Thomas G. Carpenter Library
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224
Student assistants play a critical role in library staffing, serving library users and supporting internal processes across the Library. Through part-time employment, students build lifelong skills and help cover the costs of their UNF education. This $250 award is intended to reward top-performing Library student assistants who demonstrate excellent service and commitment to the Library and its mission. The award is provided through the Dr. Carolyn Williams Library Student Assistant Fund, established upon her passing by community members and her family to honor Dr. Williams’ memory and many contributions to the Library. It is awarded twice per academic year - once in the Spring and once in the Fall semester.
For questions regarding applying for this award, please contact Pat Madrid, UNF Library Coordinator of Budgets (904-620-1485).
Award Nomination and Application Periods
The Spring Award Library staff nomination period takes place annually in late January. The Fall Award Library staff nomination period takes place annually in late September. Information will be distributed via the Library Newsletter at each interval announcing the nomination season is open. Nominated students will be advised by the Dean of Library or Library Administration department to submit their application after each of the nomination periods end.
Dr. Carolyn Williams was an associate professor in the history department at UNF. She grew up in Durkeeville in the Jacksonville area and graduated from Bishop Kenny High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in history from UNF. While a UNF student, she worked as a student assistant in the library and valued that experience as part of her academic career. She later received a master’s in U.S. history from the University of California at San Diego and a doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she examined women in the anti-slavery movement.
Dr. Williams spent many hours immersed in the “too-often forgotten history of Jacksonville.” In a 2008 interview, she said history can help revitalize a community by instilling pride and encouraging people to invest in its future.
She passed away in November 2011 at the age of 63.
In considering applications, the committee will select award recipient(s) considering evidence of one or more of the following criteria:
Eligible students may be nominated by any library faculty or staff member using the nomination form. Student nominees will be invited to submit the following:
Fall 2019: Giannina Medell
When Gia was asked how she provides quality service to library users, she replied, “Working at the Research Help Desk is one of the best parts about my job. The ability to help students or faculty struggling to find useful resources is a privilege that working at the library provides. Frequently, students will walk up in distress about a research paper; once I guide them through our library resources, they feel at ease having found the necessary information. I also try to be aware of events going on in the library so as to assist library staff in preparations whenever possible.”
She also shared the following about presenting a favorable image of the library to its users, “I have been lucky to help lead numerous tours for parents and students and work at various library events such as Market Day. I always give examples of the library’s resources and services that have made my time at UNF less stressful and I make sure to encourage students to take advantage of these. Whether I’m working at a service desk or an event, I’m very personable with students, parents, faculty, and staff!”
Fall 2018: Allison Mason
When asked of Allison how she presents a favorable image of the library to its users, she replied, “The Special Collections department plays a unique role within the library, in that it serves a variety of both internal and external audiences--students with whom it seeks to familiarize with its collections and services, local historical researchers to whom it provides relevant researchable material, and donors to whom it provides a safe place to give their collections. I have worked hard to keep each of these audiences in mind as I process this collection, to help ensure that any interaction they may have with its materials, or me, proves to be worthwhile. Some ways that I have sought to do this include:
-Selecting important collection highlights for display and digitization, to provide a helpful introduction to what it contains to any interested users
-Considering which student majors and what types of researchers may find this collection of interest to their work, and taking their potential research interests into account in regards to how collection materials are arranged--for instance, making sure business, medicine, marketing, non-profit management, health care, and city and local history materials are accurately arranged and highlighted
-Taking care with all of my interactions--both face to face and remote--with Florida Blue employees, to make sure they always have a positive and helpful experience, and to help make sure they feel their collection is in good hands
By following the above steps, along with ensuring all of my work is thorough and accurate, I hope that I have assisted in creating and contributing to a positive image of our Special Collections department, and that those who access this collection come away having had a worthwhile experience, because they were easily able to find what they were looking for.”
Spring 2018: Rebecca Corvil
Spring 2018 co-winner, Rebecca Corvil shared these answers on her application for the Carolyn Williams Award:
How have you provided quality services to library users and/or staff? "I am not only blessed but incredibly honored to have the job I have at Tommy G's. It is clear whenever I talk to professors, alumni, current students, or event staff and faculty at the library, there is a reverence for the UNF library on this campus. Therefore, with each task, I try my very best to complete it with excellence. I believe I have a servant's heart so whenever I am given the opportunity to help, staff or patrons, I am always willing to jump in with a smile on my face."
