LSA Technology Services InPerson: Meet Sanam Arab

Meet Sanam Arab, Manager of Programs and Patron Services for LSA Technology Services.
by Maria Laitan, Senior User Experience Specialist

Q: You’ve been with LSA since 2015, what is your favorite part of your job as the Manager of Programs and Patron Services for Technology Services?

A: My team!! They are fabulous experts in their fields. When I first started there were 3 staff members and a large number of students, but not a cohesive team. It took some time to build momentum and cohesiveness, but we are now a strong, amazing team of 8 full time employees and 25 students. The majority of the team is in Equipment Loan with 3 centers for equipment circulation. We have about 1,500 pieces of equipment in circulation.  We also have services for package receiving for the Angell complex, Exam Scan, Student Room Reservation, and maintaining content for the Classroom Database.

Q: What’s a typical day look like (now or before COVID)?

A: I have a lot of meetings and connect with the Loan team to address any issues that may come up that need immediate attention. Service is constantly moving and happening so no two days are alike. There is a lot of collaboration between team members.


Q: Your educational background is in art history, archives and records management, and museum studies.  Can you share how this expertise influences your work?

A: In the past I worked in the University Libraries collection access and management. In my current role the collection is equipment. My team and I provide access, development and management of loanable equipment. As part of management of our Centers like the LSA Addition and Media Center, we do space studies to understand how students use the space. We look at how each space is used and at different times of the day and we make improvements by what we observe. 


Q: As  the lead for the Technology Services Fall Reentry Plan Implementation what were the most important lessons that you learned during the process?

A: There was so much that was unknown that we had to have excellent communication and collaboration. We needed our entire organization to participate and that was the reason for our success. I took the lead for this project because my team has the most presence on campus with 3 open centers to serve our patrons. 


Q: Some might not know that you were one of the associate producers for the film ”Me, “The Other”” (2 minute trailer) and a co-moderator for a discussion panel. Can you tell us a little bit about the project?

A:  The film started as a community project to have a small documentary to talk about experiences of people and explore how we can connect as one human family. Over 200 volunteers came together to make this happen. The movie premiered in January 2018 at the Michigan Theatre. We had to start the movie late because there was still a line at the door, we were very close to selling out. I’ve done panels around the state and University of Michigan’s DEI office has sponsored an educational cut so any member of the U-M community can view it on U-M’s Diversity Website


Q: Outside of the office what would we find you doing?

A: I like to be active in the community and bring people together in a positive way. I’m on the Board of Directors of Michigan Museums Association and Chair the Dexter Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee. Part of being the chair for the Dexter Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee is to facilitate the annual Plein Air Festival where artists come from all over to paint Dexter. Once the artists have completed their work we have a sale at the festival.


Q: What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

A: I love to cook, bake, and relax. What people wouldn’t know about me is that I like to visit the catacombs in Paris, it’s one of my favorite spots. The first time I went it was after the tourist season and it was raining and I had never been. There were only 5 other people in line so I got to enjoy parts of the catacombs by myself, I highly recommend going if you’ve never been.  Another thing I do to relax is build lego sets. The biggest set I’ve assembled was Big Ben at over 4,000 pieces. Next up are 1989 Batwing, Apollo 11 Lunar Lander and Pirates of the Barracuda Bay Ship.

Release Date: 01/21/2021
Category: Innovate Newsletter
Tags: Technology Services; InPerson
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