My journey at UCI Libraries began in a HumCore archival analysis workshop led by Outreach and Public Services Librarian, Derek Quezada. I remember holding the archival materials between my fingers— visually antique ephemera gently placed beneath two layers of plastic laminate. These simple, physical pieces of history created a new, boundless realm of interests for me that day, which continues to strengthen with each new library experience.
After the workshop, I was offered a job at UCI Libraries Special Collections & Archives working as a student assistant in the OC&SEAA Center. This center soon became a kind of second, intellectual home for me. There, I have the privilege of working with librarians like Dr. Thuy Vo Dang, Dr. Krystal Tribbett, Audra Eagle Yun, and Jimmy Zavala, as well as other wonderful student assistants, to provide services unique to the archives the center preserves.
My role at the OC&SEAA is to maintain and uphold the values of the space, and to create a welcoming and professional environment where patrons can explore the plethora of information about Southeast Asian communities that are stacked in the shelves. I serve as a patron’s first point of contact when they enter the center and provide guidance in locating materials for their research – primarily in Southeast Asian diasporic studies. In addition, I work on projects for the center and surrounding Southeast Asian communities in Orange County. Lastly, I produce Facebook posts for the center’s page that highlight the fascinating works it preserves and makes available to the public.
Later this year, I was given the opportunity to work in another library department – Communications & Events Office. There, I get to work with other fantastic people like Sheree Baugh and other student assistants on library events that help promote the Libraries and expose the public to the amazing things that the Libraries provides for our campus and surrounding communities. In this role, I get to represent the Libraries in a fun and professional way that helps give guests a memorable and positive event experience.
Working as a library student assistant in these two departments has allowed me to help the Libraries share the resources available to guide scholarly discovery, listen to others’ stories that broaden my understanding of the world, and simply use my knowledge and love of the Libraries to create a welcoming space for all students to learn. I am incredibly thankful for my experiences here and am looking forward to continued opportunities to support the Libraries efforts on campus and beyond.
Vian Nguyen is in her second year at UCI studying English, with plans to soon pursue Comparative Literature, instead. She expects to graduate in 2021.
UCI Libraries’ Profiles of Student Success is a fun campaign that features student stories of how the Libraries has helped them experience success.
For more stories like Vian’s, go to lib.uci.edu/profiles-student-success.