National Student Employment Week: Recognizing Student Workers at Pitts

This week colleges and universities across the country recognize the importance of student employees! National Student Employment Week is April 12 – April 18, 2021, and Pitts Theology Library employs over thirty graduate and undergraduate students during the school year in various positions. Student assistants learn a wide range of skills, such as cataloging new materials, maintaining the library’s book stacks, and digitizing images from Pitts’ rare books collection for the Digital Image Archive. Student assistants at Pitts are able to gain hands-on library experience while developing skills that will carry over to their future professions. Check out some of the work Pitts students have been doing both in and out of the building to help Pitts further its mission!

Acquisitions & Periodicals

You might never see Acquisitions and Periodicals students at work, but you encounter their efforts every time you use a library resource. 

Each new item that comes to Pitts goes through Jack Stallins and Aiden McMahon. Jack has worked at Pitts for three years and during that time has been involved in too many areas of the library to count, but primarily works on acquisitions and periodicals. Aiden started working at Pitts this January and has quickly learned the skills needed to help the library run smoothly.

Have you used a book from Pitts this year? Jack or Aiden unpacked it, marked it as received, added the invoice to be paid and sent the book for cataloging so that we could get it to you as quickly as possible. 

They have also been preparing periodicals for binding, an important behind the scenes process that keeps our journal collections in good condition for future researchers. Since January, they have prepared more than 600 periodical volumes to be bound!

While Candler has been remote, so have some of our student workers. Cameron Cunningham worked at Pitts for just over a semester before we transitioned to a remote environment. Since then, he has been working remotely to assist with acquisitions of new items for the Pitts collections. Cameron checks every book before we place an order, a time-consuming process that helps us make the most of every dollar we spend. Thanks to his work, we have been able to purchase more ebooks to facilitate distance learning while maintaining the print collections our patrons have always relied on.

Reference & Instruction

Some of Pitts’ student workers come from beyond Candler! Graduate Reference Student Assistants Chelsea Mak and Janelle Moore are doctoral students in Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion. Chelsea and Janelle use their expertise in advanced religious studies to support the research of Emory faculty, students, staff, alums, and even community members! They do so through creating and maintaining online research guides, holding research consultations, participating in library instruction, and providing day-to-day reference help. During the pandemic, Chelsea and Janelle worked virtually through the library’s chat and Zoom capacities, but you might recall seeing them at the reference desk in Pitts on Level 2 under normal operating procedures. 


The cataloging department highlights Amelia Lawler and Shoshana Edelberg, who have made sure that new acquisitions are entered into the library catalog and receive accurate spine labels to allow for the books to shelved accurately and found and retrieved quickly. Both Amelia and Shoshana have quickly learned the art of copy cataloging and are highly efficient in marking and processing. Despite the limitations posed by the ongoing pandemic, they have worked independently and were absolutely essential to keeping the cataloging department going.

Interested in joining this talented team of student employees at Pitts? Check out job descriptions and open positions at! On behalf of the library staff, we give a huge thanks to these individuals who helps Pitts further its mission to support the faculty, students, and staff of Emory.