For our most recent ‘Meet the Staff’ feature, we’ve interviewed Library Secretary, Holly Tuyls. Holly manages a wide variety of tasks here at the Mudd. These tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting in organizing and setting up for many library events, recording the minutes at library meetings, taking care of a variety of paperwork and making sure it gets to the correct department, and spreading cheer and goodwill.

How long have you been working at the Mudd Library?  Since April of 2012.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love the fact that my responsibilities include a wide variety of tasks; when I get tired of working on spreadsheets, I can water the plants, or count the copy machine money, or do some writing. Also, I am so lucky to have the privilege to work with such intelligent, hilarious, and interesting people.

Share something you’ve done at work that has made you especially proud.

I enjoy making seasonal displays which show off the variety of our available materials, especially the non-academic stuff. Upon declaring October ‘Scary Movie Month,’ I collected and showcased our scary movies, and it was really fun to watch how quickly they got checked out and what titles seemed to be student favorites.

Where did you get your degree? I graduated magna cum laude with an English degree from an amazing institution called Lawrence University in little old Appleton, Wisconsin.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

What are your hobbies?  I love to read, cook, garden, and do yoga.  I occasionally and intermittently practice the piano as well.

What’s the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?  Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes, which explores alternatives to living on the planet in a creative, rather than consumptive, way.

What are your favorite bands or performers?  Hmmm.  This is a tough question.  I love all types of music and tend to get very obsessive about a performer for a spell, and then move on to the next. Ryan Adams, Neko Case, and Bright Eyes are always favorites. I love seeing live music. This past summer I brought my daughter to Minneapolis to see her first ‘real’ concert: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

List your favorite blogs and/or magazines. I love Bust!  Available in the Mudd on Level A!  I also enjoy Yoga Journal and Yoga International. Blogs I love include The Art of Non-Conformity, Zen Habits, and becoming minimalist.

What groups and/or organizations are you active in (on or off campus)?

I dabble in all sorts of things. We foster kitties for Orphan Animal Rescue.  We’ve done some work in the SLUG garden, helping to build the hoop house.  I take part in a weekly group meditation and flutter about the community taking yoga classes.

Tell us about your family.  My daughter is 12.  She sings in Lawrence Academy’s Girl Choir.  She also plays the piano and spends a lot of time reading.  She is currently big into a manga and anime series called ‘FullMetal Alchemist,’ and also spends a lot of time imagining.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? As an alum, I can’t stress enough the amazing powers possessed by our reference librarians. While working toward my degree, I would approach the desk with trepidation and the feeling of not wanting to bother anyone.  These presumptions are so far from the truth! The reference librarians are there for the express purpose of helping students learn to engage in quality research, a skill that is of utmost importance as students advance in academia and in the world at large. When in doubt, go to the reference desk!