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Public Services Assistant Liliana Ramirez Talks West LA and Its New iLab

portrait of Liliana

Liliana Ramirez began her role as public services assistant at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus Library in August 2023 after earning her bachelor’s in sociology from Occidental College. Occidental was her entryway into the library world: there, she served as a cataloging assistant for two years at its Mary Clapp Library. Her experiences were so positive it inspired her to apply for her current position at Pepperdine Libraries, and she is even considering pursuing a master’s in library sciences. I scheduled a phone call with Lily to learn about her role and what’s new at West LA.

Jeff Bowen: Let’s start with the basics. What does your typical day look like?

Lily Ramriez: Most of the programs offered at West LA hold classes in the evenings, so typically mornings are quiet, giving me much-needed time to focus. I open the library at 9 AM and begin a routine of tidying the space, reshelving any books from the night before, responding to pressing emails, and fulfilling book requests by delivering them to the other Pepperdine campuses. We start getting more foot traffic around noon, and that's when I'll assist students with their questions, ranging from needing guidance using the printers to more complex questions about finding specific resources. I also help patrons over the phone and on our online chat platform throughout the day.

JB: I hear a new iLab is coming to West LA. What equipment will be provided, and what services will you offer to students and faculty using the space?

LR: Once it is launched, the West LA iLab will be very similar to the one at Drescher, giving our community access to quality media production. There will be a one button studio where students, faculty, and staff can film and edit videos as well as audio equipment for recording podcasts. Just like our study rooms, you’ll be able to reserve these spaces through an online reservation system.

JB: What's the best part about working at Pepperdine?

LR: The best thing about working at Pepperdine is the feeling that you’re truly a part of a community. I know students by their names, and they know me by mine. I get tremendous professional satisfaction when I help students with their learning needs and professors with their teaching and research needs. It is incredibly rewarding to make someone's life easier, whether that means finding a book needed for a course or answering questions about databases.

JB: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Before we go, I hear you experienced something for the first time while working?

LR: Yes! A couple of weeks ago I was at the circulation desk when there was a minor earthquake. Despite living in California all my life, I had never felt one until that day. I actually saw books move and my computer screen shake. It was a storring, but after checking in on everyone who was in the library, it felt a little silly since it had only been a 4.7 magnitude.