Student Spotlight: Lara Landauro at Rare Books and Special Collections

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!

Lara Landauro smiling at the camera in front of rare books on a bookshelf.
Lara Landauro

Lara Landauro is a first-year undergraduate student majoring in Finance and minoring in computer science. Lara is an assistant in McGill Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections.

Q: What made you want to apply to work for the Library?

Lara Landauro (LD): I was looking for a part-time job close to campus and the Library seemed like the ideal place to work. I also like to read and wanted to see what happens behind the scenes of McLennan.

Q: What kind of work have you been doing? Has it been virtual / onsite / hybrid?

LD: I have always been onsite, mostly barcoding special collections. They are too fragile to stick a barcode on directly, so we use a bookmark instead.

I have also been sitting at the front desk, welcoming the students that do research with some of our books and making sure they follow the RBSC guidelines.

Q: What do you like about working at the Library?

LD: It’s a very calm, and quiet environment but I also get to work in an office and interact with people of all ages. I also get to see a lot of interesting books, like first editions or books signed by the author.

Q: What surprised you the most about working at the Library?

LD: I was very surprised by the autonomy I had. I get to work on the tasks I enjoy the most. They also value more quality over quantity, you have to be really careful when manipulating the books.

Q: Any “Aha!” moments or takeaways from the experience?

LD: The system to record the barcoding data was very slow the more I scanned books, which was getting troublesome. So, I started searching for what was wrong. In the end, I figured it out by myself: I had to delete the history whenever it was getting too slow. I was pretty proud of myself.

Q: Coolest, oddest, most interesting things you have come across/experienced?

LD: Jennifer, one of my colleagues showed me a medieval book of hours! It was very old and the paper was made with animal skin and had gold on it.

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