An Interview with Mario Pamplona

June 16, 2020
Josh Schneider
Mario Pamplona

The following is an interview with Mario Pamplona, Operations Manager for Library Privileges at Stanford Libraries. Mario has collaborated with Stanford Archives over the past several months on the development of LibGuides, including the recently published Black Students at Stanford University LibGuide.

How did you create the “Black Students at Stanford University” Libguide?

I started with a learning outcome that addressed a specific information need, and juxtaposed that with a creative user journey that explored the history of Black Students at Stanford University. The top level headings were created based on the learning outcome and I used some of the resources that were previously created by University Archives and added those to the guide. I also researched some primary and secondary sources relating to the history of Black students at Stanford and added some of those I thought would be useful for library users. I tried to make the guide as interactive as possible, but always keeping in mind clarity and imagining content delivery from the user perspective. That being said, I also had some help editing and testing the LibGuide, which is simply good practice, but it also illuminated areas where improvement was needed.

How did you get interested in LibGuides?

Well, I was first introduced to the Springshare platform when I used a 30-day free trial of the application named LibCal. LibCal is a scheduling application that eases the user experience to create a room and item reservation as well as scheduling library hours. However, I noticed right away the potential LibGuides had to connect users to library resources and at the same time improve the user experience at any library. I also became quite interested in learning tech that many libraries had been implementing.

How did you learn to use LibGuides?

Stanford Libraries actually requires that all LibGuides users take a training course before they are able to utilize the platform. It was an intense, but short course that went over how to plan, build, create, assess and maintain your guide. The most interesting topic that I learned from the course was how to create a great learning outcome, but at same time having a good sense of delivering content to the user. A big thanks to Ali Krogman and Zac Painter who were great instructors of the Stanford Libraries LibGuides best practices course! 

How did school help with LibGuides?

I’m currently enrolled at San Jose State University’s MLIS program. I also recently completed a user experience course that taught me a lot of how to evaluate library resources from the user perspective. The attention span of the user is finite and a resource that should not be wasted by the library professional. But I was able to utilize the best practices I learned from the course to the LibGuide and the final results I believe show this.

Final Thoughts?

My parents are immigrants (turned U.S. citizens), who have always been hard workers and respectable individuals. I have always believed that meant something extremely positive in my life. As a result, my belief and wish is that academia publish as much information possible about minorities and give access to that information to as many users as possible. One of the goals in my life is to stay true to this mentality and this made the completion of the Black Students at Stanford University LibGuide possible and a pleasure to create.

A warm thank you to Josh Schneider and Presley Hubschmitt for giving me the opportunity to work with them on this project. Also, thank you to all of the Department of Special Collections & University Archives who significantly helped me edit and constantly helped to improve this LibGuide. And thank you to Rebecca Pernell for allowing me to grow both as a student and an employee at Stanford.