5 Questions with an Overnight Davidson Library Custodian


Montana MacLachlan
Staff Writer
Photo by Michelle Maldonado

This week, The Bottom Line took a peak into the nightly responsibilities of library workers during the graveyard shift. Jason Diaz, 40, is an overnight custodian at University of California, Santa Barbara’s Davidson Library. Diaz arrives to work just before midnight and leaves at 8 A.M. the next day.

1. How long have you been an overnight custodian at the library?

Two months, so I am relatively new here. I moved to Goleta from Colombia a few months ago, and take English classes at City College during the day. When I first began, it was challenging but now I have a set routine.


2. What is the best part of your job?

The best part is that I have made a lot of friends through this job, and people are typically pretty friendly. UCSB is a beautiful campus, on the inside and out.

As people might think, the overnight shift is not that bad. I sleep from 5 P.M. to 10:30 P.M. You get used to it and adjust to a schedule. I actually prefer the graveyard shift because there are so many people around during the day. That would be more stressful. At night there is less traffic.


3. What is the worst part of your job?

The toughest part is cleaning up after students. We have scheduled responsibilities to complete each night. There is one staff worker assigned to clean each floor, and I am assigned to the first. I clean the hallways, security office area, computers, tables, vacuum, wash the floors, take out the trash, and clean the bathrooms, spending a few hours on each section. When students leave garbage, pens and pencils, water bottles, and paper, it adds to our list of responsibilities for the evening.


4. What can we do to make your job easier?

Sometimes I will intentionally make myself visible to students while I’m cleaning, in hopes that seeing me will prompt them to clean up after themselves. However, this tactic seldom works. A lot of students are pretty dirty, even when they see us they do not always consider to clean up their mess.

I definitely understand students are stressing, some are even here all throughout the night, but I am also stressing because I am at work. They are always very focused, so I will always do my job. I just wish it would be easier to clean.


5. What advice do you have for students? 

I would say to be more organized. The students all look so young, and are often disorganized. Also try not to fall asleep!