Des Alaniz

Evolving Workforce Resident Librarian
When did you start in your current position?:
Jan 01, 2019
Years in LAUC: 

How did you become interested in librarianship?

My first job ever was in my community college library (LA Valley College represent!). I enjoyed the work and the space, but it wasn’t until I transferred to UC Davis and started an independent research project that I started seriously thinking about librarianship as a line of work. I double-majored in Political Science and Gender Studies, and my interests in how discourse shapes power and vice versa brought me to studying social movements, and how gay, lesbian, and trans activists articulated their struggles using the discourses of “citizenship” and civil rights. My research topic led me to the University Archives and Special Collections, and interacting with primary materials related to the period and groups I was studying really transformed how I understood research and the importance of a historical perspective for folks working toward social justice in the present. Social movement documentation and research justice have continued to be themes in my work in libraries and archives ever since.

What is your current or recent role in LAUC, either locally or systemwide?: 

I am currently serving as LAUC-SB Chapter Secretary.

Describe a recent or current project on which you are working.

Two exciting projects come to mind! My colleague Paige Sundstrom and I were recently granted approval to start a permanent zine collection in the Art & Architecture Collection here at UCSB, and I’m very excited to keep building programming around zines in the Library. Our goal is to have this be a collection centered on student-created works, and we are working this summer to order the first set of zines for the collection.

I am also working on a project with another colleague, Daisy Muralles, to digitize archival collections created by student activists and organizations here at UCSB to contribute to the Project STAND ( network. Our campus is blessed by the amazing work of the student-run A.S. Living History Project (, a group that uses archival collections to research the student activist histories of UCSB, and Daisy and I have been working to support these researchers as well as having standalone workshops in the archives open to all campus community members.

Describe your recent professional work outside of work, such as association work, writing, research, or anything else.

I have been working on a research project exploring how academic archivists document student activism, and the opportunities folx in these roles have to engage in instruction and outreach work. I am currently seeking IRB approval to relaunch this project at UCSB so stay tuned! I am also working on some writing projects about critical and anti-racist pedagogy, teaching with archives and using zines in my instruction work. Fianlly, I am co-facilitating a course with my colleague Dawn Stahura through Library Juice Academy on Critical Information Literacy in the one-shot instruction format, set to start on April 6.

What would you like the next big thing in libraries to be?

Radical solidarity with students, TA’s, and the contingent labor pools that our academic libraries rely on to function. I would like to see greater recognition and responsibility by academic folx in libraries and archives to meet our students where they are and educate ourselves on the issues that are impacting BIPOC, poor and LGBTQ folx in and outside of academia. The recent COLA Protests and strikes spreading across the UC system are an opportunity for librarians and info workers of all kinds to lend our expertise and show up for our colleagues and students.

Complete this statement: "One surprising fact about me is...”

I love professional wrestling!

Please note your website or social media site, if you would like to share

I would rather actually point folks to resources on the current COLA protest and strikes spreading throughout the UC system: and provide some excellent FAQ's and resources for folks interested in learning more about this movement.