Student Work Inspires a Career, and the Desire to Give Back

When Liz Harter ’72, MLS ’79 returned to Westwood in 1970 after studying abroad in Rome, she was looking for an on-campus job. With a connection from her roommate, Liz was soon hired at the University Research Library (now known as the Charles E. Young Research Library).

“My first memory is the realization that the Research Library held more books in a single building than I had ever seen in my life. I felt that I was involved in an environment of great learning,” said Liz.

After graduation, Liz worked full-time at UCLA Library, and then got a master’s degree in Library Science from UCLA. In 1982, she became a reference librarian at the George Washington University, where she worked until sheTwo masked women looking at a computer screen retired in 2018.

This year, Liz made a significant contribution to the University Librarian’s Student Employee Fund, established in 2020. “Student work at UCLA provided close friends, a campus home, working for a purpose in an altruistic environment, and rent for my apartment,” she said.

When considering charitable contributions after retirement, Liz “thought carefully about the places and people that have most influenced me throughout my adult life. My time as a student assistant in the UCLA Library system provided me with an environment and friendships that have stayed with me for more than five decades.”

UCLA Library student employees carry out essential work across campus, including checking out and re-shelving books, training peers on academic research and writing, processing and digitizing rare materials, and much more. Student workers benefit from flexible schedules, engaging projects, and financial support that helps them pay for school.

More UCLA Library donors share their reasons for contributing to the University Librarian’s Student Employee Fund:

When Ron Lovell ’59, MS ’61, acquired a pass to the then-closed stacks of Powell Library, he was thrilled to “roam all areas” to find the books he needed for his graduate thesis on book censorship in Southern California high schools. “I owe a lot to the UCLA Library, which gave me my start as a journalist.”

Daniel Feiner ’02 has “incredible memories at Powell Library from study sessions and research projects.” Now, Daniel is “thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to give back a little to those in the place that gave so much to me.” He understands that it can be a challenge for student workers to balance a full class load and a job, but it’s worth it. “UCLA changed the course of my life, and was the best experience I could have ever imagined.”

David Rockman ’88 recalls that studying in the libraries as a history student was “always a wonderful time.” Visiting UCLA with his high school-age son recently revived campus memories. David gave to the Library because he wanted to “contribute to what I consider one of the most important pieces of the campus.” Rockman is “more than happy to help those kids who will be working there.”

If you would like to make a contribution to the University Librarian’s Student Employee Fund, call us at 310.206.8526 or visit giving.ucla.edu/library.