Student Spotlight: Julia Rucker

Photo Credit: Julia Rucker and her service dog, Carson, work the ASKus Desk in Love Library South.
Wed, 10/18/2023 - 12:21

Major: English (creative writing)

Minor: Film

Year: Junior

The ASKus desk in Love Library’s South lobby presents a great place to observe people and learn how they tick according to Julia Rucker, a junior English major with a creative writing specialization and minor in film. She started working at the ASKus Desk for the University Libraries August 2021. Her job as a student library assistant, in part, provides her with some preparation to become a writer of horror fiction and screenplays.

“Working for the Libraries brings me in contact with a lot of people and gives me an opportunity to learn about them,” Rucker explained, “Someday, they may be characters in my stories.”

When asked how her interest in horror began, Rucker explained her mother hooked her on the television show The X Files when she was a child.

“My interest is in the weird and unexplained,” Rucker explained, “I prefer the psychological and paranormal horror over slasher type horror.”

She is a fan of classic horror and sci-fi films and books, and her favorite authors include Stephen King and Dean Koontz. She read her first novel by King, Firestarter, at age 10. Rucker is currently writing a novel of her own featuring a female detective protagonist, amnesia, cult abductions, and murder.

The other factor that brings Rucker in contact with a lot of people is her 3-year-old service dog, Carson, who acts as her visual guide. Carson gets a lot of attention from library users because they don’t understand Carson is working.

“The Libraries staff love having Carson on the job and we consider him part of the staff,” said Julie Kirk, User Services Operations Supervisor, and Rucker’s supervisor.

According to Kirk, the Libraries staff posted signs asking library users not to pet Carson while assisting Rucker. He is considered medical equipment and distracting him is like tampering with medical equipment. The interest in Carson can be overwhelming according to Rucker.

“People see a dog and want to visit,” explained Rucker on the downside of being in a visible position at the ASKus desk. Yet Carson’s presence in the Libraries creates an opportunity to educate people about service dogs. Most importantly, Carson provides Rucker with added inspiration in environments made for innovative experiences.