A Conversation with: Sahir Chichkar & Juno Lin

Library student workers

Sahir Chichkar is a master’s degree candidate in chemical engineering. Juno Lin is a master’s degree candidate in music. Natives of Mumbai and Taipei, respectively, they met on the job as student workers in Hunt Library. University Libraries Director of Marketing & Communications Shannon Riffe talks to them about their experience as students and employees.

How long have you worked at the library and what do you do in a typical day on the job?

Sahir Chichkar (SC): I’ve been here a little over a year. The last six months of that I’ve been a student supervisor. That means opening and closing the library, checking out books, and supervising students who do the work that I used to do.

Juno Lin (JL): I’ve been here in the library for almost two years and I’m also a student supervisor so I do many of the same things Sahir mentioned. Training the new student workers is a great experience because explaining the different aspects of the job to someone else actually helps me learn it better myself. Especially the call number system!  

Why were you interested in working in the library?

JL: As international students, we can’t work off campus. I thought working in the library was the best option because it would allow me to get to know the library system well, which is helpful for my own work. Hunt Library is right next to the music school, so it’s super convenient, but once I started, I didn’t want to leave because it’s a great place to work.

What makes it a great work environment?

SC: It’s fun! I get to interact with a lot of people. That includes the library staff, the other student workers, and our patrons. 

JL: It’s a good place to make connections and talk to people from different fields. One of my favorite things is to discover interesting new things in the library when people are checking out books, especially new design and drama books.

How has working at the library impacted your experience as a CMU student?

SC: Better time management! When I started, I worked 18 hours a week in the library and had 56 units of course work. It forced me to get better at managing time. 

JL: I’ve become an expert at researching things. When students ask where they can find a book or a database, I know how to direct them. That has an impact on my own research because I know exactly how to find what I’m looking for.

SC: I’m much more aware of the resources that are available, like how to get and download ebooks, publications that can be only accessed on campus or in the library, and interlibrary loan or EZBorrow. Classmates always ask me how to get books.

JL: We’ve become everyone’s friend.

Tell me about some of the people you’ve met through your job at the library.

JL: As grad students, we’re too old for some of the student associations and intramural sports, but in the library, I’m able to meet people from different fields and make great friendships.

SC: For a lot of us, the only way to meet people is through classes or research groups within our department. With Juno in music and me in engineering, I probably wouldn’t have met her if I didn’t work in the library

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