This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ricardo Laskaris

Reference Assistant
-provide reference service and computer support
-ILL service
-special projects

Description of unique interest/hobby

I started learning parkour in 2004, and don’t do it much anymore, except when I
travel.  I’ve trained with parkour communities in Washington, D.C., Milan, and
Manila, and at the Tempest Freerunning Academy in Los Angeles.  It’s a great
way to meet locals when travelling.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

My job allows me significant flexibility to explore other interests.  For
example, I earned a second undergraduate degree in psychology while working
full-time, by using vacation time to attend lectures that conflicted with my
work hours.

I also enjoy helping people with problems that are easy for me to solve, but
difficult for them to–it makes me look like a genius!

Is every librarian doing the same thing?

No, the main problem with the public perception of librarians is that what
people think they do is not actually what they do.  The vast majority of
librarians don’t shelve books, unless they work by themselves in a small
library.  Librarians do the same thing only in the broadest sense–they help
connect people with information.

How often do you do office work?

A little more than half of my time is spent in my office working on various
projects; a little less than half is spent on the public reference desk.  A
small percentage is spent helping people at other locations on campus outside
the library.

Do librarians have secret exciting inner lives to compensate for their regular public lives?

Some of them do, but no more than people in other careers.

Do you love reading?

Hell, yeah!  I don’t know any librarian who doesn’t.  E-books…that’s another

Do you need peace and quiet to work?

Yes, if the work requires thought.  Otherwise, I listen to music.  By the same
token, I try to keep the library fairly quiet for the benefit of students who
need quiet to concentrate.  Some librarians these days think it’s “hip” for
libraries to be noisy, but people who need noise to work have the whole rest of
the world outside to work in.

Why are all librarians women?

No one knows for sure, but I’d say probably in part because they take to it more
naturally than men.  They’re better at keeping things organized.  See Also
Secretaries and Running Households.