At the Leatherby Libraries, we have an interview series highlighting the work our amazing librarians accomplish each day. These interviews help inform the community about all the different areas of the library and all the services we have! Essraa Nawar, our Development Librarian, was kind enough to answer some questions for us!
1. What is your name and title?
Development Librarian and Chair of the Arts, Exhibits and Events committee
2. In what department of the Leatherby Libraries do you work?
Library Administration
3. How long have you been at Chapman University?
Almost 10 years; I started as a volunteer working on a children’s book collection and moved my way up in library administration after getting my Masters in leadership development from Brandman University and then my Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State University after receiving the Ken Haycock Award for Professional Promise.
4. What is your job in a nutshell?
I have been the Development Librarian – Head of Library Development and Marketing – and the Chair of the Arts, Exhibits and Events Committee at the Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University, California, since 2009, where I helped raise over 5 million dollars in support of the Libraries at Chapman University through Gifts in Kind and Cash Gifts. I also supervise the marketing and events team that helps bring events, exhibits, and programs to life as well as manage all the outreach and marketing efforts. In addition to this role, I also practice librarianship through teaching information literacy classes and conducting bibliographic instruction sessions to students in the religious studies department and recently added the business school to my portfolio.   Over the years, I co-curated the exhibits “Empowering Muslim Women,” “Egypt the Revolution Continues,”  “ A Country called Syria,” and many more!

My favorite part of my job is hiring and mentoring students to work in the libraries. I love seeing them grow and become independent individuals with more skills and become ready for the real world.

5. Have you held any jobs at other universities or libraries?
Yes, I am proud to say that I worked as a Senior Acquisitions and Gifts specialist at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt for five years. This is when I fell in love with libraries and librarianship.
6. What are your passions/interests outside of work?
I enjoy traveling, reading, listening to music, spending time with my husband who is a Chapman University professor as well as spending time with my three kids who are all thriving in their own athletic and artistic endeavors. My kids are Mohamed 16, Seif 15, and Hania 9. Watching them grown warms my heart and makes me proud.
7. Where did you get your degree?
I received my Bachelor’s degree in commerce with an emphasis in accounting from Alexandria University, Egypt (2002). I also hold an MBA from the American Management & Business Administration Institute, Cambridge, MA (2005), a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) from Brandman University (2015), California, and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) at San Jose State University, California (2017). I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in educational leadership in the next few years.
8. Where is your hometown?
Lake Forest, California but I was born in Alexandria, Egypt.
9. What is the last book you read, or the last book you loved?
Becoming by Michelle Obama, and currently reading Educated by Tara Westover. I checked both out from our Leatherby Libraries!
10. Any fun facts about yourself?
I am not sure if this is funny but definitely an exciting and proud moment of my life. I spoke at a TEDx conference in 2015 at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, and that talk has been watched over 8,000 times so far. Since then, I have been asked to speak at many other places all over the world spreading the message of peace, diversity, breaking stereotypes and changing the narratives of how people see minorities, women, and working moms.