GPI: Alexander Young- Interlibrary Loan Coordinator
By Naidelly Coelho
What is your educational background?
I did my undergrad at University of Massachusetts Amherst. I was a history and political science major as well as in the Honors College. I'm currently enrolled in grad school at Simmons University for library science. I worked at the UMass library for my senior year helping students with research.
What is your job at FSU?
I'm the Interlibrary Loan Coordinator at the library. So, I'm in charge of overseeing all the books that are coming into the library and going out of the library, both within the Minuteman Network through all the local libraries, as well as the greater interlibrary loan system - there are libraries all around the country and sometimes, even in other countries.
Can you tell me about the interlibrary loans?
We get books and articles from other libraries for stuff that we don't have here, or if our copies of something are checked out. Say a student or a faculty member needs it, we put a request for another library to have their copy sent to us. So whether that's like a book or a chapter, it's very helpful for students and faculty doing research where of course we won't have everything and other libraries will have a lot more stuff, especially on specific topics. So people will put in requests and I'll go through them and see what I can find available online for free. I’ll put in requests to other libraries to see if they can fulfill those for us. And the same thing happens from other libraries as they will request stuff that we have. We do all of our lending for free, and other libraries sometimes charge.
How did you become interested in this job?
I started with libraries back when I was at UMass Amherst. I had gotten an email from the history department saying that the library was looking to add student workers for the Reference Department, and I said, “Well, I can do a lot of research for history and political science. So I think I'd be good at that.” So I applied for the job and I got it. So, I spent my senior year working helping students with all the research questions, database stuff, and I really fell in love with it. I thought that this might be a good career for me. And so after I graduated, I spent the summer looking for library jobs and ended up getting hired here. As a lot of jobs you do need a master's degree for librarian position, so technically, I'm a library assistant. I saw this job and I thought it would be interesting. I applied for it and ended up getting the position. So I've been here just over three years.
Any goals for your career?
I think I'd like to be a reference librarian at an academic library. So similar to this, but not quite what I'm doing now, but the same kind of location. So, helping university students with their research, and things like that.
Do you have any hobbies that you like to do outside of your work?
I've been a huge fan of music since the start of last year, so in 2021. I've listened to a new album every day. And I really enjoy going to concerts and ended up seeing one last night, actually. It was a Japanese artist. It's a very soft and somber kind of music. It's this Japanese woman whose primary instrument is an acoustic guitar and it's very, very beautiful music. It's very light and kind of dreamlike, in a sense.
Any advice for students?
Don't be afraid to ask for help. The library is here for you - anything you might need. We're always happy to lend a hand for whatever you need - research help or finding books to read. Just definitely don't be afraid to ask questions, because that's what we're here for. We’re here to help you figure out what you need.