: The librarians are typically here during the day. I’ve worked with them in the past, but since I’ve been working more nights lately, I haven’t seen them as much. We work hand in hand. They generally come into play when someone needs attention to something more specific. That’s what the librarians are trained to do.
CM: During finals week specifically, the library can get insanely busy. When the time comes, what are some tips you can give students when looking to get help quickly at the reference desk?
QP: We want to encourage patrons to try to find out as much as they can on their own before coming up to our desk. The more outside and background information they have when they come up makes a ton of difference to us as people who help. Do not be afraid to come up and ask us for something, but you can make the process a lot easier if you have some idea of what you are looking for specifically.