Congratulations to Our Graduating Library Employees – Oxford Class of 2018!

For each of the library’s graduating 2nd year student workers, we give them the opportunity to choose one book, of any genre, to be added to the collection in their honor. The books each student has chosen can be seen on display by the front doors, along with a little information about each student and their experiences here at Oxford! In honor of their tremendous work here in the library, here is a list of each of their book choices:

 

Aliyah Auerbach: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Why did you choose this book?

I chose this book because it is the basis of one of my favorite musicals. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1820 is a musical based upon Leo Tolstoy’s novel, with exact quotations present in almost every song. The musical is what got me interested in reading the book, and I want to read the source material for this incredible show.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory is hard to pinpoint, as this school has provided me with a lot of fantastic memories. One that is definitely very important to me is doing the musical last year, In The Heights. There is one particular memory I have, when I had my first music rehearsal in a library study room. I was so nervous – to be given a lead, to be working with an entirely new group of people – but it went SO well. In fact, through the rehearsal process (beginning with this first rehearsal), I met my best friend and began to grow close with someone I likely never would have met otherwise. Theater at Oxford opened amazing doors for me in terms of new people, new experiences, and new opportunities; it was participating in music and theater at Oxford that convinced me to follow my passion and declare as a music major.

What do you like/love about the library?

I love the library’s open design, as well as the presence of many kinds of study spots. Sometimes when I come here to study, I want to be in a semi-sociable environment, which this library accommodates. Other times I want to find the most private area possible, which this library also has. Since I both work here and do most of my studying here, the library is one of the buildings where I spend most of my time; as such, it has become something of a second home for me. My absolute favorite thing about this library is when I’m re-shelving and I get to disappear in the stacks; it’s such a peaceful feeling and the smell of books has always calmed me down, even during the worst seasons of stress.

 

 

Chelsea Bien-Aime: The Holy Bible: New King James Version

Why did you choose this book?

This book has changed my life in so many ways. It is the message that God has for me and whenever I need a word of encouragement, or just a reminder that I am loved, the Bible is there with a parable or a Word. My favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” It reminds us that even though things are rough now (cough cough OXFORD cough cough), we all have a purpose and it will all work out for our good in the end.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory has to be winning Miss Oxford. I was able to represent my club, The Black Student Alliance, showcase my talent and debate whether or not cereal is a soup. It was overwhelming and heartwarming to see the school community support me the way they did. Even to this day I can’t believe it.

What do you like/love about the library?

EVERYTHING! I love the family we’ve built with the employees and staff members. I love the fact that I am always fed and checked on. The library cares about my mental health and makes sure that I am taking care of myself. I appreciate that a lot and I will miss the library the most when I get to the Atlanta campus.

 

 

Savannah Branch: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Why did you choose this book?

I chose this book because the author is such an inspirational person and I really admire the work he does.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory has been being on the Women’s soccer team.

What do you like/love about the library?

I love the family I have found in the library among my fellow student employees and faculty.

 

 

 

Kate Chandler: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Why did you choose this book?

The Graveyard Book has been my favorite since I was little. It is one that I’ve read several times over. I like it so much in large part because it deals with breaking with tradition and ignoring differences between people, but it is also a weird book with elements of fantasy and horror. I have yet to encounter anything else quite like it.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

It is really difficult to choose just one memory, but all of my favorite memories have one thing in common – spending time with the friends I’ve made here. Whether it’s through movie nights, ordering/going out for food, walking around campus, ping pong, biking, or just chilling, I am happiest when I’m hanging out with my favorite people.

What do you like/love about the library?

My favorite thing about the library is honestly the people I get to work with, both librarians and other students. I feel really lucky that I got to work here during my time at Oxford, because the people who work here are genuinely fantastic.

 

 

Emory Cole: Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther by Reginald Hudlin

Why did you choose this book?

I choose this book for I believe this Graphic Novel needs to be read – it helps to portray those of us with African Ancestry in a positive light unlike how we are normally portrayed in various media outlets within our society. Furthermore, the Black Panther through his courage and intellect inspires me to be better everyday and I wish for this book to inspire you as well.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

Learning!!! I have grown so much within my knowledge of various issues and I will truly miss Oxford for what it has taught me.

