A Perspective Within: A Curious Mind in the Archives


Today’s guest post is written by library student assistant Mario A. Gallardo. Mario works in our Archives and Special Collections department. 

Hello readers!

My name is Mario A. Gallardo and I am currently a History major here at Loyola Marymount University. I have been working as a student assistant in the Archives and Special Collections (A&SC) department for two years and have thoroughly enjoyed it. My experiences in A&SC have been great and I have learned to love this job and what I get to do. As a student assistant, there are various things that I can be tasked to do. Whether it’s organizing, cataloging, helping create collections, or just handling the front desk, I still find joy in my work.

I first found out about this job as an incoming freshman when I met up with Ray Andrade at a Latino Overnight. I had always been interested in working in a library since I volunteered over the summer at my local high school library. Mentioning to Ray that I was a History major, he recommended that I check out A&SC and if I wanted a job there he would help me. I took his advice and when a job opened up in the department I made sure to apply. I along with three other students were soon hired to work in A&SC. It was nothing like how I had imagined it at first, but I was soon taught the basics and put to work on the simple projects. I kept with the simple projects until I decided to work over the summer.


When I worked over the summer I grew closer to a few of my co-workers, my supervisor, and some of the archivists as well. I was able to move onto bigger projects that required more time but I enjoyed them nonetheless. The first big project I got the chance to work on and have fun with was creating a finding aid for the Autographs Collection with Clay Stalls. I remember looking through the collection and witnessing each slip of paper which featured the autographs of many historical figures. I was excited, and seeing those autographs awed me, looking through at each of these people and realizing that I was staring at history. It didn’t feel like history you obtain from simply reading lines in a book: it felt real, as if a bridge between the past and present was physically in front of me. That feeling, was the feeling I imagined feeling when I first applied for the job.

Ever since that summer I have been working on big projects and have kept enjoying it. There were even points where I finished projects so quickly that the curators could not offer me big projects. I have enjoyed my job greatly here at A≻ the staff is friendly and fun to work with. It is because of this job that I have taken an interest in entering the field of Library Science and someday working in a library or be an archivist.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Mario!