Worming your way through Pima’s library

Interview and photo


Dani Stuchel is an interim librarian for this semester at Pima Community College’s West Campus. 

We recently sat down with Stuchel to talk about his job at the library.

Q: Why this job?

A: “I really like working with students. That was my favorite thing about working in archives in the libraries. Working with researchers and patrons. So I wanted to be where people who are curious and had questions and let me be helpful.” 

Q. What’s your favorite book?

A: “ ‘Blood Memory’ by Martha Graham, who is a modern dancer from the early 1900s until she died in the ’90s and it’s just a weird story of her life and her really obsessive way of thinking about art and dance.”

Q: What’s the most fun thing about this job?

A: “It’s really fun to get in front of a bunch of students and talk to them … and find out what they’re interested in and get them to laugh and have fun in the library.”

Q: What’s the most boring part of the job?

A: “I don’t know if it’s boring as much as I just — it’s like my least favorite part. It’s choosing out-of-date books that need to be replaced because you’re just slowly looking at book after book and then researching if a replacement exists. It’s not too exciting.” 

Q: What’s the most interesting part of the library?

A: “My favorite thing of the library is something not a lot of people know we have, which is the archives. I found out that we have photographs and student publications and weird news letters from students and faculty going back to the 1970s that are pretty great and pretty funny. It’s great to see all the weird hairstyles people had decades ago. It’s fun to see people discussing computers become something on campus. Like explaining how computers work in a newsletter.”

Q: Are there any rare books here? 

A: “Yeah, there are some. There might be books on the shelves that someone just hasn’t taken the time to look at and realize it’s special or very unique but the ones that we know of are stored in (classified). There’s a phone directory from I want to say the 1930s or maybe the 1950s from Tucson and there’s some similar just interesting historical books and a couple of books that are expensive to get like study guides to law exams. Not exciting but expensive.”

Q: Who can use the library? 

A: “Everyone. The library is open to all members of the public. As long as you live in Pima County, you can check out materials. … All our materials are available for public use.”

Q: What’s the checkout policy?

A: “Students can check out up to 25 items at a time for three weeks at a time and can renew them twice and after that we just ask to bring it in to be renewed in the library for members of the library the can check out five items with the same time policies.” 

Q: How much are fines?

A: “Nope never any fines. As long as you return the material no matter how super late it is 

nothing is charged  if you lose the material or we have to replace it because you like spilled soda over the book you are asked to pay for the replacement.” 

Q: What else can you check out besides books?

A: “You can check out CDs, DVDs. You can check out technology for use in the library or elsewhere. So laptops, headphones. You can check out books for some courses to just be used in the library from the course reserve section.”

Dani Stuchel