Welcome Samantha Blanco

samantha standing outside with tree in backgroundPlease join us in welcoming Samantha Blanco to the William H. Hannon Library! Samantha is our new reference and instruction assistant. In order to get to know Samantha a little better, we asked her a few questions about coming to Loyola Marymount University.

First off, tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, mainly in the San Gabriel Valley. I was raised by my mother who is from the Philippines, and I am the oldest of four children. As a socially awkward kid, I liked to lose myself in books (i.e., murder mysteries, horror, fantasy, and romance). I went to Pasadena City College and transferred to UCLA, as a first-generation student. I graduated with a B.A. in anthropology with a double minor in gender studies and labor and workplace studies in 2013. As a student, I was pretty involved in activism; for example, I helped run a feminist club on campus. These days, I spend my free time exploring the city, reading manhwa, looking at cute animal photos, and occasionally playing video games.

What drew you to the world of archives and libraries?

I was first drawn to the world of archives and libraries because I was dissatisfied with my job in the hospitality industry. My anthropology background led me to an interest in archives. I went back to UCLA for an M.L.I.S. degree, which I received in 2018. While in grad school, I worked in the Young Research Library as an academic reference assistant and got my first taste of librarianship, which I loved. I was excited to apply for a job at LMU because I was moved by the mission to educate the whole person and I knew it was a good school (my husband received two degrees from LMU: a masters in secondary education and a masters in teaching mathematics).

What about this new role are you most excited about?

I am most excited about working with reference librarians and students and learning more about information literacy instruction at LMU.

What have you been listening to, reading, or watching lately?

I’ve been watching “Star Trek: Deep Space 9” and listening to funk and disco. Currently my favorite song is “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston (The funky bass. The pristine vocals. The build up to the chorus. It’s pure disco funk bliss!). I recently enjoyed reading “A Head Full of Ghosts” by Paul Tremblay.

Anything about you that we would be surprised to learn?

As someone who has tried to resist gender roles, I myself was surprised to find that I enjoy cooking. For the holidays, I challenged myself by making Julia Child’s beef bourguignon and coq aux vin, which took 7 hours and 5 hours to make, respectively.

We are delighted that Samantha has joined our team at the library. Please join us in welcoming her to our campus community!