LPI Welcomes Library Assistant Elyssa Jasso
September 5, 2022
The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) recently welcomed a new library assistant, Elyssa Jasso. Elyssa is a graduate of Texas A&M University at Galveston, where she majored in maritime studies with a concentration in museology/museum studies. She is currently working on her Master of Science in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archives and special collections from Syracuse University.
Read LPI’s interview with Elyssa Jasso to learn more.
Elyssa in the Historic City of Toledo, Spain.
LPI: Why did you choose to pursue a career in library science?
EJ: While studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, I was conducting my personal genealogical research and made frequent visits to the Spanish National Archives. To my unfortunate surprise, most documents that would have been stored in libraries, archives, museums, etc., were burned and destroyed during revolutions and civil wars, or never existed because of traditions in spreading knowledge through oral histories. I found that I did not want others to come to informational dead ends and heartbreak as I did. I soon came to realize that if I wanted to be part of a wave of change, I needed to pursue a career in library and information science.
LPI: Did you have a mentor or another person in your life who was influential to your decision/career?
EJ: I would say that there was not one single person but a collective of people that influenced my decision to choose librarianship as my career path. My best friend Libbie Barnes and my undergraduate professors JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz and Kristin Josvoll were my greatest influences and support when it came to my career goals and encouraging me to find my passion. For that, I am truly thankful.
LPI: What do you like most about working in libraries?
EJ: I enjoy helping people. Libraries are made to serve their communities. Libraries are changing and becoming liminal spaces for people. What I like the most about our library is that not only is the physical library priceless, but so is the staff. When you work in a library, you become a representative for the institution and the collection, and I like that what you do is purposeful, and every day is a blessing.
LPI: What are you most looking forward to in your new role?/What’s the best part of your job so far?
EJ: I look forward to becoming a keeper of knowledge, a protector of lunar and planetary history and memories for future generations to come. The best part of my job is that I get to assist the staff scientists and student interns with their research needs and maintain our special space library! Our collection is beyond unique. It is rich in space science and varied in material not only for research professionals but for different demographics as well. I get to dip my toes into reference, circulation, cataloging, and archival projects. I am beyond grateful that my new role is exposed to all fields of librarianship, and I look forward to bringing the library into the future.
LPI: Which USRA value do you most identify with and why? (Passion, Partnerships, and Professionalism)
EJ: I most identify with the USRA value of passion. My passion for library work started when I was minoring in museum studies for my undergraduate degree. I found the historical and cultural importance of material culture and how I could play a role in preserving and disseminating books and information for future generations. I enjoy that I get to play an active part in science, technology, and education within my role here at the LPI.
LPI: What kind of hobbies or interests do you have outside of work?
EJ: I am an anthropologist at heart, so I very much enjoy traveling and immersing myself in different cultures. I hope to travel again soon!
I usually spend my free time reading historical fiction and true crime novels, playing cozy video games, watching anime, volunteering at history centers and museums, conducting research on my family ancestry, and spending quality time with my two cats, Sombra and Yolandi!