Eliana Meyer (M.F.A. ‘23) discovered a new passion for community programming as the Libraries’ 2021-2022 inaugural writer-in-residence. Meyer, a creative writing graduate student, has developed collaborative partnerships with library staff and CSU student organizations to cultivate inclusive displays and events for students, faculty and community members.
“I get to work with the great staff here, learn more about the programming that libraries do and interact with students,” Meyer said. “I think the personal connection is a big part of that – it always enriches a position, no matter where you are.”
A second-year literary fiction student, Meyer works collaboratively with the Libraries and the English department’s Creative Writing Program to promote the Creative Writing Reading Series, create book displays, lead writing workshops and develop activities for Morgan Library visitors.
As the Libraries’ writer-in-residence, Meyer has enjoyed cultivating activities and displays that speak to the breadth of identities in the CSU community.
“We’re thinking about what libraries mean to different people, since libraries are not always easy to approach. To open that up, we’re having our displays be diverse with authors of color and different identities. Having (displays) that reflect our student body is always rewarding.”
Among her favorite activities to plan? Creating a student coloring contest just in time for Halloween. The contest received over 150 submissions and helped give students a much-needed stress reliever during fall midterms.
“It really affects people in different ways,” Meyer said. “The contest helped some students put away their schoolwork for a bit, while others used it to engage their kids. It’s nice to see how it impacted different kinds of students, and how they benefit directly from what we provide.”
Meyer is currently planning a world building creative writing workshop open to all writers interested in deepening their portrayal of fantasy worlds. “It’s been super fun to unpack what world-building really means to people, since my background is in literary fiction,” she said.
“My idea is very different from gamers or people who are into sci-fi; the process of listening to my peers in my cohort and staff members with crazy rich experiences – some people who are writers, others who are graphic novelists – has helped me take in feedback and distill it into something useful for writers of all backgrounds and ages.”
Meyer hopes to carry her newfound knowledge of educational programming into her creative writing experience and beyond. After graduating, she hopes to teach students and organize conferences to bring together creative writers.
“I really want to pay it back to the community and would like to be involved in the educational world through teaching,” she said. “I’d like to create a writing conference wherever I end up. Besides the support, community and networking they offer, having someone there as a resource tell you how to turn something into a professional piece is really valuable.”
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The Library Student Employee Support fund was created to help us continue to provide students with meaningful employment and the opportunity to develop valuable workplace skills through their work at Morgan Library, like the opportunities at the Water Resources Archive.