Meet our Librarian Shayna Pekala


Shayna Pekala in Dublin 2019
Shayna Pekala in Dublin, summer 2019.

Q & A with Shayna

How did you start working in the library world? When I was an undergrad, I took an English class where we were required to visit the Rare Book Room for an assignment. I had never been in there before, and it was just mesmerizing. I remember being envious of the librarian who got to work there every day, so I began looking into careers in libraries and eventually graduate programs in library science. The next semester I got a job working in the university archives, submitted my grad school applications, and the rest is history.

What do you think is your favorite thing about being a librarian?
I like that every day is different. You never know what kind of questions you are going to get or what disciplines you are going to have to dig into.

What’s one thing you wish people knew about libraries or about being a librarian?
We don’t just check out books! We do so much more and we can help you in so many different ways, just come talk to us.

What’s one thing that you learned about Foley that has surprised you?

What’s surprised me is how many windows are in the library and how much natural light there is. It’s a really great study space. The students here are lucky because so many academic libraries don’t have such a nice, open space.

What’s one thing you wished the students knew about Foley?
The librarians and staff are great resources for anything—if you have a question you can come to us and we know how to connect you, that’s what librarians are good at.

What drew you to want to work for Gonzaga?
My fiancé got a job at Gonzaga, so that’s what initially exposed me to the university and Spokane. Eventually, I got to visit the campus and meet people in the library and other departments and everyone was so welcoming. I was really drawn to the culture here.

Where are you from?
I am originally from Corvallis, Oregon, but I most recently lived in Washington, D.C.

What do you like so far about living in Spokane?
There are a lot of things I like about living in Spokane. I love that it’s so easy to get places. I really like the riverfront area and how there are so many events held there. I like that nature is just a quick drive away and that everyone in Spokane is so nice! You can tell that I came here from in a big city (laughs).

What’s your favorite book?
I love The Handmaid’s Tale and I’m super excited for the sequel that was just published, The Testaments.

Do you have any pets?

Favorite hobbies?

I love cooking and yoga. I used to be really into aerial silks, but I took a break when I lived in D.C., and I’m hoping to get back into it in Spokane. Right now, though, most of my free time is spent planning our wedding, if you can call that a hobby!

Favorite restaurant in Spokane?
At the moment, it would probably be Gordy’s (which may be influenced by the fact that I live so close to it), but I love all food and all cuisines. There’s nothing I won’t eat!

Do you prefer coffee or tea?
Coffee. Definitely.