During National Student Employment Week and every day, we celebrate all of our student workers. They’re critical to nearly every aspect of Libraries’ operations and their service is greatly appreciated.
Eleven members of the Libraries team recently received 2021-2022 scholarships for undergraduate students. Read what receiving a scholarship and working in the Libraries means in their own words.
“Employment at the Business Library has helped me foster time management skills in addition to honing interpersonal skills that I can take into my future career and endeavors.
I never realized all of the work that goes on behind the scenes at the libraries. All of the daily ins and outs tend to fly under the radar, but there are a lot of people working hard to provide a wide array of resources and services to students.
This scholarship will help make my undergraduate educational goals more attainable and help reduce the long-term financial burden of pursuing a degree.”
“Working at the library taught me efficient listening and communicating while I helped people at the desk and answer any question that came my way. These two skills will benefit me a lot in my future career because I need to ensure people are heard. These are also great social skills for everyday life.
The biggest surprise for me is the amount of material we have in the library. The stacks go on and on and on! There is definitely a book for everything and anything.
This scholarship will help me tremendously. There have been semesters where I almost could not attend because of the lack of funds. That is the main reason why I obtained a job. This scholarship has taken a weight off my shoulder and off my family’s shoulder too. I am forever grateful for the library offering this.”
“I was surprised by the amount of material in Special Collections and I was surprised how much information students have access to through the resources in the library.
I knew it was a wide variety, but Special Collections has so many unique materials that I never thought I would have encountered as a student doing specific research.
This scholarship will help me greatly by offsetting my last semester of tuition as I prepare for graduate school and the next step of my education.”
“I would say that one of the main things I’ve learned from working at the Libraries would be how to communicate better. My employment at the Rita Benton Music Library is the first job I’ve ever had, so it has shown me how to report to someone and communicate whatever is necessary. I feel like this is one of the fundamental skills I will need for my future career.
I was surprised by how things work behind the desk; I’ve been going to libraries my whole life, and it’s been a really interesting experience to see the whole process of making sure everything operates efficiently so patrons can get the materials they need.
This award will help go toward my tuition next semester, and anything that remains will be used toward savings for when I graduate.”
“I started working at the Rita Benton Music Library the first semester of my freshman year. As finals approached, something clicked in my brain about how much I like working for the library. It clicked when I realized I genuinely enjoy work that serves other people.
When I returned to the Music Library in the fall after quarantine, I figured out I love the curiosity for knowledge. It took working at the library for me to figure out that what I love is how people are curious and then watching them—helping them—find the answers. Even if I did not know a thing about that topic or, better yet, if I thought I never would know a thing about the topic, I got to see the seeds of someone else figuring it out.
Knowing how much I love that very specific thing gives me joy and also gives me much more of an idea of what I am meant to do after I graduate.”
“My work at Hardin Library has taught me many things about libraries! I have gained a lot of experience working with LibGuides, using Excel, and getting to know the library world. I have also gotten to know many of the wonderful librarians at Hardin and learned about their own paths to librarianship. They have all given me advice as I start my own journey.
The thing that surprised me the most was how much support we provide to everyone, not
just students. People come in with all sorts of questions, and those of us who work in a library are ready for anything.
This scholarship will help me immensely. It will let me cut down on the hours I work to pay for school and help me begin paying off my loans. I will have more time to focus on my research, my studies, and applying for graduate school!”
“Working at the Lichtenberger Engineering Library has helped me refine my customer service skills. I have learned the importance of asking patrons specific and direct questions to help them find what they are looking for, which will be relevant in conducting patient interviews.
I have been surprised by the extensive library resources. My knowledge of these resources has been an unexpected yet extremely valuable aspect of my undergraduate education, and the connections I’ve made through the library have been an invaluable component to feeling welcomed by the UI community.
This award will help me to pay for medical school applications. I chose to spend many hours volunteering to help marginalized communities in Iowa City, and this award alleviates some of the financial burden I took on as a result.”
Alexis Redshaw, an ethics and public policy major (pre-law) and art history and philosophy
minor from Underwood, Iowa, is the recipient of the Dale M. and Mary Gail Bentz Libraries
Student Employee Scholarship.
“My work at the Hardin Library has helped me to develop important professional skills through the leadership skills I have gained in guiding new employees, as well as becoming more detail-oriented through the work I do with the book collections. I hope to utilize these skills as an attorney through the work I do in guiding clients, as well as preparing cases.
I was not expecting to gain the many friendships I have with my fellow staff members!
This scholarship will help to financially support me in my ongoing journey of becoming an art law attorney.”
“Working in Special Collections at the Main Library has helped me develop many transferrable skills, including Excel and communication and organizational skills. My job at the library is helping me gain experience and improve the skills that aren’t taught in dental school.
It was super surprising to see all of the different materials and artifacts that have been donated to or collected by Special Collections. I also was surprised to see all of the work that goes into preserving the material and keeping them in the best condition possible.
I am paying for school on my own, so this scholarship relieves some of the stress I have about the high cost of a college education. I work two jobs in order to pay for school, so this scholarship will make it easier and less stressful in the coming semester.”
“Working at the Library has improved my time management skills as well as shaping the work environment that I would thrive in.
As a very indecisive person, working at the library helped me realize that even though directions are nice to follow, autonomy is also nice, especially once you already know what you’re doing.
This scholarship has greatly reduced the financial burden of my higher education as well as providing better opportunities for my little sister to go to a university.”
Abigail Whitford, an ancient civilizations major with medieval studies and museum
studies certificates and an art history minor from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is the
recipient of a UI Libraries Student Employee Scholarship.
“Working for the Libraries has taught me endurance. As a student, having the consistency of a student job is invaluable. When student life gets difficult, I can count on my job to be steady. No matter what my semester looks like, I know I will work for the Libraries.
I am surprised by the endless amounts of projects and tasks there are to do! I feel that libraries can be seen as stagnant, but they are always in flux. It is a joy to come into work and discover new things to be improved upon.
This scholarship will allow me to continue my undergraduate studies with confidence. Funding provided to me from the Libraries defrays the cost of loan repayment. I am grateful that I feel so supported by my place of employment.”
ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIPS
The UI Libraries offers four types of scholarships for undergraduate student employees. We are grateful to our donors, including many Libraries staff members, for their generous support for this program.
Student employees at the University Libraries provide critical staffing and services that benefit the entire UI community. Generally, four UI Libraries Student Employee Scholarships of $2,500 each are available each year.
The family of Arthur and Rita Benton established the Benton Family Music Library Student Employee Scholarship, awarded to University Libraries’ student employees who work in the Rita Benton Music Library. Hired in 1952 to catalog music holdings, Rita Benton was head of the Music Library from 1957 until her death in 1980. Later that year, the UI dedicated the Rita Benton Music Library in recognition of her service to the University and her contributions to music librarianship and musicology. Two scholarships of $2,500 are available each year to qualified applicants.
The children of Dale M. and Mary Gail Bentz established the Dale M. and Mary Gail Bentz Libraries Student Employee Scholarship in memory of their parents. Dale came to Iowa in 1953 and served the UI Libraries for 36 years. From 1981 until his retirement in 1986, Dale led the organization as University Librarian. Active in his profession, Dale made numerous contributions to the librarianship over his 45-year career. Four scholarships of $2,500 are available each year.
Judy and Mike Greer established the Judy and Mike Greer Scholarship in Memory of Mary E. Greer to honor the memory of Mike’s mother, who worked for 25 years in the Main Library Circulation Department. The scholarship is awarded to University Libraries’ student employees who work in the Main Library. One scholarship of $2,500 is available each year.