Welcome to our 5 Questions series! These mini-interviews introduce our dedicated staff and faculty, and share behind-the-scenes stories about the work that we love to do! In this installment, we caught up with the ZSR Library Fellow, Le’Ron Byrd (’14). As the ZSR Library Fellow, Le’Ron has worked with the ZSR Library Administrative Team in a year-long position as a full-time staff member of the university.
Le’Ron, you also worked with ZSR as a student assistant during your undergraduate experience. How has your view of ZSR changed from working here as a student assistant to your current experience as the ZSR Fellow?
I worked as a student assistant in Access Services throughout my undergraduate career and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with people who approached the main desk. As a student assistant, I had the unique opportunity of getting to know not only my immediate supervisors but some of the library staff. They truly are amazing people and are enthusiastic about their jobs on a daily basis. What changed once I became the Fellow was my overall perception of the staff and faculty here at ZSR. I learned that that each individual here in the library (even those who work behind the scenes) are committed to working hard towards bringing ZSR’s mission– to help students, staff, and faculty succeed– to life. It is honestly something that amazes me every day I come into work.
As the ZSR Fellow, you have a hand in work that goes on behind the scenes and in the public eye . . . What have been some of your favorite contributions?
It’s hard to identify a particular favorite project because it’s not about the actual project to me, it’s about having the opportunity to collaborate with others. I mean, let’s be real… ZSR is home to the best staff and faculty here at Wake Forest. Everyone in this building is excited at every opportunity to show why ZSR is the heart of our campus. It shows during Wake the Library– which would be my favorite “project” if I had to choose.
What’s next, and what’s your best advice for the next ZSR Fellow?
Next is continuing to work in academia. I was so sure I wanted to go right into law school next year but being a Wake Forest Fellow has taught me that I still have a lot more to learn about myself before embarking on my career. Thus, the best advice I have for the next ZSR Fellow would be to come into this position open-minded about yourself. Do your best to not visualize your time as the ZSR fellow as a means to an end. You can discover so many opportunities during your tenure as the fellow.
Has your opinion of libraries or librarians changed? How so?
Oh absolutely! I now know how complex libraries are and how far along ZSR is, as it relates to other academic libraries. In particular, I’ve learned how many different departments exist inside of libraries and how they all function together to make the institution work. I mean… working at a library has defeated my preconceived stereotypes of librarians too. ZSR librarians are so much more than people who shelve the books and are louder than most people imagine! They’re actually quite humorous.
What are some of your favorite ZSR memories?
(smiles) As a student during Finals Week watching the sun rise in the Atrium, after pulling an all-nighter. Although pulling the all-nighter was quite terrible, watching the sun rise in the Atrium made the painful experience a little better. My second favorite memory happened as the ZSR Fellow in November. I helped bring ZSR to China alongside the Wake Forest Advantage Program. While in China, all I could think about was my first day working in ZSR as a student assistant in 2010. I just never thought I would have gone from being a student assistant in ZSR to an advocate for ZSR in different countries.
The Office of the President is currently accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Z. Smith Reynolds Library Fellow. For more information, or to apply, visit Wake Forest Fellows Program. Applications are due by February 6th.