What do you like/love about the library?

The atmosphere and the individuals that enable it are one of a kind. This library has offered me so many opportunities that I will not receive anywhere else and I am truly grateful for all of the memories and friends that I have made here.

 

 

Laura Cortina: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Why did you choose this book?

This book was heavily inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,”and is my all time favorite book. It combines dystopian fiction with political commentary, and the protagonist is a strong female character who pushes the boundaries on a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey for freedom.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

There’s a tie for my favorite Oxford memory between my involvement with Leadership Oxford and my involvement in OxBroadway. Both have given me so much: personal growth, confidence, a creative outlet, opportunities for fun, new friends, and my closest friends. Nothing for me could have been more fulfilling than having a hand in this year’s Leadership Oxford program, because I got to watch first-years take from it what was so special to me when I participated my first-year–and all this while on an awesome and hilarious adventure! Likewise, nothing is more exhilarating for me than the final bows after a successful show. It’s a moment of pure joy and pride, and the camaraderie felt in that moment is what led me to discover that I actually really enjoy theater.

What do you like/love about the library?

I love that the library is always open now, and feels like a second home. I love that the people in the library are dedicated librarians who care about students and their success, and sometimes that means a game night or a de-stressing event. I love that working at the library has given me the opportunity and time to mature and learn professional skills. I love that working at a library was my first job ever! I love my LibSibs and our eclair cake obsession. Simply put, I love the library.

 

 

Cathleen Daferede: Deenie by Judy Blume

Why did you choose this book?

I chose this book because I find that there are many parallels between myself and the main character, from her health condition to growing up with the pressures of her mother’s expectations versus the life that she wants to lead for herself. I first read this book as a fifth grader and I did not know that almost ten years later, I would find my own personal circumstances so close to this character’s.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

One day during my second semester of my freshman year – I believe it was the week before Spring Break – I was walking around the quad with my current roommate and we saw the quad filled with students picnicking, reading books, and making hammocks between trees. The weather was absolutely perfect: not too hot and not too cold, and for once, the environment at Oxford was not stressful. Everywhere I looked, students looked genuinely happy and not worried about grades and assignments. I think this was my favorite memory because for once, the world around me was at peace, therefore, I was also at peace.

What do you like/love about the library?

I love the library because I can come here and not only work, but I can talk to people who I have formed great bonds with over the last year. I love how we have course reserves so students do not feel as though the world is over if they cannot purchase their textbooks immediately. The same can be said about our laptops and iPads. I also enjoy the friendships that I have made while being a Library Leader, the conversations I get to have with people while working, and the experiences that I have had with these same students both inside and outside the library. Overall, I have basically been able to call the library home – not just because I am here ten hours a week, but because I have truly enjoyed my time here as an employee and a student.

 

 

Ben DeGama: The Passage: A Novel by Justin Cronin

Why did you choose this book?

I chose this book because throughout my childhood I had always enjoyed science fiction. I was always watching and reading up on space exploration, future technologies, and the inevitable doomsday of mankind. This book series by Cronin starts out with a failed United States government experiment that results in the spread of a deadly infectious disease that plagues the entire North American continent. The novel recounts the stories of the survivors within the initial outbreak and then moves on to hundreds of years into the future, steadily depicting humanity’s attempt to rebound from near extinction.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory was when Dooley and his entire posse busted into my National Politics class and demanded that we adjourn for the day simply because Dooley presented his immortal self to us, the mere mortals. My professor, at first reluctant, eventually succumbed to Dooley’s demands as even she could understand the logic of the immortal one. Prior to that day, I had always heard stories of Dooley committing acts such as dismissing classes, but I never thought that I would get the chance to experience it firsthand.

What do you like/love about the library?

I most enjoyed the sense of community that the employees at the library share with each other. Perhaps this is most evident within the Library Leader team, in which each of us can relate and laugh about common occurrences that would appear otherwise trivial to others. For example, in a library leader meeting I recall us all laughing about a situation in which one of us struggled to balance out our responsibilities in terms of priority as both the telephone and backdoor button rang in conjunction with a line of patrons at the desk. This shared identity, that only we possess as employees or library leaders, is what I will miss the most from the library.

