Humans of JCU: Lauren Nickols


Grace Sherban

Lauren Nickols standing in her signature position behind the Grasselli Library Help Desk

Grace Sherban, Campus Editor

Like many areas on campus, the Grasselli Library is currently in the process of being remodeled. Nevertheless, one thing that remains consistent despite the renovations is the unwavering dedication of the staff members that work within its walls. One of these integral staff members who keeps the library operational through the construction is none other than Lauren Nickols. 

Lauren Nickols has been working at the Grasselli Library for five and a half years as an Access Services Associate based out of the Help Desk on the second floor. However, when she began her undergraduate education at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH , she majored in education. 

Nickols told The Carroll News, “I actually went to Baldwin Wallace originally for education [and] went two years into the program. [I] flipped to English and spent the next three years finishing up undergrad in English.”

Around the time Nickols finished her undergraduate degree, she made the choice to attend graduate school. “During this time, I decided I wanted to go to library school, so I have a Masters in Library Information Science.” 

She noted the competitive nature of finding a job within the library field after obtaining her masters, especially in her hometown, the nationally recognized Cuyahoga County Library System. 

“I got stuck in the loop of ‘you need this many years of experience to get the job’, but you can’t get that many years experience because you can’t get the job. So when I got the interview here, I was working on a summer internship of library experience.” 

The Head of Access Services, Adam Green, told TCN “Lauren is a very important part of the Library Team. As one of our two night-time and weekend supervisors, Lauren provides vital assistance to the campus community. She truly cares about helping people and her expertise allows her to do this on a daily basis. And through seasonal decorations, a question of the week and other fun activities, she definitely creates an enjoyable environment for our 25 student workers.”

After working at John Carroll for over five years, Nickols commented on how she appreciates the variety of her day to day responsibilities. “I like that I come in here and never know what I’m going to be helping students with. I could do Interlibrary Loan OhioLINK, weeding, shelving, shelf reading, processing new books, reading older books, helping with research questions, working with a multitude of personalities and interests. I like that it’s different.”

Claire Schuppel ‘24, Arts & Life Editor and Grasselli Library employee, says, “Every time I walk into work and I am greeted by a smile from Lauren, I know that shift is going to be a good one. I always feel comfortable talking to her as she lends a helpful ear. I can’t imagine Grasselli without her.” 

Emma Arrighi ‘25 told TCN, “One of my favorite parts of my experience at John Carroll is working at the library. As my supervisor, Lauren is a big part of the reason I have so much fun at work.”

When Lauren isn’t working at Grasselli, she enjoys watching movies, reading, writing, embroidering and attending Renaissance Faires and sci-fi conventions. In the future, she hopes to publish one of her original stories. 

Despite spending most of her time surrounded by books, Lauren is an avid reader who always brings a book to work. As of the publication of this article, she is currently reading “Crown Chasers” by Rebecca Coffindaffer. 

Upon reflecting on her time behind the Help Desk, Lauren hopes that she leaves a greater impact on every student that walks through the doors of the Grasselli Library. “I want students to know that I was a helpful person. The students make it a joy to come here. I hope they enjoy coming to work with me.” 

After hearing from staff and students alike, it is safe to say that Lauren has made a tangible impact for the better on the JCU community.