Student Spotlight: Mathem Maluak at McLennan-Redpath

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!

Mathem Maluak

Mathem Maluak is a 3rd year Civil Engineering student who started working at Islamic Studies Library in January 2020. He is currently working at the McLennan-Redpath Library Complex. Mathem’s position is supported by the SSMU.

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

Mathem Maluak (MM): I love studying at McGill libraries. I was motivated to work at the library because it enhanced my commitment to studying. Working at the library helped me to manage my work shifts with my school schedule. My other aim was to be part of the community, meet students from different faculties and get to share ideas and opportunities.

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

MM: I have been working onsite. My work ranges – from shelving books and barcoding to representing the library at the library booth during Registration Week and greeting new students with welcoming smile! I answer simple inquiries in relation to the facilities of the branch primarily, with some understanding of the campus buildings and the library branches. As the pandemic emerged, I worked as a safety ambassador – ensuring that the McGill community is safe by reinforcing Covid-19 rules, restrictions and advising students to wear masks, and respect social distancing.

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

MM: Making friends and connections with staff members and feeling a sense of community is beneficial. I have explored the library by taking tours of rare book collections and exploring the the Blackader-Lauterman Collection of Architecture and Art.

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

MM: The most surprising thing is being able to observe and wonder about the historical and special manuscript collections as well as texts in Arabic, Ottoman, Turkish, Persian. Medieval and other manuscript materials, incunabula and printed books of the 16th-19th centuries interest me, as well as maps and prints form the core of the collection.

Q: What is the coolest / oddest / most interesting thing(s) you have come across/experienced?

MM: I have worked in the McLennan-Redpath for about a year and half without knowing the name of the statue that stands as a beacon just outside the entrance of the McLennan Library Building on the main campus. It’s The Falcon! The Statue of a Youth Winged at McGill.

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