New librarians come to Wilson

Shelley Urbizagastegui is one of two new librarians to start at the Wilson Library this year. She, along with new colleague Andre Ambrus, will assist students with school assignments, research and senior projects. / photo by Leah Heagy
Shelley Urbizagastegui is one of two new librarians to start at the Wilson Library this year. She, along with new colleague Andre Ambrus, will assist students with school assignments, research and senior projects. / photo by Leah Heagy

The University of La Verne has welcomed two new librarians to the Elvin and Betty Wilson Library to help enrich the academic life of students.

Andre Ambrus and Shelley Urbizagastegui began their new librarian positions Sept. 2.

Although they are new to the campus, they feel like they fit well in the ULV academic culture.

“I have felt extremely happy,” Urbizagastegui said. “Everybody has been so great.”

Both bring much experience and knowledge.

Urbizagastegui earned an undergraduate degree in English with a minor in Spanish, and she furthered her academic career by obtaining a master’s degree in library science from the University of Pittsburgh.

She worked as a librarian for 15 years at Whittier College. She also worked as a student adviser to Native American students.

“Whittier College functions almost like the University of La Verne,” Urbizagastegui said.

Ambrus also has an experienced background. He worked full-time as a librarian at California Institute of the Arts and part-time at Cal State Northridge. He received an undergraduate degree in comparative literature, and he went on to earn a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“It prepared me to become an academic librarian,” Ambrus said.

Both librarians are familiar with a variety of book genres. Ambrus enjoys reading books about religion, especially Buddhism, philosophy and alternate healing. Urbizagaste­gui enjoys reading Native American fiction and non-fiction books.

Urbizagastegui said she left Whittier College and came to work at ULV because of the school’s modern and innovative library. She credits the University with having a great reputation and excellent graduate programs. Urbizagastegui also said she likes how ULV allows librarians to interact with students on a one-on-one basis.

“The diversity is so great,” she said.

Ambrus decided to join La Verne’s library faculty and leave his previous job because he found out that there were more opportunities to work with faculty members at ULV.

“There are more subject areas to work with at this campus,” Ambrus said.

Ambrus and Urbizagastegui both believe that ULV’s library staff include a group of great individuals.

Switching jobs can sometimes be scary and overwhelming. However, beginning a new job with someone else that is also new to the faculty can make the transition much easier.

“It is nice to have a new colleague to start with,” Ambrus said.

Librarians act as academic research leaders for both students and professors.

“We get really excited about helping the students,” Librarian and Associate Professor Donna Bentley said. She noted that students who make contact with the librarians usually see a direct benefit in their class work.

Librarians work with undergraduate and graduate students from all of ULV’s campuses, including the Ventura and Orange County locations. They assist students with term papers, senior projects and dissertations.

“We travel out to the distant campuses on Saturday mornings or in the evening,” Bentley said about their additional responsibilities on other campuses.

When there are many students in need of help, it can become stressful for librarians, said Bentley. The assistance of Ambrus and Urbizagastegui is going to be greatly appreciated in the upcoming months when students come in with questions and need help.

“I am really excited to meet the students and faculty,” Urbizagastegui said. “I look forward to working collaboratively in the upcoming years.”

Natalie Veissalov can be reached at

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