Working Hard and Sliding By; An Interview with Slide Library Assistant Erin Montanez


Erin laughs at some ~hilarious~ joke the photographer made. And totally wasn't laughing AT her. Definitely not.

Erin Montanez, a current Sophomore at Bates College has been working as a Slide Library Assistant in Olin since January of this year. “A friend who’s also an art history major worked in the slide library last semester and put me in contact with the Slide Librarian who hired me at the beginning of the year,” says Montanez. Erin notes that the better part of campus can often find work by word of mouth (i.e. an advisor, an upperclassmen handing their position down, a professor, a friend), and students are encouraged to seek student employment outside of the posted jobs online. Erin has previously worked briefly at the SEO and in Olin life modeling at Bates College as well.

Erin decided to work as a Slide Library Assistant because she liked the idea of working in Olin as well as with the faculty from her department. She was also intrigued by the chance to work with Photoshop, as she thought the experience and skill she’d gain from regular use with the application would be valuable. “The application process was nothing out of the ordinary” says Erin, “I filled out the app on the SEO site even though this position was listed as unavailable, and then I contacted my employer per my friend’s suggestion and forwarded along my resume and cover letter.”

A study of contrasting working styles.Working six hours a week, Erin takes on the responsibilities for slide management including label creation, filing, mounting, photocopying and production. She performs library research work and data entry as needed, assists the Slide Librarian in the maintenance of the library, and helps college faculty and students in its use. A few of the perks Montanez enjoys for her job includes flexible hours, an easy-going employer, and the fact that there is always music playing. She also appreciates all the skills she has already fostered through her job. “I have learned a lot about how to use Photoshop and the importance of high-quality, useful images and technology itself in arts education,” says Erin, “I have learned how to be proactive and do my job efficiently without someone pressuring me to do so.”

Especially since she started her job as Slide Library Assistant, Erin has spent a lot of time in Olin. Because of her job, Erin says she has had “the pleasure and opportunity to work with most of my professors so far, who I see more and more often now that I am in Olin so frequently.” From her time working on Olin, Montanez has also noticed how often the arts interact and relate to the rest of campus, which is something she’s been involved in all year.