Alumni Reflect on Impact of Student Employment

Alumni who worked in the UCLA Library as students recently shared their memories and the impact the Library had on them. If you were a UCLA Library student employee and would like to share your experience, contact Julia Altieri, associate director of development, at




Kara Bouton ‘94 remembers putting the Charles E. Young Research Library back together after the Northridge earthquake and still has her “We Shelved 1,000,000 Books” t-shirt. Lisle Foote ’85 met her husband of 36 years, fellow Biomed Library student worker David MullenMarcia Melkonian ’84 encountered Rudolph Nureyev's ballet shoe in Library Special Collections and said “It felt like touching a shooting star.”


Anne Kelsey ‘69 worked in Powell Library in 1968. “I remember closing down the Powell Reference Room just before midnight, straightening the shelves, and sending slow moving students out the door. It was exciting and interesting to be able to help students with their questions and research, even though I was a student too.” Kelsey went on to work in librarianship for over 50 years, including going to Vietnam with the Army Special Services. “I have fond memories of Powell Library and all I learned there. It prepared me well for my career as a librarian and enriched my life.”


Rikke Ogawa ’96, ‘98, recalls racing with her colleagues to finish shelving books in the Biomed Library and “wondering what the librarians did all day as the students were the ones shelving and checking out materials.” When she learned about how technology and the web were revolutionizing libraries, Ogawa got a graduate degree in information studies. Now, as the director of the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library and the Science & Engineering Library, Ogawa knows what the librarians do all day.





Caitlin Meyer ‘19 worked for the Writing Instruction + Research Education (WI+RE) program as a student, and that experience gave her “the competitive edge” when applying for jobs. “With the projects I was a part of, I was able to demonstrate my ability to create online learning materials,” landing her a position at Yale Medical Library. 




Working in the Library led some student employees to a new career path. Arpita Bose ’93, ’04 studied physical science and worked for the catalogers in YRL. After graduation and nine years as a chemist, her experiences as a student worker and the encouragement of UCLA librarian Nancy Norris led Bose to become a hospital librarian, which she says is the “perfect fit for my skill set and personality.” 



Cassandra Bautista ‘19, was a chemical engineering major when she began working with WI+RE, where she completed graphic design projects for the Library. “It helped me build my first work experiences in graphic design. I am now more confident than ever about pursuing a career in the industry I am most passionate about.”