Meet our Staff: Hawo Guyo

Image of a young woman of color with a headscarf, possibly in a restaurant)
(Image courtesy of Hawo Guyo)
  • What did you major in/are you majoring in at UWT? I am majoring in Psychology.
  • What drew you to working in libraries? Knowing how impactful libraries were in providing me with the resources that helped me find security within myself drew me to work in libraries. You see, I am no stranger to the power of libraries. They have always been my safe haven and once I stepped foot inside of a library I knew I would leave happier than I came in. As a little girl I had trouble expressing my emotions and starting conversations with kids my own age so reading became an escape for me and my public library in turn became my second home. When I picked up a book and became invested in the storyline, it was as if nothing else mattered. My inability to hold a conversation without making an untimely joke didn’t matter, my strange obsession with mermaids didn’t matter, I genuinely mean it when I say “nothing else mattered” when I read. I could just be me and enjoy the company of the characters in the book. At first, I used to think it was sad how much I preferred the company of books over the company of other human beings but looking back on my childhood, it was my love of reading that helped me find my voice and ultimately the courage to express myself to the world. Without my public library I can honestly say I don’t know who I would be today.
  • What parts of your job are you most excited about? As much as I love interacting with patrons and putting a book in someone’s hand that has longed for it, scanning in items for the hold shelf is the part of my job that I am most excited about. A variety of books come my way and I enjoy seeing the different books that could very well better a patron’s life (even if they are getting it for a class). I also enjoy processing hold items because it is where I find new books to add to my reading list. I’m not sure if I should be admitting this but I can’t stress the amount of times I have paused mid-processing to read the synopsis of a book. I just can’t help myself. When I see a book that looks intriguing, I have to know what it’s about and find out if it’s worth checking out myself.
  • Have you read anything good lately? I am currently reading We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out by Andrea Pino and Annie E. Clark and it is a book I highly recommend to all. I found this book randomly when I was shelving (one of the many benefits of working in a library) and I cannot put into words how touching it is reading this book. It is definitely a book that you have to make sure you’re in the right place emotionally to read but doing so is worth it.
  • Any advice for UWT students? Live your life. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of exams, assignments and labs but having a sense of enjoyment in life is necessary to get through school. The times I have been the happiest in my four years at UWT was when I allowed myself to take a break from my academic responsibilities, read for fun, watch something just because I wanted to and simply be present in my life. I’m not advocating for procrastination just the cessation of only living in the future of what needs to be done. Trust your ability to compete your work on time and breathe.

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