By Emily Larkin, Staff Writer
For most Newman students, their goal is to find a job after they graduate, but senior business management major Dyana Baca is getting ahead with her new full-time position as the Dugan Library Assistant while she is still pursuing her undergraduate degree full time.
Baca, who took on the position after Christmas break, is excited for what is to come.
“I wasn’t expecting this, but I’m really glad it happened. It’s a great opportunity for me,” she said. “Thank the Lord.”
Baca is not new to the library as she has been a student worker there for the past three years, but it was in the summer of 2019 that Baca began to consider a future at the library through a Master’s of Library Sciences degree.
With this revelation, Baca began taking on a variety of additional tasks at the library last fall, Reference and Instruction Librarian Jeanette Parker said.
“We were able to assign her a few extra job hours and to give her some of those responsibilities,” she said. “It was nice to see how quickly she adapted to that, learned what she needed to do and had the initiative to get things done without constantly being told of what she needed to do.”
Once the previous library assistant left, Baca considered applying for the job, but she did not think she would be considered.
“I applied, but I didn’t actually expect to get even an interview because I knew there were a lot of people who applied for the job,” she said.
Parker said Baca exemplified the characteristics needed for the position.
“There were a variety of factors that played into hiring her,” Parker said. “From her personality to her work ethic. All of that played a role.”
One of Baca’s main responsibilities is running the Newman Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system, where students can gain access to resources from other universities.
“Since I do ILL, I’m the one who gets all the books and articles for students,” she said. “When I get an article, I get so excited for myself and for the student. I feel a sense of pride being connected to their research process. It’s one of my favorite things now.”
Baca said she has needed to learn to balance all of the activities on her plate.
“They knew it was going to be a bit strange as a full-time student taking 20 hours and being a full-time staff with 40 hours, along with my internship with Jeanette.”
Baca said the differences between being a student worker and a full-time staff member lies in her relationship with her bosses, Parker and Steve Hamersky.
“Now I get to see more of what is happening in the deeper level with them, and I get to know more of what is happening with the library and the school which gives me a connection to them that I didn’t have before,” she said.
Part of Baca’s hope is to connect other Latino students to the library’s resources.
“It is a lot different as a Latina doing the job I’m doing because libraries weren’t really a big part of my life as a kid, outside of school. Now it’s very different because it’s this future I can see for myself,” she said. “Maybe this can help other Latinos like me get closer to the library setting because they will feel a connection through our race, through our traditions and through our language, and maybe it will help us get them to use our library more due to that.”
Baca wants to help show other students that they can do anything they set their minds too.
“Take in the fear. The only thing that is keeping you away from actually doing it is just the fear of doing it. Do it anyway. It’ll be hard at first, of course,” she said. “Anytime you want something bigger it’ll be hard, but it’ll be so worth it.”
PHOTO: Courtney Klaus, Editor-In-Chief