By Allison Campbell-Jensen
Joey Augustin, who comes from a family of teachers, is majoring in special education. He also works as a student employee in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library, which allows him to branch out.
Responding to queries from students, he’s become familiar with architects’ names and architectural concepts.
“I have enjoyed learning enough about architecture to connect with students who come in here,” he says. “I’ve had people show me their sketches or their journals of what they have written or drawn.” He appreciates the architecture and design students’ creativity and freedom of expression.
For him, making these connections is just one benefit of working in this branch library.
Attracted to light and warmth
“Working at the Libraries has been a super powerful experience.”
He learned about the Architecture Library while still a high school senior in Hudson, Wisconsin, when he asked his older sister about her experience working there.
“I told her I wanted to have a job that would be a good balance of getting experience working and still allow me to have a focus on school,” he says. She introduced him to the Architecture Library staff. He started there at the beginning of his freshman year; he’s now a junior.
The location, setting, and design of the library appeals to Augustin.
“I need natural light to work well and the Architecture Library has tons of natural light,” he says. It’s a great place to work and also to study and make progress on his class requirements. Compared with home, he finds it easier to focus there.
Moreover, that staff has been welcoming, warm, and accommodating. They care about the student employees, he says, and regularly check in to see how they are doing. They offer the students little treats and warm wishes for finals and holidays. Most importantly, they are flexible.
“They’ll give you a one-hour shift, if you need to find something in-between two classes,” he says. “[It’s great] the way this job works around being a student.”
This flexibility was particularly important for Augustin in the 2020-2021 academic year, when the Architecture Library was closed due to COVID. Because of the Libraries’ connections, he was able to work in Walter Library during his sophomore year.
“I really like how well they accommodate each person and are able to make whatever situation, even a pandemic, work for us, to be able to get whatever we need out of the experience,” Augustin says.
One of the major benefits, of course, is that this job helps Augustin pay for school.
“It’s nice to have something consistently that financially supports me through my schooling and it doesn’t interfere with my education,” he says.
Outside of classes and work, Augustin loves music. He has played piano for 13 years, along with trying out drums, and, recently, the guitar. He plays music for his campus ministry group. He’s also an officer for a University club called Best Buddies.
“Best Buddies works with one-to-one friendships with students at the University of Minnesota and students at transition schools around the Twin Cities — students who have some form of intellectual, developmental, or physical disability.” He also likes baseball and running.
He appreciates his “stress-free job” at the Libraries, summing it up with: “Working at the Libraries has been a super powerful experience.”