The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Keeping college libraries from Arlington to Dubai

By Karen Gavis/se news editor

A former SE Campus librarian has moved to Dubai, where he has found some things are different, but others never change.Woody Evans served as public services librarian on SE from 2006 to 2011. At the time, the library had about 12,000 students through the door each week, Evans said. He helped students find the information they needed through books and websites.

“It was an exhilarating, though frequently exhausting, gig,” he said. “I miss it.”

SE English adjunct Gregory Bade asked Evans what would motivate him to pack up his family and move halfway around the world. Bade figured Evans would use the trip as his version of a middle-age red Ferrari. But Evans’ reply was that he feared he was becoming too complacent.

Evans said he and his wife chose to move to Dubai because they “were not ready for permanent” and had a 4-year-old whom they wanted to see more of the world during his formative years.

“Having a little one helps with the culture shock,” he said. 

Evans said the move to Dubai offered a job, consistency for his family and opportunities to experience new things. So far, things have been good although there is some culture shock. Having a child helps because it forces him to get out and do things.

“I scream with more blue-veined, hand-banging-on-the-steering-wheel, ferocity here than I ever did on I-20,” he said.

Zayed University, where Evans works as a librarian, is divided with women attending during the day and men at night. The students he meets in the library are very bright and sometimes very serious.

Some things are very different than in Texas, Evans said. Questioning authority is something Americans consider normal.

“Don’t take it for granted,” he said. “Revel in it, practice it every day, get good at it, enjoy it and do not forget how to use this power.”

Evans said many things in Dubai are also similar such as a place of worship on every corner and hard-working immigrants happy to have a job.

“Teenagers are teenagers all over the world,” he said. “Phones, malls, shoes, trucks — these matter.”

Evans said he likes it in Dubai but misses his friends, family and, among other things, Half Price Books, as well as “SE and all the many good people I used to work with.”

SE assistant professor Orlando Bagcal said Evans was a great help to his department, particularly with the requisition of new textbooks for the construction management program.

“We were really sad to see him go,” SE public services librarian Jo Klemm said. “But we were excited for him to have this big adventure.”

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