This fall, Syracuse University Library welcomed new Learning Commons Resident Librarians Tina Chan and Fantasia Thorne.

The Learning Commons Resident Librarian Program is new to the Library and provides experiential learning opportunities for new librarians interested in working with undergraduate students. Each Resident Librarian is appointed to a term of either two or three years. During this time, they are able to explore career opportunities under the guidance of experienced librarians. In return, they provide the Learning Commons with a steady infusion of the latest scholarship, research, and practices regarding undergraduate services.

Resident Librarians are within two years of receiving their master’s degree in library/ information science. To increase the diversity of the Learning Commons staff, the program also requires that individuals be members of underrepresented populations.

These new positions fill a need within the Library and also provide an example of best practices in the profession. Learning Commons Director Lesley Pease particularly appreciates the mentorship aspect of the program: “So many times, new graduates begin their first professional assignment without the support and guidance of library professionals. This program creates a support structure that allows residents to explore the profession while fulfilling an important role as Syracuse University Librarians.”

Tina and Fantasia both graduated from Simmons College with Masters in Library Information Science (MLIS) degrees. As Resident Librarians, they provide core services, such as reference and student outreach, while contributing to other Learning Commons initiatives. They will also conduct research on undergraduate student learning and communication behaviors.

Both Tina and Fantasia are excited by the prospects of their new positions at Syracuse University Library. They share a passion for helping people and are looking forward to interacting with students.

As an undergraduate student, Tina spent a lot of time in the library and routinely asked librarians for help finding resources. “Not only did they help me in my research, they inspired me to become a librarian. After learning about my interests, they encouraged me to pursue an advanced degree. They are the reason I’m here at S.U.” She looks forward to having a similar impact on student’s life and work. She is particularly excited about the Learning Commons practice of “roving research” where librarians seek out students who may need help. She believes this is the best way to help students because it meets them where they are, both physically and literally.

Fantasia hopes her experience in technology will contribute to, improved communication with students. As a Resident Librarian, she will teach classes on conducting research to Writing 205 students. Fantasia enjoys teaching and looks forward to her role as a mentor. She was drawn to SUL’s residency program because it specifically sought out members of underrepresented populations to enable the Learning Commons to reflect the diverse student body it serves. She believes encouraging diversity in the field is important and applauds the Library for this aspect of the residency program.