Skip to Main Content

Honoring our Graduating Library Student Workers

Congrats class of 2021!

Book choices

We asked our graduating seniors why they chose this book and what they liked about working in the library.


The Leavers by Lisa Ko

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

Natalia Tu '21, SOAN, Technical Services Department

It's lyrical, heartbreaking, thrilling, and hopeful all at once!

I love processing new books and getting to see all the cool resources coming into the library. Plus, TS is a fun and calming space, it feels like a nice escape from campus at times.


North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Amelia Papajohn

Amelia Papajohn '21, Geology, Loan Services

I like the way Margaret's character develops from someone stuck in her customs and stubbornness, to someone who is understanding, empathetic and willing to fight for social justice.

Good convos with my fellow workers, seeing friends and being able to find books easily.


Trilogy by H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

Trilogy by H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

Grace Leuchtenberger

Grace Leuchtenberger '21, Biology, Loan Services

I just think this is an amazing book of poetry. I read it during my sophomore year in the Modernism English class (taught by the incredible Greg Hewett) and it was just something I kept coming back to.

I've really enjoyed getting to be a fixture in the library, which allowed me to say hi to friends, chat with them, and meet new people along the way. It was a great place to work, with good coworkers and plenty of funny moments.


Separatism, the Allies and the Mafia: The Struggle for Sicilian Independence, 1943-1948.

Separatism, the Allies and the Mafia: The Struggle for Sicilian Independence, 1943-1948 by Monte S. Finkelstein.

Grace Brindle

Grace Brindle '21, History (Digital Arts & Humanities minor), Reference, Data, or Digital Humanities

I used this book for my comps on the Allied occupation of Sicily. It explores relationships between the Sicilian separatists, the mafia, and the Allies.

I’ve loved working with all the people at the library, particularly Sarah Calhoun. Working as a Digital Humanities Associate has made me realize I want to pursue a career in Library & Information Sciences after Carleton. Thanks to the library, I’ve been accepting to grad school and will be attending a program this fall!



 The History and Topography of Ireland by Gerald of Wales

The History and Topography of Ireland by Cambrensis Giraldus (Gerald of Wales)

Marcella Lees

Marcella Lees '21, History, Reference, Data, or Digital Humanities

I read this book in one of my 300 level history classes and it sparked not only my comps but also a deep love for both Gerald and medieval Irish history.

Being a DHA has been amazing! I love helping professors and students with projects and helping the humanities get a new life in the digital age. Add to that how fantastic my bosses and coworkers have been and it’s really been a great job that has made me feel more confident about wanting to further my education in Library Sciences.



Tracks by Louise Erdrich

Tracks by Louise Erdrich

Eliana Durnbaugh '21, Biology and Dance, Archives, Special Collections, or Preservation

I read Tracks for Michael McNally's Native American Religions Class my sophomore year at Carleton. Tracks introduced me to Louise Erdrich, who is now my favorite author. I love Erdrich's prose and the dis/continuity she creates across time and space in her books through beautiful family trees. Erdrich's books are, to me, about relationship, and serve an extremely important role in centering Anishinaabe voices in fictive works.

I started working in the archives during the pandemic, and I loved working on any photo collection that featured past Carls. Processing these photos made me feel connected to this larger community who has enjoyed the campus in all of its iterations, and seeing Carls ranging from class of 1910 to 1971 studying, gathering, and playing gave me a deep nostalgia for pre-pandemic times.


Cartucho : relatos de la lucha en el norte de México by Nellie Campobello

Valerie Salazar

Valerie Salazar '21, American Studies, Loan Services and Library Intern

I read this book my sophomore year as part of my Women & Revolution in Latin America course and I loved it. The book tells short stories about Nellie's experience with the Mexican Revolution. Overall, I loved this book because of its emphasis on listening to oral histories through the usage of anecdotes told from generation to generation and through song lyrics.

I have liked all the staff at the library. They all make it a great environment for students to work there. I have also liked all of the opportunities that I have received because of working there. They really allow you to grow professionally there.



The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Helen Murphy '21, Linguistics, Loan Services

I love the theme of a journey changing you forever, and I have fond memories of reading this book as a kid.

I love the people there and getting to know them, as well as everything about organizing books. I also adore finding missing books in the stacks -- there's no greater sense of accomplishment.


Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Spencer Lekki '21, History (minors in Digital Arts and Humanities & Medieval and Renaissance Studies), Loan Services

The first time I encountered Maus was a history class in high school. I found it interesting in the way many books about the world wars are, and thought the graphic novel style was a nice break from textbook readings. Only when I returned to the book in my A and I — a class about the intersections between politics and memory on Latin American Literature — did I appreciate it as an exemplar of these themes. This book is in many ways emblematic of my decision to study history at Carleton. I came in firmly undecided and was drawn in and directed towards the history department by the questions of memory and remembrance that this and other books posed to me during my first year. As I prepare to undertake a masters in Museum Studies next year it seems fitting that a book about remembering the past is the one that most stands out to me from my time at Carleton.

If Maus represents my interest in historical memory, working in the library has represented — and perhaps caused — my interest in helping others learn. Disseminating and providing access to knowledge if personally satisfying and as vital as ever in the face of digital misinformation campaigns. In that sense, working in the library has brought together my interests in digital humanities, the past and public history. It's also great to work somewhere where you get to regularly see your friends, classmates, and professors...but we both know the first reason sounds cooler.


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Jordan Fues '21, English, Loan Services

I chose this book because it beautifully ties together poetry, ethological descriptions, and a murder mystery.

My favorite part of working in the library is getting to interact with students, faculty, staff, and Northfield community members I wouldn't otherwise get the chance to meet!


Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman

Emma Ismail '21, Linguistics, Loan Services

I read this book sophomore year over spring break and became instantly obsessed with it and I've suggested it to basically everyone that I've ever met since then. Backman is an incredible writer and is so good at capturing love and passion, but also anger and hate in a way that endears the reader to the characters.

I love working with my supervisor Brenda. She's super awesome and we always have great conversations when we're in the office together.


 Indigenous Children's Survivance in Public Schools by Leilani Sabzalian

Christof Zweifel '21, Chemistry, Loan Services

This is a book I got to read for class this winter, and it drew me in immediately. Leilani Sabzalian centers the stories of Native students in the classroom and is critical of the lack of attention paid to contemporary Native issues in schools. This helped me reflect on my own K-12 education and recognize the failures to learn about accurate Indigenous histories and contemporary Indigenous activists. This book also helped me to see opportunities for growth and collaboration in the classroom. I would recommend this book to all, to read in its entirety or to reflect on specific chapters and stories.

Working with friends and the front desk and chatting with people I know as they come to the libe.


The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace Wells

Karah Haug '21, Dance and Environmental Studies, Loan Services

I chose this book because it put everything I had been studying in both of my majors into a global context focused on human issues. This book really influenced the way I thought about both my Dance and my ENTS comps and how they relate to current pressing climate crises. I think it is an important read because the book focuses on how humans will be impacted, emphasizing that we cannot come out of this unscathed, but we are the only ones who can make changes to mitigate the worst impacts of our warming planet.

I've enjoyed interacting with a wide variety of people I wouldn't encounter on campus otherwise. Also, knowing how to navigate the Library of Congress system is super handy!


Transatlantic Encounters: Latin American Artists in Paris Between the Wars by Michele Greet

Felipe Jimenez '21, English, Loan Services

It has a great selection of Modernist artists that aren't paid as much attention to, as well as having just really interesting perspectives on Latin America in a global 20th century context.

I love always being introduced to new books!