Music to Our Ears: An Interview with Audio Department Student Assistant Liz Sangree


Sangree shows off her favorite film in the audio department, "Land Before Time: Journey to Big Water". It's a tear-jerker. Also, what an anthropocentric title, "Land Before Time". How is it before time? Just because humans aren't around? Yeah, yeah, time is a social construct. But that's a weak argument.

Elizabeth (Frieda) Sangree, a current Junior at Bates College, has been working as the Audio Department Student Assistant in Ladd Library since late January. “I heard about it through the SEO Email listserv!” Sangree declared enthusiastically.

When asked why she applied for the job in the Audio and Visual center in the Library, Liz answered truthfully. “Honestly, I applied for this job mainly because I wanted to pay for my rowing preseason training trip. As I’ve worked here, though, I’m really glad that I chose this job, because I’m learning so much about organization and time management!” In terms of the application process, the original offer for Liz was to work at the front desk of the library, but the hours didn’t work with her schedule, so instead Liz was offered a position in the audio department instead. “I was interviewed, trained in a day, and started,” Sangree stated.

The FBI is serious about you not stealing this movie for yourself. But libraries let you share it. Share "The Land Before Time." Do it.When asked what the day-to-day tasks of her job are, Elizabeth stated that she mans the audio desk “so if anyone wants to check out a video, DVD, CD, headphones, or record (if they’re a hipster), I’m there to smile, scan your ID, and give them to you.” Liz commented coolly. Sangree also takes all returns, and adds that “if you’re watching a video for a class or something, I escort you to a lovely viewing room where you can recline in comfort and style and immerse yourself.” On the weekends, Liz also gets to wheel a book-cart around, take the elevator, and reshelf books, “which is 100% relaxing”. Liz added that she really enjoys shelving,
“probably more than I should. But I think the best part of my job is making the DVD/CD display.”

Elizabeth’s favorite part of the job, indeed, is working early Monday mornings, when she gets to change the DVDs and CDs on display. “I get to pick what gets presented, so I try to get a range of options up there (can’t overwhelm the people with too many zombie movies!)” Liz explained. When Liz picks out the CDs to play on display, she learns about music from all ages, picking up names of some really talented people that she had previously never heard of. “The audio department has so much to offer, you should check it out!” she charmingly plugged.

The cutest film display on campus.When asked if she had any funny or interesting stories from work to share, Sangree said “On daylight savings day, I was put in charge of changing the clock. So, I stood on a chair on my tiptoes, just barely grabbing the clock, took it down, changed the time, and put it back up. Easy enough, right? False. A couple minutes later, there was a huge crash, because the stupid clock had fallen. It was entirely the clock’s fault. I ran over to the wreckage, terrified as to what this meant for my audio career. The protective see-through plastic cover thing had fallen off. I just put it back up there and hoped for the best. So, if you look closely, you have a naked clock in the audio department!” You almost have an obligation to stop by the Audio and Visual Department to see the historic naked clock now.

Sangree shows the photographer a few of her exercise routines she practices to stay limber behind the audio desk.

Through this job, Liz has learned a lot about organization and its importance. Sangree has gotten extremely good at finding the right call number spot for things going back on the shelf, taking each customer in the right order, and alphabetizing. “I’m also learning a lot about basic customer service, and the system the library uses. I’ve got to know which part of the library a topic can be found! The organizational skills will be really valuable for my future career!” Elizabeth exclaimed. In addition to the skills she has learned through her job, Liz has also learned a bit about herself. “I’ve learned that I really like dark movies, particularly zombie or psychological ones. I always have to consciously force myself to find some Disney movie or comedy to put on display, because otherwise it will be one big dark sad-fest up there” Liz explained.

Since working at Ladd, Liz has learned how critical to academic life the library truly is. “If you’re in a history class that’s writing on Stalin, I’ll know, because I’m putting all your Stalin books back on the shelf. This is a resource that you can’t ignore!” Liz added that there are a plethora of books and audio resources available to students, and emphatically advises us all to utilize these resources more. “I learned that the audio department has hundreds and hundreds of CDs and records available. Who needs piracy when you can get high-quality CDs straight from the library for free? Most importantly, I’ve learned that the audio department is a magical place!” Sangree sang. If Liz hasn’t persuaded you to visit the audio and visual department by now, I’m not sure what will. I’m already planning to go right after work (though mostly because I have a DVD that’s due soon).