Head of Library Public Services Aims to Make Students Feel at Home
Suzie Shatarevyan, the head of public services at Loyola’s William M. Rains Law Library, starts each school year by telling incoming students that the library is “their home away from home.” She points out that the library’s staff does its best to make sure the students receive guidance developing their research methods and that they understand how to sift through the library’s ample legal electronic resources. It is all carefully designed to allow students to focus on their studies and let the library staff worry about everything else.
“We do every little thing we can do to make sure they’re taken care of and happy,” said Shatarevyan, who is an inaugural member of the Loyola Law School Staff Senate. “We strive to make a difference to our users, and we hope it helps them make a difference in their studies or clients’ lives.”
And why all the extra effort? To put it simply, a student could never get through law school without having access to a legal library. “It’s the heart of the school,” she said. From accessing legal documents to seeking assistance on gathering critical research for papers, Loyola Law students spend a fair chunk of their legal education poring over law journals and other research material in the library. So, Shatarevyan ensures that the library’s staff works hard to provide students with everything they need to succeed academically.
Aside from providing assistance with legal research, the library offers free back massages (the massage program is appropriately dubbed Relax in the Stacks) and also boasts a Wellness and Convenience Collection. The collection, which Shatarevyan coordinated, features household items such as cellphone chargers, umbrellas, puzzles, and even sports balls that students can check out when needed. Doubling as unofficial webmaster, Shatarevyan has ramped up the library’s website offerings to include access to critical journals and practice-skill videos.
Shatarevyan notes that current students, though, are not the only ones who are welcome to capitalize on the library’s academic resources. Alumni also have access to the library’s physical collection, and Shatarevyan worked with the school’s Alumni Office to help ensure that alumni can have access to particular electronic research resources, as well. “It’s a very service-oriented library,” said Shatarevyan. “We want everyone to feel welcome.”