Meet the Library Staff – May 2007

Phuong Trinh joined the library staff on October 10, 1988. She is currently a metadata specialist (which didn’t exist in 1988!). When Phuong first came on board all cataloging was done by hand. OCLC and basic CLAS was available, but the library information was kept on index cards – all changes, including volume additions, were handwritten onto each card by Phuong and her co-workers. Voice mail did not exist and answering machines were not widely used. The ground breaking of the Sherman Fairchild Library was almost 10 years away and the Dabney library would not be renovated for another 16 years. Professor Barclay Kamb was the Caltech Provost, an earthquake occurred in Pasadena in December 1988, and Starbucks caused a uproar by increasing the price for a cup of regular coffee by a nickel – to $1.60/cup!
Email was added in the early 1990’s, and Phuong’s job changed as additional technology meant the need for new computer skills. She received on-the-job training and now uses the web, CLAS, CODA, and other library databases to catalog all books and journals.


Phuong at her desk in Millikan.

Accompanying her parents, grandmother, and sister, Phuong arrived in the US from Viet Nam in 1986. They have been able to return to Viet Nam several times to visit friends and family members who still live there. Phuong learned English while in high school and attended PCC where she graduated with a degree in accounting. Her hobbies include going to the movies, cooking authentic Vietnamese dishes (which she brings in for library staff parties), and travel. A favorite destination spot for Phuong and her husband is Hawaii. They have chosen Waikiki as their vacation destination three times and plan on returning whenever they can.
Working in the library was Phuong’s first real job in this country! She thoroughly enjoys being with her co-workers (all have been in the department for at least 12 years) and looks forward to the ongoing challenges in the metadata department brought about by constantly changing technology.