Staff Picks – Amanda’s Top 7 Favorite Library Behind-the-Scenes Moments

During the month of December, Loyola Libraries staff make lists and check them twice. What are these lists about? Anything! You can look at past years’ lists here and stay tuned for more lists all month long!

In addition to providing our lovely Ramblers and community members with access to books, movies, e-resources, study spaces, quality blog posts, and other library things, the LUC Libraries do quite a lot of things behind the scenes (BTS) to keep things running. Like buy books and serials, catalog and manage the physical processing of physical materials, deal with access issues, update the library website and database lists, etc. It’s not always business all the time because we do have a dash of wholesome fun 😉

Here are some of my favorite 2021 library BTS moments in no particular order:

Can You Match the Pet to the Owner: LUC Libraries Edition

Screenshots of a trivia title page, "Can you match the pet to the owner? LUC libraries edition" and of a trivia question on the owner of 4 cats - answer is Susan.

In June, we hosted a virtual library staff event in which we tried to guess which pet(s) belonged to whom? It was fun seeing everyone’s fur babies!

Summer BBQ Cookbook

Screenshot of the title page of the Summer BBQ cookbook and of the table of contents.

So the library is not just full of incredible pet-owners, but also full of incredible cooks and bakers! During the pandemic, we began to collect recipes to create cookbooks to virtually share food with each other. The Summer BBQ cookbook was our third cookbook, lovingly dedicated to our colleague, Susan H. Wardzala.

Our Obsession with Jenga and Puzzles

Left image of a Jenga game in 2019 with caption "our week-long giant jenga is librarian height now". Right image of 2021 game of Jenga on a table on the IC 4th floor.

In 2019, we kinda became obsessed with playing Jenga and working on jigsaw puzzles. While we couldn’t continue working on jigsaw puzzles, we did have a nice throwback Jenga tournament in our Welcome Back to Onsite Life 2021 get-together in September! (sorry not sorry to 3rd floor IC patrons when our giant Jenga fell)

My Halloween Cubicle

Collage of decorated cubicle featuring black material covering cubicle with spider webs, fake blood splatters, caution tape, bloody hospital gowns, a tombstone, and a stabbed bleeding book.

Halloween is my favorite holiday! Since we couldn’t host our usual haunted house in the library given the pandemic, I still wanted to show some holiday cheer and spookified my cubicle. Shout-out to the lovely coworkers and student workers for tolerating me and letting me lure them to my cubicle for candy <3 (also to anyone concerned about the stabbed book – it is a withdrawn book, a library directory)

Briefly feeling Insta-famous with my “This is fine” dog costume

Screenshot of LUC libraries Instagram post featuring "This is fine" dog costume

Um…thank you, random strangers, for appreciating my lazy “This is fine” meme costume! You should totally follow LUC Libraries on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter *cough* totally not a shameless plug *cough*…the cough is not COVID, I swear.

Decorating the Libraries for the Winter Holidays

Collage of Christmas decorations in Cudahy Library and the IC - includes Christmas tree, nativity scene sans Baby Jesus, decorated statues, and cubicles covered in gift wrap.
Holiday decorations at Cudahy Library and the Information Commons!
Collage of Christmas decorations in Lewis Library - includes Christmas tree, wreath, and book display on festivals/holidays.
Holiday decorations at Lewis Library!

Every year, the libraries like to show some holiday cheer by decorating our spaces. Nothing says don’t freak out and stress during finals, like pretty twinkly lights and tinsel? This year, we expanded to the statues and plants near outlets. Even our cubicles aren’t safe! Unrelated note: Baby Jesus has been abducted from our nativity scene…can someone please return Jesus to the library? No questions asked, kk thx

Celebrating Each Other’s Awesomeness

Collage of necessities

We’re all multi-faceted beings with lives outside of our role at the library – shocking I know. A highlight of working at Loyola has been how much we all care about each other and how we want to celebrate each other’s milestones. A few of examples are when Tori Golden graduated from the #1 ranked MS/LIS program, we decorated her cubicle and gave her a trophy for adulting, when Anna McCue got into grad school, doughnuts were ordered to celebrate, and when I was “promoted” from Copy Cataloging and Catalog Maintenance Library Assistant to E-Resources Library Associate and our 2019 LUC Libraries star baker surprised me with an AMAZING cake and then on my “first” day, our Associate Dean brought 2 cheesecakes…I may have grown width-wise since starting this job. Everyone should surround themselves with amazing coworkers/friends/loved ones that want to celebrate your awesomeness.

Amanda He is the E-Resources Associate at LUC Libraries. She often likes to pretend she doesn’t exist and hides in the darkness of her cubicle.

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