Welcome to Gio’s “Idols of Inspiration” where I interview various members of staff, students, mentors and professors from all over the University of St. Francis (USF) campus. After having the honor of interviewing Father Terry Deffenbaugh, my next guest is someone we see every day at the Brown Library here at USF. This person can be seen typing away or walking around the library to make sure everything is in order for us students. Hint: She has a warm smile and greets you when upon entering the library.
Any guesses as to who this might be?
If you guessed Ruth Nelson, then you're spot on! Ruth
Nelson is the Circulation Supervisor here at the Brown Library at the USF. Every time I walk into the library for a class, study time or just to hang out with friends, Ms. Nelson is always there to give a warm pleasant smile and hello. This is great when living in an era where technology has dominated almost every way of communication. However with Ms. Nelson, that’s not the case. She has always been approachable and and available when you need help. She is someone with the heart of gold an open mind. Her mission: “To help students succeed to their biggest dreams.”
Giovanni Alvarado: What made you want to work here and be a part of the USF Community?
Ruth Nelson: Well my background originally was actually in art history. It’s very hard to get jobs in that field sometimes. So,I decided to go back to school to get my Master’s in Library Science. At the time, I had a friend who worked here and still has her job that told me about an opening of the school, and I loved this place from day one! I love the university, I love that it promotes Catholic values, Christian Values.
So, this is really my one and only librarian job. Although, in the past, I did work in an art history library, so there were some similarities but it’s still very different. It was at a time still where everything was “going digital.” It was a big transitioning to digital! It’s really what lead me over to this path.
GA: How many years have you been working here?
RN: I am approaching my fourth year in May.
GA: How have you changed from your experience of working here? Do you enjoy it?
RN: I enjoy it very much, it’s been very positive. You see, I came from UIC, I used to work at UIC and really early on I noticed that students here were much more nice and polite. So, I noticed the change in the student population from what I have been surrounded by previously. Personally, I have changed by enjoying working with students more. It's amazing that there are so many students here that I’ve seen with so much potential. So, its great to work with students here a lot and learn from them along the way as well.
GA: What is the best part of working here?
RN: Other than the inspirational students, I also enjoy the interaction with the faculty. I am really pleased supervising the student workers, we just hire gals that are so wonderful. I’m like, “It’s so nice to see so many hardworking students.” It just gives you hope.
GA: What is your own personal mission while working here?
RN: To help students succeed. I hope that while I’m here I can at least help you guys succeed and really achieve your highest goals. Even if I can at least be that encouraging support.
GA: What are your hobbies, interest and talents? Anything people should know more about you?
RN: Well I am heading off to New York this weekend to visit my sister and to do research for my next book. That’s really what I enjoy doing now is just exploring art, I’m more of an art historian than a librarian. I am a librarian, but art history is my real love and passion.
GA: What is your favorite film and who is your favorite artist?
RN: My favorite movie is Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino and my favorite artist would have to be Georgia O’Keeffe. I love her paintings, they are very creative and beautiful.
GA: What do you want to see change in the world?
RN: I would say generally just to have more tolerance and understanding for other people. We need more of that.
GA: What is one inspirational quote or piece of advice you would like to share to people reading this?
RN: There are no shortcuts.Do the hard work now when your young and then you can coast later through life. Just do the hard work now.
It was a very pleasant and enjoyable interview. I will never forget the wise words shared by Ms. Nelson, and the bright attitude she gives contagiously to students walking in by the library. If you ever have spare time or need help finding a book, stop on by to give Ms. Nelson a friendly hello, you won’t regret it.