California Proves Perfect Match for New Librarian
By Tim Meehan
Growing up in Georgia, Holly Hampton dreamed of living in California at an early age.
However, as she began to grow into a career as a librarian, she accepted that her plan was not going to come to fruition. In fact, her career was moving in the opposite direction as a future in Florida seemed likely.
That’s when Cal State San Marcos stepped in and changed her life forever.
A librarian at Clayton State University in Georgia at the time, a job posting for the head of user services/user experience librarian at CSUSM caught her eye. Never having stepped foot in the state of California, she headed west for an interview and immediately fell in love.
“My first impression of the campus was that it was refreshing, clean and modern,” Hampton said. “I had an opportunity to see that the campus is growing both in size and in spirit as I observed throughout the day how being a part of a growing institution has created a community with a sense of pride and responsibility, knowing that they have the privilege of contributing to that growth.”
It ended up being a perfect match – Hampton’s California Dreamin’ desire and CSUSM’s need for a qualified, creative and dynamic new member of the library.
Hampton has only been in the job for a few months, but she’s already amazed by the level of care on campus.
“I have been in awe of the way students’ needs – all of their needs – have been addressed here at CSUSM,” said Hampton, who has a Master of Library and Information Science from Valdosta State University. “From offering students opportunities to connect with events such as the Weeks of Welcome, encouraging students to participate in leadership opportunities such as ASI, coordinating and facilitating activities outside of the classroom through Campus Recreation’s Outdoor Adventures, and ensuring students have access to the resources they need to succeed through offices, programs, and services like the Kellogg Library, Cougar Care Network and Counseling Services. CSUSM has managed to do all of this while still maintaining the high quality and standard of education that students look for.”
The CSUSM Library has become a hub of energy and intellectual curiosity on campus. Hampton’s role is to continue to access and address users’ experiences with the library. While in the past, a library typically existed as a resource for published material, the CSUSM library staff recognizes that their roles are always changing and growing.
Hampton’s job is to adapt to the changing needs of the library’s users, from students to faculty to the community as a whole.
“There are a lot of areas of library and information science that have been studied,” said Hampton, who received a bachelor’s in English with a concentration in writing and is an accomplished editor. “But thanks to the constantly changing nature of the field and the opportunities for innovation available to us today as technology improves and social norms and views shift, there are also areas that are opening up as potential areas of research. I also hope to share my unique perspective as a minority in the field in order to fight for change that will encourage more minorities to enter the library science field.”
It has been a few months, but life in California for Hampton and her son has already been a dream come true.
“There is so much potential in user services for change that will positively affect library users in this day and age,” she said. “I cannot wait to tackle those opportunities and challenges and contribute to the culture of providing a holistic experience here at CSUSM.”
Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist
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