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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Edgar Alvarez welcomed as new resident librarian in Luria Library

Sofia Stavins
Edgar Alvarez standing in front of the nonfiction section on Wednesday, Nov. 1 inside the Luria Library at City College campus in Santa barbara, Calif. Nonfiction is Alvarez favorite genre of books.

Books falling into the genres of nonfiction, fiction, fairy tales, and more fill the walls of the Luria Library located on City College’s West Campus. Inside, the working faculty keep the department running, including new Resident Librarian Edgar Alvarez. 

According to the newly hired librarian, he was drawn to the specific campus because he believes it offers a good opportunity for newly certified librarians. He also wants to expand his career, skill sets, and get more knowledge in his educational field, which he feels is possible through his current job. 

When thinking about his long term goals, the new librarian would like to create better relationships with students as well as faculty and to find more of a particular role with cataloging materials. 

Alvarez is originally from Los Angeles, where he grew up and attended school throughout his adolescence. According to the newcomer, he was always a “book nerd,” and had a natural love for literature. As he got older, he developed an ambition to help students achieve their academic goals. 

“When I first went to school, libraries were a little bit of an intimidating space to be in, and now I would like to be here so that I can show students that the library is a space that has resources for you and that it is here for you,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez’s main goal is to be a reliable asset for all students and to help them feel comfortable in the space where he works. The librarian believes that libraries can be quite frightening for newcomers because of “old school library qualities,” which include having to be quiet and not disruptive. However, he hopes to see libraries becoming more inclusive over the years.

“We are seeing change already in the field,” he said. “Libraries are becoming a more collaborative space which is something I definitely love and admire.” 

After graduating from high school, Alvarez wasn’t sure that he was going to attend college. Once he made the decision to pursue higher education, the librarian started off as an English education major, thinking that he was going to be a teacher. 

He later worked as a student worker at East Los Angeles College during his time spent in community college and obtained an internship there. Through this experience, he was able to interact with the librarians who worked at the school, which sparked his interest in becoming a librarian himself. 

“Interacting with the librarians, I realized, ‘Wow, these people are so cool and are so knowledgeable; they love literature like me,’” Alvarez said. 

One day, when he was helping a student, one of his mentors, Erika Montenegro, saw them interacting and gave him the idea of librarianship as a career. 

“She was like, ‘Wow, I see students come up to you all the time because they feel more comfortable talking to you more than some of the librarians, sometimes,’” Alvarez said. 

Outside of his professional career, music, film photography, and art interest Alvarez. He holds a love for vinyls and records, both of which he collects. 

“Anytime you guys see me at the reference desk, you’re more than welcome to come chat with me, and we can talk about any of those things,” the librarian said. 

Alvarez works 32 hours a week in the span of four days, working from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. During these times, he has many responsibilities. When he first walks through the doors, he checks his emails, and soon after, he focuses on his personal projects. Currently, Alvarez is working on a library guide for the music department. After projects, he completes his shift at the reference desk from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. before taking his lunch. He finishes his day by returning to working on any projects that are in the making. 

“Come to the library, talk to the librarians,” Alvarez  said. “We are here to help you. I think we tend to forget that; we are always here to help.”

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