Library Excellence in Action Student Employee 2019 Winners

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Congratulations to Braith Birchall, Skye Guégan, Fran Leskovar, and Autumn Raw, winners of the 2019 Library Excellence in Action Student Employee Awards!



Braith Birchall (Senior): Electronic Resources Assistant.

Braith has worked in RMS during all 4 years of their college career. They started at Collins as working in periodicals. In that role she mastered all of the necessary duties. Braith received journals and newspapers, processed journals for binding, and collected print usage data. They rolled with the punches as Alma changed and processes were modified. They always checked in about their schedule and if they needed to make modifications. When I became the Electronic Resources Librarian their position changed from periodicals to electronic resources. They quickly learned their new position and the different processes needed. They are always willing to help with a new project (like the micro discard that was part of the journal discard project). They are a fast learner, hard working, and always willing to pitch in where needed. They have been a great worker for the past 4 years.


Skye Guégan (Senior): Late Night Security Assistant.
I’m very pleased to take this opportunity to recognize and recommend Skye Guégan for the Collins Library Excellence in Action Student Employee Award. Since he first started working as a Student Security assistant three years ago, Skye has invariably demonstrated a remarkably strong commitment to his position, a reliability that I have truly come to depend upon, a professional demeanor that includes excellent boundaries and a serious view of his responsibilities, and a willingness to go over and above his required duties to assist in a variety of ways even when he is not on his established shift. His presence here in the evenings means that the library is in capable hands which ensures a safe and orderly atmosphere for the benefit of staff and students alike.

Throughout his time at Collins, Skye has taken his duties very seriously but with subtle good humor, as sometimes the evening shift can have out of the ordinary occurrences. Skye has routinely performed the duties of his position in a prompt and timely manner, for instance checking of student identification at the door, patrolling the building and taking note of any security issues such as unlocked doors or burnt out lights, and reporting back to apprise the supervisor on duty of the current status of the building. He has excellent sense of observation, attention to detail, and communication skills which he effectively uses to call attention to matters that might require addressing by this supervisor. Some of these unusual circumstances have included student ‘extra-curricular’ activity in study rooms, the mysterious evangelist who left pamphlets and rosaries throughout the library, and the ‘bean marauder’ who left trails with cans of beans as well as dried beans in the stacks. Skye has approached even the most extraordinary circumstances with professionalism and an appreciation of the uniqueness of each situation as the spirit demanded.

Skye has demonstrated willingness to jump in when he was needed and has shown initiative which I have very much appreciated. I have depended considerably on Skye to assist in ‘other duties as assigned’, which have included such tasks as shifting oversized books from the lower level to the 4th floor, and moving furniture. Skye has also stepped up on his off time when in the library during urgent circumstances; for instance when the library’s fire alarm went off while he was studying on the 2nd floor, he immediately connected with me to find out what he could do to assist with the situation. Additionally, after the remodel of the library during the summer of 2018, Skye was happy to come in to review new library Security procedures before the start of the new semester.

The position of Late Night Security Assistant can be a difficult one, as student security assistants must be able to monitor and enforce library rules with students who are their peers and possibly friends. Skye has been able to accomplish this with a great amount of competence due to the respect and admiration that he commands in his peers. He combines this quality with an understated sense of humility and modesty which allows him to carry out his job in a way that others appreciate. Skye has also provided a remarkable illustration of responsible behavior for our other student security assistants, and I have often relied on him in training new security assistants for the last two years. He is such a positive role model and his high standing among his peers sets an important example for our new assistants to emulate.

The library attracts a high caliber of students, and Skye is an exemplary student assistant in this regard. While maintaining the high standards expected of a Library Security Assistant, Skye has also simultaneously carried the academic workload of a duel degree in Computer Science and Physics with a minor in Math. Skye is also a talented athlete, and has played on the Men’s soccer team the last four years for UPS. He was given All NW Conference honorable mention in 2017, was Team Captain for 2018, and named to All NW Conference First Team in 2018. I note Skye’s achievements above to point out what an outstanding job he does of successfully managing his time and multiple responsibilities, all of which undoubtedly contribute to the respect with which his peers regard him.

The outgoing senior Library Security Assistant set a high bar to meet last year and Skye has met this extremely well. I know that when Skye is on shift I have nothing to worry about and that library security is in good hands. His quiet humor and excellent work ethic will be greatly missed when he graduates this May. Before that happens, I would like to recognize his exceptional contributions and service to Collins Library. 


