Introducing Chris Lopez, Public Services Assistant for Humanities and Social Sciences

Chris Lopez has joined the UCLA Library as the public services assistant for humanities and social sciences, based in the Charles E. Young Research Library. Chris enthusiastically answered several questions about himself and his new role.

What goals/hopes do you have for this year as the new public services assistant for the Humanities and Social Sciences Division?
In general, I'm thrilled to collaborate with and support all of the teams in User Engagement. However, I'm particularly excited about the possibilities in working with the Research and Outreach teams. With regard to research and reference help, I want to explore models that engage the affective side of the information search process. Along with providing accessible paths to research endeavors and developing familiarity with Library resources, I want to help users feel confident, supported, and energized about their projects and their larger journey through UCLA. I also look forward to sustaining that confidence and support in the realm of outreach. I want to help craft services and resources that engender hospitality for library users and encourage creativity. Last but not least, as the unit's lead site editor, I'm excited to improve upon my HTML skills and ensure that library content remains easily accessible and our overall digital presence remains hospitable and navigable.

How has your prior experience prepared you for this role at the UCLA Library?
For the past three years, I have worked in public service positions in various library contexts (academic and public), which I believe will serve me well for the many student, staff, and faculty interactions to come in research assistance. Moreover, during my time at the David Allan Hubbard Library, I was given opportunities to lead interdepartmental initiatives in the areas of outreach (such as film screenings) and collection development for the Religion, Culture, and Arts center at Fuller Theological Seminary. In regards to information literacy support, I'm eager to apply and sharpen my pedagogical skills formed during my undergraduate teaching experience as a grad assistant at Palm Beach Atlantic University. I believe these skills and experiences will make helpful contributions to the various Public Services teams I'll be assisting. I also have no doubt that my current graduate studies in library and information science will provide technical background information and fresh perspectives relevant to my work in public service.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?
I've been told I have eclectic reading and viewing palates. I love reading impossibly dense social theory books, popular academic books, and all genres of comics and graphic novels. Currently, I'm reading The Lies that Bind by Kwame Anthony Appiah and have just cracked open Michael Kobabe's Gender Queer while eagerly anticipating next month's issue of Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther: Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda. On the viewing side of things, I've just completed HBO's riveting Watchmen series and hope to watch Joe Talbot's Last Black Man in San Francisco soon!

We're elated to have Chris join the Library staff. You can reach him at lopezcl23@em.ucla.edu.