When Amanda Melilli first came to the UNLV University Libraries in 2009, she found herself surrounded by blueprints, exhibits, and architectural models. Today, graphic novels, puppets, and young adult literature are her educational tools of choice.
Despite her shift from operations supervisor at the Architecture Studies Library (ASL) to head of the Curriculum Materials Library (CML), one thing has remained the same: Melilli is dedicated to helping others succeed no matter what it takes.
“It is all about mentoring people and making everything a learning experience,” Melilli said. “The library is no different than the classroom.”
How fitting, then, that Melilli is applying her master’s in library and information science (MLIS) from San Jose State University to educating future educators. “It is extremely rewarding when I introduce someone to our resources and I hear, ‘I had no idea that there were books about people like me out there,’” she said. “Students of all ages crave materials that reflect their unique experiences, and teaching people how they can use these resources and think about them in new ways are among my most important tasks.”
Melilli’s goal is for the CML to be at the epicenter of educational research for students and teachers in Las Vegas. Open to the public and with almost 100,000 visitors each year, the CML is heavily used by teachers throughout Clark County as well as the UNLV campus community.
In addition to working with education majors, campus faculty, and local teachers, Melilli also invests her time in developing students who work as student employees at the Libraries, providing them with the skills they need to succeed. She is particularly proud of her work as co-chair of the Student Employment Leadership Group (SELG), which provides professional training workshops and research guidance to the more than 120 student workers at the University Libraries. “When we invest in them, not only do we get quality work, but it helps them grow and contributes to their academic success,” she said.
To learn more about how the UNLV University Libraries contribute to the success of their student employees, visit https://www.library.unlv.edu/econnections/2013/06/bridging-gap-–-unlv-libraries-adds-value-student-employment-experience.html.