The Hilb library staff seeks student success


Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. COD’s library staff, located on the first floor of The Hilb building.

Hector Leyva, Campus Editor

The library’s staff at College of the Desert’s Palm Desert campus prides itself on their ability to help students on every week.

Reference librarian Claudia Derum has been working at the COD’s library since 1997 and her job is to help answer student’s research questions and give them general information about the library.

When she is not working in the library, Derum also teaches one-shot classes for the college. It means that she can substitute for courses when the professor is unavailable to teach on a particular day.

“The best thing about my job is working with students and being able to help them with their learning outcomes,” said Derum.

Work at the library gets particularly difficult when they are short on staff. COD has five campuses and they only have librarians at three of them.

“The toughest part of my job is getting enough librarians to help students because we are short-staffed,” said Derum.

However, she continued to say that the future of the library is at The Hilb, where they’ll be able to continue helping students succeed in their classes.

Jin An-Dunning is also a librarian at COD and started her job in 2017. While she does a lot of the same work as Derum, An-Dunning also teaches a 12-week course based on research methods.

This course is called Intro to Research, where students learn how to do college-level and professional research using web and library resources. An-Dunning started this course because of  its benefits for students to learn to fact-check information.

Both Derum and An-Dunning  have degrees in Informational Sciences, which are necessary for librarians to have, and they also participated in faculty responsibilities, like doing committee assignments and going to meetings.

An-Dunning explained, “Librarians do a lot of work that is invisible to the eye, but is very technology-oriented.” She looks forward to expanding the library’s technological resources.

Annette Patino is a library specialist and classified staff. She works five days a week, mostly at the front desk helping students with computers, printing and book checkouts. She can answer students’ basic questions, direct them to a librarian if need it and helps catalog new books that come to the library.

Patino also helps hire and look after the library’s student workers, “I make sure they have tasks to do, and I also keep track of all their paperwork.”

To hire student workers, they post announcements on job hubs, then they interview the students and have them job shadow before they let them work on their own.

Avrem Cazarez is a substitute staff librarian. He covers any staff librarian if they get sick and/or cannot go into work.

Cazarez has been with the library since 2015, starting as a student worker before applying for his current position this spring. He works mostly in organizing the library’s catalog.

He says that the difference between being a student worker and a substitute staff librarian is that his tasks are different, and there are certain advantages he did not have before.

I’ve always really liked libraries. They were a safe haven, I didn’t always read, but I liked the atmosphere,” said Cazarez. 

Denisse Flores has been a student worker at the library for the past two and a half years. Her job is to help students check out computers and books; she also makes sure all the books have appropriate labeling.

“Since I don’t know much about computers, it’s hard for me to answer student’s questions about them,” said Flores.

But Flores has learned to do a lot of detail-oriented work while in a peaceful yet professional environment.

To use the library’s resources contact 760-773-2563 or go to the COD website at and use the Ask a Librarian feature. 

COD campus will be closed until April 30, 2020.