Library Staff

Part 5: At Home with Our Library Staff

By Catherine Gilbert, Executive Secretary and Laura Childs, Emerging Technologies Librarian

With the Spring semester nearly finished, and graduation around the corner, the challenges and obstacles we have overcome so far this year are significant. Through these times, a common theme, however, is people working together (albeit remotely), and helping others. 

In the last installment of our working-from-home series, we meet more of our librarians who have worked tirelessly to provide seamless service for our Fordham community from their homes. With windows, our furry friends as co-workers, and pieced-together work stations, these environments may be comfortable, and our commutes are certainly shorter. Yet we all miss being on campus and working with our teams. In the meantime, we’re grateful for technology, for video conferences, and for being able to continue this work to support Fordham’s commitment to the discovery of Wisdom and the transmission of Learning.

Catch up with earlier posts in this series.

Matthew Schottenfeld (Television Production Manager, Walsh Library):

Matt enjoys finally seeing the sunlight during the workday.

EIC Studios on the UES.

Hi! This is my home workspace, a smaller computer monitor but looking on the bright side, it’s really nice having a window.

John D’Angelo (Head of Access & Circulation, Walsh Library):

Brownie takes control of John’s workspace.

That’s my 9-year-old pup, Brownie, holding down the makeshift office in the kitchen/dining area of my apartment. The Sancho Panza to my Don Quixote, she can be found by my side quite literally every moment of the day now that I’m fully immersed in the work-from-home-life. As faithful companions go, she is simply the best. 

Being at home all day, everyday, with her for the last few weeks actually has given me a new perspective on the simple joy of being in the moment. Though my morning coffee will never bring me the same level of excitement, I see how she approaches each new day’s first bites of kibble like they are a revelation to her. In turn, it is refreshing for me to be able to linger over a well-made cup of coffee and not shotgun it before I rush off to campus. This dog really lives in the moment: A triumphant stretch and shake after a good nap? Rejuvenating. Finding the perfect streak of sunlight to lie in for an afternoon of watching me work at the computer? Centering. 

And, her daily walks are an opportunity for both of us to rediscover the familiar. The worn patch of thinning, yellowing, neglected lawn space on our block? To Brownie, it’s a treasure trove of discovery, a chance to investigate a new blade of grass she hasn’t noticed yet, no matter how many times a day she visits it. This tail-wagging, body-corkscrewing dog can approach the same spot with a level of curiosity that borders on maddening, but the feeling of accomplishment she exudes after sniffing from every conceivable angle is heartwarming for me. 

Though the disruption to all that we consider normal has been difficult for all of us, I take comfort in learning from Brownie’s blueprint for enjoying every minute of everyday, especially while we have the time available to us during this quarantine. I hope you all can do the same in your little corner of the world.

Ricardo Vilchez (Evening Supervisor, Quinn Library):

Ricardo misses the library, but is grateful to spend more time with family.

Working from home has been a new experience for me. I am thinking of adding it to my resume. I miss my workspace in the Lincoln Center campus and especially the university community. It is our main mission as an employee of the library to provide services to the students, faculty, and staff of the university during this emergency that we are experiencing. Also, I am so happy to share my time with my family and friends and help my nephew with his schoolwork. I hope we come back soon and share with each other our experiences working from home.

Vivian Wei Shen (Preservation and Conservation Librarian, Walsh Library):

Evgheni Sandu (Systems Engineer, Walsh Library):

Evgheni reminds us to stay active and get those nutrients.

Don’t forget to exercise and don’t forget to take your Vitamin C!

Thank you for joining us over the past few weeks as we visit the homes of library staff. Revisit the previous installments if you haven’t already! Stay safe and well.

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