Student employment in the McGill Library benefits the entire McGill community. At 135 strong this academic year, McGill Library student workers gain valuable work experience while engaging in academic pursuits. Student navigators, curatorial interns, special project assistants and student researchers bring an immeasurable amount to the life and culture of the Library. Over the next few weeks, Library Matters will share testimonials from library student workers, many of whom come to us through programs like McGill’s Work Study Program and are supported by students societies and associations like the SSMU Library Improvement Fund (LIF), the Arts Undergraduate Society, the McGill Music Undergraduate Student Association (MUSA) and Post Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS). Thank you to all our student workers – your hard work and dedication mean the world to the Library and McGill!
Alisa Nosova is a third year student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Communication Studies and Behavioural Science. Alisa started working with the Library’s communications team as the marketing projects assistant in 2020. Her position is supported by the SSMU.
Q: What made you want to apply to work for the Library?
Alisa Nosova (AN): At the time I was looking to gain more experience in the field of communications and conveniently there was an opening on the Library’s communication team. I wanted to bring a student perspective into the Library’s operations as well as my video editing skills and experience with marketing.
Q: What kind of work have you been doing? Has it been virtual / onsite / hybrid?
AN: My focus has been on creating video content for special projects such as McGill24, Centraide, Study Hubs and more. I have been filming and editing videos that show library spaces and outline procedures with the ongoing pandemic. I’ve also done some content editing on Canva and other editing programs. During my first year, I worked virtually, however with the easing of the restrictions I also got to work onsite alongside the communications team and other members of the Dean’s Office. Coming to work onsite has been an amazing experience.
Q: What do you like about working at the Library?
AN: I really enjoy digging through the past memories of McGill’s Library. A lot of my projects are connected to Old McGill, and involve digging through old yearbooks and looking at nostalgic artifacts. Additionally, the communications team is a big reason I love working at the library. Lauren and Merika have been there for me from the moment I was hired, making sure that I’m balancing work and school well, and they are a great support system in and out of the library.
Q: What surprised you the most about working at the Library?
AN: I was mostly surprised about how big the concept of a library is. To students, it’s just a building to study in, look for books, have all-nighters, but I didn’t realize how much work is involved in order to maintain the library. It’s not just a building, but a whole machine with hundreds of staff who are here to make the library better for students. As a member of the library staff I got to be a part of this machine, see the surface level operations, and I still know probably 10% of what is going on behind the scenes.
Q: Any “Aha!” moments or takeaways from the experience?
AN: I’ve taken away a lot of personal insights about how I am in a work space and what I need to work on to be a more efficient worker. A lot of those insights have to do with my time management, and how much I like to sleep 🙂 More generally, I’m taking away a whole new appreciation for the library, respecting its rules on every floor, because I know how much planning and work goes into making the library safe and inclusive for all.
Q: Coolest / oddest / most interesting thing(s) you have come across/experienced?
AN: When I was writing a blog about the Lost and Found at the library, I came across some funky things, such as a single boot with a tag on. I thought to myself, “How can someone lose a single shoe?”
Besides that every time I work with artifacts for archiving, or making a video with some old McGill stuff, it’s always a cool experience to go down the memory lane, look at how McGill used to be 50 years ago.