Fran Leskovar (Sophomore): Circulation Desk Assistant.
It is an honor and a pleasure to nominate Fran Leskovar for this year’s Excellence in Action Award. A student assistant such as Fran comes along once in a career and I almost feel I have to develop a new language to describe Fran’s contributions and commitment to and participation in the work and environment in Access Services since he has been with us. To say that Fran has been a model student assistant is a real understatement as Fran has exceeded all expectations, requirements, and hopes I have for our student assistants’ performances.


Specifically, Fran’s sense of responsibility, reliability, and commitment to his position as a Circulation Desk student assistant is without parallel. He arrives ready to work for every shift a few minutes before the start of the shift and greets the staff to let us know he is here. He comes in without a need to change gears, get organized, or take care of personal business which he has been careful to handle before he comes to work. He jumps into the tasks of his position with focus and close attention. He cheerfully and respectfully assists other students who may be finishing their shifts and makes sure any leftover business from the previous shift is addressed. He pays close attention to the work he is there to do, notices everything, and offers to problem solve, run errands, or finish any pending issues. He greets every patron at the Circ Desk with a smile, personal attention, and a genuine willingness to be of assistance. On the extremely rare occasion that Fran must take time away from his scheduled shift, he lets everyone know well in advance.


Fran shows incredible initiative, not just occasionally, but consistently; he reliably offers to do rounds or searches, assist patrons with anything from loading paper into the Learning Commons printers to searching for items on Collins’ shelves, to clean up cupboards or shelves, to do closing announcements and/or routines, or to help with Alma clean-up, for example. This is over and above his regular duties at the Circ Desk. He consistently offers to help train new students if Access Services staff are already occupied with training other new students and does a thorough and careful job of doing so, taking the time to note what was done on training checklists. Although he is completely capable of doing most tasks without reminders or supervision, which he often does, he is always respectful of staff authority and careful of other students’ sensibilities.


Further evidence of Fran’s sincere engagement in and commitment to his position is his willingness to make himself knowledgeable of not only the duties of his position but of Library policies and procedures in general. Fran’s knowledge helps him recognize when things are operating as they should and are in the proper order and when that is not the case. He consistently calls staff attention to issues that may require action and often offers to take care of the problem himself when appropriate: A patron who needs assistance that we are not aware of, a door that may have been left open when it should have been locked, a light that is out and needs attention, Wheelock dishes left in the library, a room reservation schedule that may not be correct or complete, forms that may be out and need printing, etc.


Fran takes his position as a student assistant in Collins Library very seriously but does so with genuine enthusiasm, good energy, grace, charm, and a very positive and confident attitude, without a trace of duplicity or arrogance. He does so respectfully and with understanding of the nuances of excellent communication and personal relational skills. He is a multidimensional student of life who is curious about everything, and can talk with ease about a wide variety of subjects. He is congenial and cheerful, making him a delightful student assistant and co-worker.

Fran is truly a wonderful student assistant whom I can completely trust to responsibly and appropriately handle his Circulation Desk duties and so many other tasks/issues/problems besides. He has set such a high standard of excellence as a student assistant that it will be a real challenge for others to meet it in the future.


Autumn Raw (Senior): Senior Resource Management Services.

As the Acquisitions Assistant, Autumn has become indispensable to Resource Management Services. Her main duties have been to pre-order search our catalog for requested materials to ensure we do not already own them, process shipments of new materials, and prepare the paper invoices for submission to the finance office. We have a complicated fund system which requires attention to detail. She also assists with numerous spreadsheets, inputting data and doing comparisons of figures and accounts for invoices.


Autumn’s duties have expanded with each semester. She has served as a selector for our McNaughton popular reading plan for two years which is overseen by Peggy Firman. She also worked for an entire semester on creating spine labels for Chinese language books. She has assisted with shelf maintenance of serials. For her final semester at Puget Sound, we have split her duties between the acquisitions and the cataloging work unit where she is responsible for the physical processing of materials while another student employee is on study abroad. We are confident she can handle these additional duties.


Autumn is ever reliable and seldom needs to miss work or adjust her schedule. She is always eager to help and is curious about the different aspects of the library. She always checks in with everyone to see if there is anything else she can do before the end of her work shift. I never hesitate to recommend her for a job or to assist with a special project. She has consistently demonstrated excellence in action.