Chasity Gragg said she should have known she was destined to become a librarian.
After all, as only a fifth grader, she joined her school’s library club.
“Most kids joined the club because they took us for ice cream at the end of the year,” she said. “I joined because I loved being in the library.”
Gragg, who now works as a Library support associate in collections assessment and access in Alden Library, was named the University’s classified employee of the month in February.
Each month, the Classified Senate selects an employee, who sets high standards for excellence and innovation, to receive the honor.
“It was really nice to be picked,” she said. “We have a lot of the classified employees here who do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, so it is really good to be noticed.”
Comments from staff who nominated Gragg included statements such as, “Over and over again, Chasity demonstrates that the students, faculty and staff who use the Library’s resources and services are the reason we are here. She is the poster child for patience when dealing with stressed-out individuals,” and “Chasity is an amazing person to work alongside. She is one of those people you can tell is just meant to work at Alden. Patrons so often come in asking specifically for her, which is a testament to the above and beyond service she provides.”
Gragg, who began working full time at Alden Library almost five years ago, received her graduate degree in library and information science at Kent State University after receiving her bachelor degree from OHIO—where she worked as a library assistant at Alden. Before joining the staff at Alden full time, Gragg worked in the University library system in nearby Chilicothe, close to where she grew up.
Today, Gragg splits her time between the second and fourth floor desks, helping student workers and patrons with a variety of questions. In her remaining time, she works with circulation functions, patron account issues and OhioLINK resources.
“I am one of those people who tries to know a little bit about everything that is going on around here, so even if it’s not something I specifically work with, I still try to help you get the answer,” she said.
When she began working at Alden Library, she worked during the night, which she said allowed her to learn the Libraries’ services. However, upon her transition to a daytime position, she said she had more opportunity to interact with students, now her favorite part of the job.
“I like being here during the day, because although there were students here at night, sometimes they are just here to use the space, whereas during the day they are more likely to interact with us and ask us questions,” she said. “I like to have that moment in which I see people wandering around out here, and they have this look on their face, and you can tell that they need something but they are not sure who to ask. I always try to engage that person.Students are why we are here.”
Gragg said although she is thrilled to be recognized for her past work for the Libraries, she hopes to continue to help with the ever-changing Library atmosphere.
“I would love to continue to grow with Alden and librarianship in general,” she said. “Libraries are, of course, changing. They have even changed in the time from when I was a student assistant until now, so I am pretty excited to see where we go and where the profession goes.”