When I started at Kennedy Library in August 2011 I often heard about Jordan Hooper, a library student assistant who was going to join me in Communications and Public Programs in the fall. She’s great! people would tell me. You’re so lucky! they’d say. When is she coming back? they’d ask. We all seemed to be counting down the days — even me, even though I hadn’t yet met her.
Now that I’ve worked with her for the last nine months I understand why (because she is awesome and indeed, I’ve been very lucky). Jordan has brought not only a thoughtful student perspective to her work at the library (not just with me, but also in Interlibrary Services and with the Student Library Advisory Council over the last few years) but also her questions, relative fearlessness and fun ideas. While of course she will be missed, I’m excited to find out where her interests and her new Cal Poly degree in English take her!
When did you start working at the library and what were you hired to do?
I started working at the library in September 2009 and worked in Interlibrary Services. I was searching, shipping, and scanning books for Cal Poly and other library patrons around the state, nation and world! I was then hired the following year to promote the Science Café program because of a blog I wrote for a class.
What do you do in a typical workday now?
I really don’t have a typical workday right now. I normally have a project I’m working on such as editing a video interview, publicizing an event, or researching new ways the library can interact with students. I still work at Interlibrary Services so I split my time there with the Public Programs job. It’s fun moving around the library during the day because not only does it make the day go by faster, but it’s fun working with different groups of people. I get a lot of comments on how I seem to be everywhere.
What have you most enjoyed about your time working at Kennedy Library?
Honestly, I have really enjoyed the people I have worked with here. Everyone that works here is so unique and has so much good advice to give, whether it’s about academics, cooking, careers, love, or just life in general. The people at the library have some of the best personalities and attitudes I have ever experienced in a workplace and have encouraged me to find a career that I love and am excited about.
What changes have you seen in the time that you’ve been here?
The first change I remember seeing is the Poly Connect Lab opening as a 24-hour space. Then came the red chairs with the swivel tables, and after that was the atrium renovation! I have also seen a change in student enthusiasm for the library. Students have turned their complaints into compliments, and sarcasm to suggestion. I think the new changes such as reserving computers, the plasma screens, the computer availability app, and new furniture have definitely helped in turning pessimistic attitudes into positive ones.
What would you like to do next, now that you’ve graduated?
I would like to see things that I haven’t been able to while working within the San Luis Obispo bubble. As much as I love this place, it’s time for a new adventure. Whether that is returning home to Fresno, where you can find me working at the Chaffee Zoo this summer, or exploring a different corner of the world, I would like to enjoy life.
More specifically, I’m looking at careers in publishing, editing and digital marketing. So if you know of anyone hiring, let me know!
How do you think your work experience at the library will be useful in your professional future?
My work experience at the library will be useful because of what I did on a day-to-day basis. It taught me how to work with people in a professional setting, coordinate events while still having fun, be organized with paperwork and computer files (keeping everything backed up), and also how to ask good questions. I have learned that once you think you have everything figured out, something happens that unearths questions you didn’t even know you had.
When you return to Cal Poly in five, ten, twenty years, what do you hope to see?
I honestly hope to see that Cal Poly students are still on the quarter system. It is what makes Cal Poly stand out and excel above other schools. Students get a variety of classes, more chances to take the ones they need, and short 10 week quarters. That is what I hope to see the most. I also would like to see a new library building that looks more like the second floor, creating comfortable areas for students to eat, study, and collaborate.
Thank you, Jordan! We look forward to staying in touch.