Q&A with Maureen Rust

Q&A with Maureen Rust

Stephanie Davison, Staff Reporter

Meet Maureen Rust, CWU’S Student Engagement and Community Outreach Librarian who, along with the Central Washington University Libraries Access Services, has recently been awarded with the 2021 Outstanding Service Award by the Washington Library Association. Rust aims to encourage cultural conversation and community dialogue within both CWU and Ellensburg.

Q: What drew you to your career as a Student Engagement and Community Outreach Librarian? 

A: I grew up in Ellensburg and moved away years ago, returning regularly to visit friends and family, until I relocated permanently in 2014. I started my CWU career as a reference and instruction librarian and applied for the SECO position when it was posted in 2015. Before returning to Ellensburg, I was a school librarian at a 6-12 grade secondary school in Connecticut. I enjoy working with students of all ages and was attracted to the position for its direct relationship with both students and campus student success partners. Having grown up in Ellensburg, I also knew of the strong community networks that are supportive of service and literacy efforts. 

Q: What inspired the idea of hosting Cultural Conversations at the CWU library? 

A: I was advisor for the campus Rotaract club from 2016-2019. Rotaract is a service organization. The club president at the time, a CWU student, attended a leadership conference in Seattle and came back very enthusiastic about the Cultural Conversation program initiated by the City of Bellevue. We saw it as a good fit for our campus and community. These quarterly programs provide opportunities to bring folks together to make new friends, to learn about other cultures, and to understand the experience of immigrating to the Ellensburg community.

Q: How can CWU better connect with the Ellensburg community? 

A: ​CWU currently does a good job of connecting with the community, bringing students and businesses together with activities like Bite of the ‘Burg and service projects such as the fall and spring downtown beautification and the Yakima River clean-up. The Cultural Conversations program is a joint effort between CWU Libraries, Office for International Studies and Programs, and the Ellensburg Public Library. Continuing to develop these types of collaborative programs can only help to bring the campus and community closer.

Q: Where is your favorite place you’ve travelled to? 

A: ​I’m terrible at narrowing down my favorite places to visit – they can vary so greatly, each with its own unique experiences. Just before COVID hit I bought a 1997 13′ Scamp trailer and have been enjoying exploring the Pacific Northwest with my doodle, Ziggy, visiting parts of Oregon and Washington I have either never been to, or haven’t visited in years. We live in an amazingly beautiful and varied state.

Q: What is your favorite movie? 

​A: So many to choose from! For comedy it’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail. For serious films, it’s a toss-up between Reds and The Constant Gardener. And for something in-between it’s In Bruges.