Meet Michael Zubitis

mzubitis-001If you’ve ever needed help at the circulation desk, chances are you’ve been assisted by Michael Zubitis. Michael is the Assistant Supervisor of the Circulation department.

What does your job entail?
It seems my job entails different facets: There are the overdue and fine notices to review and send out, assigning and doing loose-leaf filing, reshelving library materials, assisting Susan Kezele with interlibrary loan requests, processing Summit books, helping students and other library patrons locate materials they need, answering directional questions, and many other tasks related to helping library procedures go smoothly.

How long have you been at SU and what are the most striking changes you’ve experienced over the years?
This February marks my 22nd year of working for the law school.  Of course, the move from Tacoma was the most striking change; it really was a life-changing experience for me as I had commuted from Seattle to Tacoma for 11 years (apologies to the “Tacoma people” who now know what I mean). Also, the dominance of computer usage in our work has certainly changed things immensely! In many ways, it has been for the good, but in some respects, technology has increased or expanded our jobs.

On an average day what types of people do you interact with in the library?
Naturally—our students. We often have alumni returning to do research. At circulation we are frequently assisting our law faculty with their research needs. From time to time, we welcome the “public visitor” and others who have specific legal research questions.

What are your favorite things to do when you are not working?
When weather allows, I really enjoy hiking, getting up into the mountains to enjoy the great natural beauty one finds there. On nice spring or summer days I enjoy going for long drives to visit interesting and beautiful places in the Northwest. On cold, rainy days I enjoy hunkering down with a good history book, cooking for friends, or watching a great, old movie on TV. I enjoy listening to music, especially classical music. I participate in my church choir where, we sing pieces composed by Palestrina, Vittoria, Byrd, Tallis and many others. I also am a member of my church’s “Schola Cantorum” which, from time to time, perform Gregorian chants which I find particularly uplifting and beautiful.

You often bring Latvian chocolates to share with the library patrons, what is your connection with Latvia?
My father was from Latvia so, of course, I’m interested in all things Latvian. I speak the language, at least enough to make myself understood. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Latvia twice, the first time in 1992, then in 2002. It would be nice if I could go back again sometime. It’s a beautiful, pastoral land with a violent, and yet interesting, history that many Americans don’t know about.

As the Assistant Circulation Supervisor, you’ve seen a fair share of interesting happenings at the library. What is one piece of advice you’d give to library users?
Communicate with us. We will try to our best to help you with your library usage. What are the specifics in your research? The more details we know, the better we can help you find it.