 

 

Emily Eckels: 50 Mathematical Ideas You Need to Know by Tony Crilly

Why did you choose this book?

I chose this book because it is accessible to anyone and showcases a wide range of mathematical topics. My hope is that more people will be able to understand and appreciate the beauty and complexity of math outside of the classroom.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory is the most recent library picnic. It was so nice to be able to share a meal and have fun with friends I don’t get to see on a regular basis.

What do you like/love about the library?

What I love most about the library is the camaraderie between the student workers and the library supervisors. The library is a place that fosters deep relationships, and I have met some of my best friends (both students and librarians) through working here.

 

 

Jaimie Lee: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Why did you choose this book?

I chose “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” because it portrays a unique perspective on what happens when one passes away and how we should treat our lives while we are alive.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

I love whenever the weather is nice, and everything is so peaceful because Oxford is such a lovely place. It’s like a park.

What do you like/love about the library?

I love that it is now open 24 hours because in the past it was hard to find an available study space that isn’t too loud, but also not too quiet. It really helped a lot in the quality of my studying.

 

 

Ada Li: A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by John Oliver

Why did you choose this book?

I chose this book because the proceeds go towards organizations that help fight AIDS and it is a cute way to learn that people are people and everyone deserves love.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite memory from Oxford was once my friends and I went on a blanket walk at night in the cold and then hung out on the soccer field with our blankets. It was really cold but the blankets and friends were warm so none of us minded.

What do you like/love about the library?

My favorite memory of the library was our first dinner together this year when Asia’s eclair cake debuted into the world. I had never had it before and it was just really funny to see how excited everyone was for this cake that was made of simple ingredients. It just goes to show that it really is the little things that make people happy.

 

 

Grace Nguyen: The Vietnamese American 1.5 Generation: Stories of War, Revolution, Flight, and New Beginnings by Sucheng Chan

Why did you choose this book?

I chose this book because not many people remember nor learn about the effect of the Vietnam War on the people of South Vietnam. My family is from South Vietnam and they still remember and live in exile; I grew up with stories of war, escape to America on small fishing boats, and loss of family members during the Fall of Saigon. This book is a physical manifestation of the South Vietnamese’s experiences during the war and I hope these memories reach the Oxford community.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory has to be the ACC retreat during Fall 2017. This was when my ACC family grew and become the close community we are today. They mean so much more to me than any executive board and I will truly miss our little family when I graduate. The retreat brought us together and marked the journey to an incredible year of programming, intense conversations, and stupid pins.

What do you like/love about the library?

I love that the library staff, both students and full-time, are genuinely caring of one another. I have incredible experiences such as receiving glowing recommendations from Nikki, collaborating with Courtney to create amazing study break events, co-facilitating Learning to Lead with Elliott, and creating group chats called LibSibs with my fellow student workers, we have all formed a community of care and genuine friendship.

 

 

Jean Michael Paragas: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Why did you choose this book?

I enjoy the outdoors, and the idea of being able to make something out of nothing fascinates me. I admire how the main character, Christopher McCandless, is able to make a goal come true by somehow stripping himself of his identity and then creating a new one which reflected who he truly was. His graduation from Emory University and departure from the society he knew, manifested in his choice to change his name completely, was perhaps the epitome of an individual recognizing and enjoying the freedom he has gained. The most important lessons that I learned from this book was to not be afraid to take risks, and to enjoy everything that the world has to offer.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory would be the Chocolate, Sweets and Other Treats orientation event held in the library at the beginning of fall semester. I enjoyed being able to see the first year students visit the library for the first time, knowing that it will be an invaluable resource not just for borrowing books and studying, but also technology, research help, and many other tools.

What do you like/love about the library?

I love being able to use any adobe office program on the library’s Macs. I’ve used After Effects, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and a host of other programs both for school projects and for hobbies.

 

 

Franny Parent: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Why did you choose this book?

I chose this book specifically because it was the very first YA novel I ever read. I was 12-years-old when I picked this book up at my local Borders and immediately fell in love. Up until that point in my life, I never read for pleasure and honestly thought books were incredibly boring. However, after devouring this novel, I fell head over heels in love with reading. I quickly consumed every single book in its series and went on to find other novels I loved just as much. If it weren’t for this book, I may never have become the huge bookworm I am today.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory has consistently been all of the time I have spent doing theatre on this campus. In my two years here at Oxford, I have been lucky enough to be part of eight productions, basically turning Tarbutton into my second home. Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of directing the spring musical this semester and have made amazing memories with my cast and crew over the past four months of rehearsals.

