This past summer, Zarina Noorani retired from the William H. Hannon Library after 30 years working for Loyola Marymount University. She started in our Circulation department in October 1990. Throughout this time, she has been a committed member of the Circulation team. Basement Supervisor Library Assistant George Garcia wrote this reflection and interview with Zarina in August.
I met Zarina Noorani when I was an immature junior who had just started working at the Von der Ahe Library as a student assistant. In no time, I managed to get myself in trouble and was on the verge of getting fired when (for some reason) Zarina intervened. Because of Zarina’s compassion, instead of looking for a new job I shifted books every day. Moving books is a lonely job that gives you much time to think. It was in the book stacks that I learned to appreciate the importance of books and found a deep respect for Zarina. In her I found a mentor. Someone who cared about how I was doing in school. She became my cheerleader and championed me to do better and be better. As a student I found great comfort in knowing that someone I respected was there if I needed help.
After becoming a full-time staff member at the library, I was able to reconnect with Zarina and get to know her better. As a colleague Zarina became a confidant, a partner in crime, and someone I loved to make laugh. We would listen to students’ problems and try to guide them in the right direction. For years we took graduating seniors out to dinner to celebrate their great accomplishment. Zarina taught me to be more than an authority figure to our student workers. She taught me to care. It’s because of Zarina that I’ve stayed in touch with many students throughout the years.
Zarina, I have many things to be grateful to you about. I thank you for giving me a second chance, for always being there when I needed advice, and especially for giving me my own bag of peanut butter brownies for Christmas. You have always been like family to me and I will miss seeing your smiling face when I come in to work. All the best to you and your family.
Q: When did you start working at LMU? What was your first position and how has your role at the library changed over the time you’ve been here?
I started working at LMU on October 8, 1990 as a part-time employee in the Circulation department. Soon thereafter I began working half-time for Acquisitions and Reference as well. Eventually I was made the billing supervisor as a full-time employee. Once we moved into Hannon Library, I became the billing and student supervisor. The last title I held at the library was as the 1st and 2nd floor desk supervisor.
Q: Have you always worked in libraries and/or universities? How did you come to this career and what kept you in it for so long?
I became interested in working with people while volunteering at my daughters’ kindergarten class in Louisiana. I learned that I was a people person and felt that a library would be a good fit for me. I have done this for so long because I like to help people.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories of working at the library?
I remember the day when the library transitioned from a card catalog to a digital catalog. At the time the library was the first to get computers so faculty came to the library to see our new technology.
Another memory I have is when a student came into the Von der Ahe library and took a bath in the fountain. The funniest thing was how nonchalant he was the whole time.
Q: What will you miss most about working at the library?
I will miss all the good friends that I made while at LMU.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
I have no plans with the current state of the world right now. After things return to normal I plan to travel and spend time with my daughter and grandchildren. I would love to volunteer at a library again. Maybe even at LMU!
Q: What advice would you give to current LMU students?
Stay safe and think about how your actions affect others.
Q: Will you give me the recipe to your peanut butter brownies?