The Employee Spotlight Series is meant to highlight the library staff at the Fordham University Libraries. In each post we will introduce you to our fantastic colleagues. In this edition, we meet recent hires Kevin and Maya, who work at Quinn Library.

Kevin Takasato

Photograph of Kevin Takasato
Kevin Takasato, Lincoln Center Campus, Quinn Library

What is your job title and which department do you work for?

Circulation and Reserve Support Staff within the Circulation and Reserve Department.

How long have you been in this role?

Just over three months.

Could you briefly describe what you do in your role at the library?

Basically all of the general circulation responsibilities- regular desk duties and SIRSI transactions. For reserves it’s maintaining the hard copy shelf reserves and also putting things on ARES, the electronic reserves interface – searching for the materials and uploading them. I recently got to make use of my graphic design skills to create new signage and flyers for the reopening of QuinnX as a quiet study zone.

What is your favorite thing about the library so far?

QuinnX definitely, which is where all the books published before 2000 are located. I love being in the stacks. You can walk up and down and endlessly browse. It’s like going down a rabbit hole- you can just pick a book or a section and let yourself go. I also really enjoy working with the student workers because it gives me a pulse on what’s happening with college students.

What are you listening to lately?

Do you know The Great Courses series? They’re either videos or audio lectures- they usually have full page ads in the New York Times. I’ve been listening to all of the music ones recently. The guy that does it is a professor out in California and his lectures are a little technical but very accessible. So the last one I listened to was his lectures on the Beethoven Symphonies. I’m taking a class in music composition so it’s been helpful hearing how a master handles motivic development. 

What’s your favorite movie that is based on a book?

I’m going to go against all of the critics, but I loved The Goldfinch. I read it when it first came out- the book was great and I was looking forward to the movie and it didn’t disappoint! Where’d You Go Bernadette was a recent favorite, too.

Maya Naunton

Photograph of Maya Naunton
Maya Naunton, Lincoln Center Campus, Quinn Library

What is your job title and which department do you work for?

I am the Assistant Library Staff for the evening and weekend hours. 

How long have you been in this role?

I just started in July, so I have not been here very long at all. I’m a newbie and I am enjoying it very much.

Could you briefly describe what you do in your role at the library?

I help visitors with anything that they have questions about. It might be about finding a book or having problems printing. I also make sure that everything is running smoothly.

What’s the last great book you read?

I just finished a book called The Silence of the Girls. It is a historical novel told from the point of view of a slave woman who was allotted to Achilles. She is mentioned in the Iliad once, but the book expands on her story and talks about the Trojan War from her point of view and the point of view of other women who are enslaved. It’s not a very happy book, but it is very interesting and I liked it a lot. It gives you a totally different perspective on the events. We are so used to hearing it as told by men and obviously it looks very different from the women’s side. I like reading historical fiction –  I really loved Hilary Mantel’s books. 

Who or what inspires you?

What inspires me is the fact that I’m an immigrant and I came from Russia when I was sixteen. I went to college shorty after we arrived to the States and I remember how confusing and scary the whole educational system was. I would like to make it easier for students dealing with it now. I want to help them find their way around and prevent them from getting lost. It goes beyond language issues, though I don’t want to discount those. In order to succeed you need more than good grades, you have to know how to navigate the system. I hope to repay the kindnesses that were done to me when I was at school.

If you could tell students one thing about the library, what would it be?

I would tell them that the moment they feel confused or the moment they feel they don’t know how to approach something, not to get to a point where they are frazzled and lost and frustrated. Just go up to a staff member and ask, because most likely we know the answer to the question and we can prevent them from getting to that place where they’re ready to tear their hair out.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I love working at Fordham. I just think the people are wonderful and very friendly. It’s really a joy to be in a place like that.

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