What do you like/love about the library?

The best thing about working at the Oxford College Library is the community. The team of students I work with are my library family, and I feel so lucky to have met so many awesome people in my time working here. The second best thing about working at the Oxford College Library is all the free food.

 

 

Cameron Warren: Tokyo Ghoul by Ishida Sui

Why did you choose this book?

I want to have Tokyo Ghoul introduced within the library because this is my favorite manga. The graphic novel section of the library is lacking in the amount of manga that we have available for our patrons to read. I believe that Tokyo Ghoul, a manga filled with a lot of literary allusions, elements, and a fantasy based in tragedy would make an excellent addition to the library.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite memories at Oxford are the countless nights staying up till 5 or 6 am hanging out with my friends in Dooley’s Dolls.

What do you like/love about the library?

When I first started working here, the thing that I loved most was the air conditioning. It gets hot outside. Now after two year of working here, my favorite thing about the library is the constant feeling that I have a family whenever I walk in. Bickering and playful banter filled shifts at the library are my favorite times of the week. Also the air conditioning.

 

 

Savannah White: Some Boys by Patty Blount

Why did you choose this book?

This is my current favorite book and I’ve read it several times. I feel it’s a really important book because it addresses the heavy and critical topics that are often ignored in our society–rape and victim blaming. It allows people to think about this and maybe even how they contribute to this kind of a social atmosphere, and getting these ideas out through fiction novels is subtle but so necessary.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

Going to concerts! I’ve seen my favorite bands/artists in Atlanta and Birmingham with some of my best friends that I met at Oxford over the past two years. I’ve seen twenty one pilots, Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, and Ariana Grande, and the memories I have from these shows are something I will keep with me for a long time/and I’m grateful to have been able to go!

What do you like/love about the library?

The tight-knit atmosphere. The library staff treats us with respect and cares about our success, which is a wonderful feeling. Plus, we get to put on a lot of cool events and eat a lot of nice food!

 

 

Jazmyn Wood: The Twits by Roald Dahl

Why did you choose this book?

It was my favorite book from my childhood, and it’s funny and whimsical. Dahl is a fantastic writer, and he always finds a way to incorporate life lessons into his children’s books.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory is running across campus with Kate Frances to get ice cream from the dining hall less than 10 minutes before it closed.

What do you like/love about the library?

I love that the library and library staff go out of there way to accommodate the students, and make the library an enjoyable experience for everyone (providing all of the required textbooks for every class and putting on events like Game night).

 

 

Tony Yang: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Why did you choose this book?

I chose East of Eden because I like how Steinbeck manages to intertwine the story of two families, as well as two generations into one long, but emotional novel that heavily alludes to the Bible. What particularly struck me was the Trask family’s servant, Lee. Despite being educated and being perfectly able to speak fluent English without an accent, he decides to talk in pidgin because that is what is expected of him. There isn’t some special connection that I feel with the character. I just like how depressing it is to think about the American Dream being a lie.

What is your favorite Oxford memory?

My favorite Oxford memory is the time when they served steak in the main line and lamb in the vegetarian line one time at the old dining hall. I still judge the quality of food here to that distant memory. In seriousness, I think my real favorite memory of Oxford is when my roommate and I opened up and talked about personal things one night. I realized that while my friends in high school were great, I never felt fully comfortable enough to tell them about more vulnerable topics.

What do you like/love about the library?

I like that I’m allowed to eat and talk in the library, but sometimes, I really need to study and some people just won’t be quiet. I also like that there are free tea and hot chocolate. However, I think what I enjoyed the most about the library were the friendly staff and students that I worked with every week. I’m pretty sure I would have just stayed in my room all the time Freshman year without talking to anyone other than to tell my roommate to throw out the trash. It was nice having people ask about my day, even if it was just meaningless small talk. Overall, I’m extremely glad that I chose to work at the library since I got to know more people on campus. Also, the occasional free food for student workers is a nice bonus too.