What have you done to present a favorable image of the library to its users? "Being a student assistant at the library is like being a bridge between students on campus and the staff I work with. I try to always remind myself that although I am a student, this is my job and I will not do wrong by the people who have entrusted me with the title. I believe the Library prides itself on efficiency, diligence, and care. When I come into work or even to study, I remind myself and others around me that this facility is a unique treasure on campus and it will be treated as such."
Spring 2018: Joshua Newman
Joshua shared with us what he has done to present a favorable image of the library to its users, "Representing the library happens more than just while I'm on desk. It also includes being courteous when I'm shelving books so as not to disturb those who are studying or helping those that look like they could use it even when I'm not on the clock. The library is here to help people in whatever their endeavors and so the best way to promote that image is to be myself helpful at any time regardless of what I'm doing at the moment."
Fall 2017: Alexandra Herrmann-Fehr
We received many excellent applications for the Fall 2017 Carolyn Williams Award. After reviewing the applications the committee had a difficult decision to make and Alexandra Herrmann-Fehr was selected as the winner. Congratulations Alexandra!
Alexandra has been invited to attend the next Dean’s Leadership Council Business Meeting on February 9th. There, she can enjoy lunch, experience the meeting program, accept her certificate, and have her photograph taken with the Council.
When asked about her accomplishments as a student employee and how those, in turn, assist the Library’s mission to support the educational goals of our University, Alexandra answered, “As a student employee, I have the opportunity to understand both sides of the library. I am able to support the University's educational goals by bringing together my knowledge of the library, and my knowledge of what it's like to be a student. By doing this, I am better able to assist patrons. I understand how stressful it can be trying to find the resources necessary for coursework assignments, so when I see a student struggling to find what they need I can sympathize with them. This inspires me to go above and beyond to help them with whatever they may need.”
Spring 2017: Ashley Stevens
Ashley on how her accomplishments as an employee support the Library's mission to support the educational goals of the University:
"...Being a student here, I know what its like to be in a frantic state for books in order to write a research paper or have an assignment due and can't figure out how to print. I feel compelled to help our patrons in need no matter what the question is...Educational success is my number one goal and that really helps me when I am answering a patrons questions...It warms my heart to know that I have been able to help so many people succeed in their classes and in their life."
Spring 2017: Erin Bisesti
Erin on how her service in the Carpenter Library affected her University experience:
"Working at the Library has given me new perspective of the student body, and of myself. Every day that I sit at the front desk I am reminded of the diversity that is UNF. As a student, I often just saw myself as part of the cloud or another person filling up a desk, and I forgot we are all individuals with special interests and personalities. When I first started attending UNF I was very shy and very nervous, never sure where I fit in. I was very anxious about working the front desk, more content to stay behind the scenes and shelve. After over a year of service here, my vantage point has changed entirely. ...I'm more outgoing, more enthusiastic, and more confident and I can tell that the patrons I interact with respond well to me. They give me so much life.."
Fall 2016: Daniel Boyko
How has your service in the library affected your university experience? "Since I began working at the Library it has become a home away from home. The faculty and staff are extremely helpful and always remind me to put school first. The flexibility to choose my own schedule has been one of the greatest assets to my collegiate career which really gives me the peace of mind to know that at the end of the day I can pay the bills while attending school, which really helps me focus on my coursework. The student staff have all become an incredible support group during tough times both in and out of work. We have all built great friendships that transpire through work and into home life during breaks from school and work. The study-focused community of the Library has allowed me to see many styles of studying and adopt study habits to implement in different environments like group or individual study sessions. Through learning how to assist patrons in finding information I have gained an invaluable ability to research information for my own classes and research. My service at the Library has given me important life skills I can implement in every aspect of my life, through research and study habits to financial stability and emotional support, with friendships I see lasting a very long time. My attitude towards my university experience has become one of attendance at a university to a belonging in a community."
Fall 2016: Maria Gonzalez
What does library service mean to you? "In Venezuela, in my High School, we didn't have a library. We studied and investigated at home with not many resources. At UNF since my Freshman year I have used the library extensively and I call it the house of knowledge when I refer to it. Furthermore, working here and helping fellow students gives me great satisfaction beyond the fact that it is not only a place with an immense number of books and information resources, but "THE PLACE" were the student body not only find the information needed for a research, investigation, pleasure reading, but the place where one develops methodology while studying in an environment the invites one to concentrate, meditate and get the knowledge sunk in the brain."