I know a lot of you readers are new librarians or current students. And we all know it’s a tough market for emerging information professionals. That’s why I’m really happy to be able to share this interview with Kenley Neufeld of Santa Barbara City College. In this interview, Mr. Neufeld describes, the origins of the program. as well as why Santa Barbara City College Library is a great place to learn about academic librarianship and the top two things he looks for in applicants.
Can you give us a brief introduction to the Santa Barbara City College Library Residency Program?
Why was this program started? or Why does Santa Barbara City College Library continue to fund this program? What makes it important to your organization?
The program was started to meet a need to serve more students. Between 2005-2010 the number of students using the library more than doubled and yet we weren’t able to make any staff changes to meet this increased demand. We are an extremely busy library with very limited staff. We also wanted to keep our approach to serving students fresh and innovative. By bringing in new librarians on a rotating basis we can assure freshness.
I approached a community member to fund this position because the institution wasn’t able to add more librarians to our staff. As a leader in the library profession, as an award-winning library and award-winning college, it is the right thing for us to continue being innovative in how we provide services.
What are the main job duties of residents – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?
The duties of the resident are no different than our “regular” librarians. We try to expose the resident to as many aspects of library service as possible, assign them areas in which they have interest or strengths, and push the resident to take on leadership responsibilities.
Are residents paid? Do they get any other special benefits?
Yes, the residents are paid as part-time faculty. No other specific benefits.
What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?
We are one of the top community colleges and library in the country. We are exciting, innovative, and passionate about what we do. The view is spectacular.
What are the eligibility requirements?
What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?
The selection process is less formal than our regular job application process. Applicants must complete one of the online college applications and then are screened by the library director and other librarians for interview selection. The interview is performed by the library director and a selection is made.
Any tips for students? Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?
At this point we’re on a 2-year cycle and so the next vacancy will be in Summer 2014. Reviewing the criteria should provide the best indication on how to improve their chances.
When will the next residents be picked?
Anything else you want to tell us about the program, or about job hunting in general?
Communication and customer service skills are two of my top criteria when interviewing people. I want to see someone who is creative, smart, and has some vision on where to go.