Angel Falcon in his cubicle, in Libraries Administration.
When did you arrive at the Rutgers University Libraries? Where were you previously and what was your role there?
I enrolled in SCILS in 2001 after securing a BA in religious studies and art history from Yale University in 1999 and a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard University in 2001. I finished my coursework at SCILS this past semester and I'm working in the last phase of my internship now.
What are your primary responsibilities at the Libraries?
As the Libraries/SCILS Intern, I've had the pleasure of working in a number of areas in the Libraries. I started with a semester in access services, working under the supervision of Jeff Teichman. Then I spent a semester in Technical and Automated Services, working with Rhonda Marker and Lourdes Vasquez on the Marcadia project, where I handled gift processing.
Next, I went to Special Collections and University Archives, where I worked with Fernanda Perrone to create a database of the Robert Alexander collection of pamphlets. The next semester my focus was collection development, working with Lourdes Vasquez to review and weed Latin American materials. I also helped create or update four finding aids, including one for Latin American Microforms at the Rutgers University. Next semester, I was on the reference desks at the Kilmer Library and Alexander Library with guidance from Jeris Cassel and Myoung Wilson.
Now I'm in Libraries Administration, working with University Librarian Marianne Gaunt, to produce a 2002/2003 annual report for VALE and to develop a data-matrix/analysis of staffing across the various units at the Libraries.
On the side, I've taught a few classes on Internet and research skills for ESL students in grades 9-12 in the New Brunswick Public Schools, using the electronic classrooms in the Scholarly Communication Center. Some friends in non- profit organizations in New Brunswick helped me make the connections in the public schools and it seemed like a worthwhile way to apply the skills I've gained here.
What were the most unusual, unexpected, or challenging experiences you've had in your work here?
Two come to mind quickly.
One was the Judaic Studies student who came in and asked, skeptically, if I knew how to locate Alt Nu Land. When I replied that I was familiar with the author, Theodore Herzl, who wrote "Old, New Land" (the English translation), she was taken back; guess she didn't expect a guy from the Bronx to know German!
Then there was the student working on his senior thesis, who was looking for information on Indian sponsored gambling. We found a specialized archive at, of course, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas!
In your view, what are the Libraries' greatest strengths?
It has to be the abilities of the faculty and staff; they're tremendous problem-solvers and innovators. I believe they're ahead of a lot of their peer institutions, despite our limited resources.
Who is the colleague you work with most frequently here and how?
In the last phase of my internship, I'm in frequent contact with Marianne Gaunt and her assistant Janie Fultz. I've also worked with Patricia Libutti on bibliographic instruction and with Lourdes Vasquez on a number of different projects over the last few years.
What is the last book you've read?
Ifa: We'll Mend Our Broken World by Wande Abimbola, a professor at Boston University and spokesman for the Ifa religion. He's quite articulate. And ...
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, a classic book about an academically inclined sloth living in New Orleans. It's hilariously funny and I found myself laughing out loud on buses.