The DeWitt Library is known to be “Common Grounds” for the students all over campus. It serves as a place to study, hangout with friends and also a place to go to avoid studying. For Sara Huyser, the DeWitt Library is a place to build relationships with the students and faculty at Northwestern.
Huyser, who is in the newly created position titled Outreach and Engagement Specialist, has worked at NW full-time for nearly seven years. For the past six years, Huyser was the Access Services Coordinator. She has worked part-time two years prior as the coordinator for the Winter English Program for high school Japanese students.
“My job is to help students with research, teach classes and create outreach events to promote the library,” Huyser said. “A fun component to my job is working with area junior and senior high students on history projects and World War II programming.”
If you walk around the library and notice an exhibit, Huyser has created it.
Junior Molly Ryan is one of the students who works at the circulation desk in the library. Ryan has gotten to know Huyser when she first started working at the desk in the fall of 2020.
“Sara and I have gotten to connect through our love for reading and also our love for soccer,” Ryan said.
Ryan admires Sara’s ability to be upbeat at 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning, and the wisdom Huyser shares with others.
“Coming into work to a beautiful building with a talented group of people is something I truly enjoy,” Huyser said. “My co-workers are intelligent, hard-working, creative and very supportive. They are pretty witty, so I get to laugh a lot”.
Huyser finds that her job is a perfect blend of time spent to build relationships with students and faculty, as well as challenge herself to learn and think about how the library can best serve the NW community.
In Huyser’s spare time, she volunteers at the Dutch American Heritage Museum. Having a Master’s degree in American History and a museum background makes her a great asset to the museum.
“I am primarily responsible for planning the exhibit space and creating exhibits using artifacts we have in the museum,” Huyser said. “I have found that doing local history is very rewarding and it is feels good to give something substantial back to the community.”
At the Tulip Festival last year, the museum unveiled new exhibits that she helped create.
“At this year’s Tulip Festival, we will unveil new military exhibits in the Annex, a building on the property,” Huyser said. “The museum is run only on volunteers and yet we are creating a very professional, high quality local museum. It has taken a lot of time to pull it off, but I am very proud of what the museum board has accomplished.”
Currently, Huyser is completing her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Emporia State.
“For every class that I have taken, I try to apply what I learn to my job,” Huyser said. “Once I graduate this summer, I will become a full librarian at NW.”
With great anticipation, NW is eager to have Huyser serve as a librarian at the DeWitt Library, to serve the students, faculty and the community.