Anna Weir is a publicist at UNP and is, after nearly a year at it, unsure if she is still a new employee or not. In “Staff Stories,” she interviews her newest coworkers to introduce them to the rest of the university press world.
Lacey Losh is a Graphic Designer & Community Organizer with a passion for the color orange.
Anna Weir: What is your current job at UNP, and how long have you held it?
Lacey Losh: I am a graphic designer and compositor for the journals department, and I’ve been here since Halloween.
AW: That’s right! On Halloween you came as… not a Husker fan?
LL: A ceiling fan! Kind of wanted to establish where I stood with sports right off the bat.
AW: I remember that. That was good.
LL: I loved being able to show up to my first day in costume. Took some of the pressure off everything, and since there were other things going on—costumes, the party—me being the new person wasn’t such a big deal.
AW: What brought you to UNP?
LL: Well, I’d been working for the University for about twelve years, in print services. How I got here was kind of a combination of things. I’d always respected the number and variety of books UNP published, and then I was able to make a connection to you guys through Rosemary Vestal last year. She helped make a huge donation of UNP books to Little Free Libraries around Nebraska, and I’ve been involved with Little Free Libraries for a while now. I was able to meet her in person, and she showed me around the place—anyway, it just seemed like a lovely place to work.
LL: Yes! That was one of my first books. I do some volunteer work with Equality Press—they do children’s history books that include history not always covered in traditional textbooks.
AW: How cool. What do you do there?
LL: Essentially, I do the same thing there as here, typesetting and design. I work with the same author for all the books but different illustrators.
AW: Which aspect of your job are you most excited about?
LL: I love typesetting journals with images and tables. Those aspects can change the whole layout of the design.
AW: I guess that’s not something I would have thought about, but that makes perfect sense.
LL: Yeah. Sometimes a page I’m typesetting will be just straight text. Sometimes it’s all French. Adding images makes the layout more visually interesting.
AW: What has surprised you most so far about working at UNP?
LL: I’d have to say the culture. I wasn’t expecting it to be so friendly and open! I’m making work friends, getting invited to social events—people are super helpful in answering questions and showing me around—it really is just a wonderful place to work.
AW: Agreed! It’s comfortable here. I think part of it is because we’re bookish people, even in journals! Book people are nice.
LL: Right! I felt the same working with Little Free Libraries. You can start up a conversation with a stranger about a book, and suddenly you have this thing in common that connects you.
AW: What advice do you have for people starting a career in publishing?
LL: Learn as much as you can. And if you need to, start small. Maybe try some volunteer work, or self-publishing, to get a feel for the process. If you’re not the most creative person, team up with someone who is. Figure out how to get that idea into a physical thing in your hands. It’s a really cool outcome.