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Chauncey’s Champion Someone making a difference.

Kimbel Library staff member would “give the shirt off his own back” to help others

by Nicole Pippo Bookmark and Share
Marcus Holmes (kneeling, center) and the Kimbel Library Access Services Department Staff at the Feel the Teal 5-year anniversary celebration on June 19, 2018 on the patio of Atheneum Hall.
Marcus Holmes (kneeling, center) and the Kimbel Library Access Services Department Staff at the Feel the Teal 5-year anniversary celebration on June 19, 2018 on the patio of Atheneum Hall.

Marcus Holmes, access services specialist in Kimbel Library and Bryan Information Commons at Coastal Carolina University, has a passion for assisting people — a valuable asset for his work at the library's help desk.

In February 2018, a campus tour came through the library, and a younger brother of a prospective student was in desperate need of a belt. The boy’s mother even tried to staple the child’s pants to reduce the waist size.

“[Without hesitating,] Marcus didn’t even raise his head, he simply reached down to his own waist and pulled his belt off,” said Bill Carter, Kimbel Library’s access services supervisor. “Only a true Chauncey’s Champion would be willing to give the belt off his own pants to assist a prospective CCU family, to a stranger.”

Carter nominated him as a Chauncey’s Champion after noticing how Holmes is always eager to be a helping hand. “We’ve all heard about the type of person willing to give the shirt off his or her own back to help another,” Carter said. “Marcus exemplifies service excellence on a daily basis.”

“I didn’t need [the belt] to hold my pants up; plus, I have more belts,” said Holmes. “It was a perfect fit, and they were so thankful and so happy. And I was happy I was able to assist somebody.”

Opportunities like these are what makes Holmes love his work. “The whole library staff has the same mentality of trying their best to assist somebody, and if we can’t, we try our best to find somebody who can help,” said Holmes.

Holmes started working in the library as a student assistant in January 2014. He graduated in December 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. Although Holmes never planned on having a job in a library, he realized as a student assistant that he enjoyed helping people.

“He was very professional. I knew even before the interview that I wanted to hire him as a student assistant,” said Carter, who has been working for the library for seven years. When the access services specialist position opened the following year, it was a smooth transition for Holmes.

“I had earned my bachelor's degree, which was a qualification for the job, and when the position became available the following year, I applied and they hired me. It was perfect.”

Holmes can typically be found at the library’s help desk, assisting students, faculty and community patrons with questions they have about computers, projects and researching. He also assists with CCU’s Interlibrary Loan services and PASCAL Delivers services. “I love to be able to have information and then show someone else how to find the information themselves,” said Holmes.

Born in Manhattan, Holmes moved to Conway with his family for a few years during his childhood and lived with his great-grandmother. He enrolled in classes at Coastal in 2013. During his time as student assistant in Kimbel Library, he refined his knowledge of library skills and honed his customer service abilities, and he was given privileges from his supervisors to train other student assistants.

In the years prior to attending Coastal, Holmes worked for a home health company that assisted the elderly. Holmes decided to leave that job and earn a bachelor’s degree to ensure a better future.

Holmes says that interacting with a diverse group of patrons is one of the best parts of his job. “You get to talk to people and learn about their lives,” he said.

Also, Holmes appreciates how his coworkers make the work environment in the library very pleasant. He rarely feels overwhelmed with his workload because they are always willing to help him out. “It’s a joy to come to work because you’re not going to one of those jobs where no one helps you. You don’t have that stress of going to a job and feeling like you can’t relate to your coworkers.”

Holmes lives in Myrtle Beach with his aunt, with whom he is very close. His best friend, Nikki, lives down the road from him, and he loves spending time with her and her baby. When he’s not working, he can likely be found watching ’70s and ’80s movies, going to the beach and shopping with friends.

This coming spring semester, Holmes plans to begin taking night classes to earn a master’s degree in either clinical psychology or higher education administration. Ultimately, Holmes sees himself as “doing a lot of instruction” because of his calling to teach students. “I just have to decide which path I want to start on right now, but I could eventually do both,” he said. 

Chauncey’s Service Excellence Champions are University employees (faculty or staff) who perform service-oriented actions that go above and beyond their job duties and that meet at least one dimension of service quality. These employees are recognized for outstanding performance and embody the Feel the Teal initiative. To nominate someone for Chauncey’s Champion, visit coastal.edu/feeltheteal, fill out the form and submit it. Approved nominees will receive an exclusive Chauncey’s Champion gift as well as consideration for additional recognition. View all the Chauncey’s Champions at coastal.edu/feeltheteal/champions/champs.php.


 

Related Photos

Marcus poses with his supervisor, Jennifer Hughes, during a staff outing to El Patio in summer 2017. In fall 2014, Marcus’ supervisors honored him with the Student Assistant Award. Marcus (back row, third from right) earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from CCU in December 2016. In this photo from the fall of 2016, his psychology 497 class wears T-shirts that read, “We put the psycho in psychology.” Marcus lives in Conway with his Aunt Wanda (right). The two took a photo with the captain of the Carnival cruise ship, Ecstasy, during a cruise to the Bahamas this past February. Marcus’ best friend, Nikki, is his neighbor. This photo was taken this past summer at a wedding at the Cooper House in Myrtle Beach. Marcus Holmes (kneeling, center) and the Kimbel Library Access Services Department Staff at the Feel the Teal 5-year anniversary celebration on June 19, 2018 on the patio of Atheneum Hall.
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