El Camino College Union

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Former Warrior returns to EC as adjunct librarian

Photo credit: Jorge Villa

Photo credit: Jorge Villa

Photo credit: Jorge Villa

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A former Warrior decided to fill her purpose in life by becoming a librarian after discovering how much she enjoys teaching people how to search for information and wants to continue that legacy at a community college.

Camila Jenkin has been working in the Schauerman Library as a part-time reference librarian at El Camino College since Spring 2017. Jenkin’s role as a reference librarian is to help students with research for their assignments, finding credible websites, articles and books, and most importantly to guide students in the right direction in learning and understanding how to find information.

Jenkin was a student at EC for three years and realized that starting at a community college was a great start.

“I went to (Palos Verdes Peninsula High School) where nobody goes to a community college,” Jenkin said. “(El Camino) is a place where you can come and you can erase your high school record and start fresh. I saw (community colleges) as one of the most important institutions in our country.”

After graduate school, Jenkin decided to take a year off and volunteered as an ESL tutor in Torrance. Jenkin taught Korean parents how to speak English. That is when she found her purpose in becoming a librarian.

“I am good at teaching and tutoring people and working one on one. I realized that makes so much sense I should be a librarian,” Jenkin said. “What I love the most is teaching people how to rely on themselves to find the best information and how I want to teach people how to do that.”

Jenkin noticed that students who are new to school haven’t been exposed on how to utilize Microsoft Word.

“Half of the students that come here do not know what Microsoft Word is,” Jenkin said. “I teach them and I show them this is what Microsoft Word is, this is how you write your paper (and) this is how you do some basic searching using Google. I love those kinds of things (and) teaching basic skills.”

Jenkin chose to become a librarian at a community college because she believes it is a place where students need the most help.

“My personality is much geared towards working with community college students,” Jenkin said. “I like working with students and most of the students here are just so sweet. What I like is finding the gaps in their education and we help to get them passed them. The whole purpose of a community college is to give them an opportunity.”

One of Jenkin’s memorable experiences as a librarian is when she saw that a student was struggling with writing an essay. The student at the time was so stressed over her paper and wanted to give up, and drop the class. Jenkin said all she had to do was engage in her “just a little bit” and encourage her to not give up since the student was almost done with her essay. Jenkin felt happy in the fact that she was able to rescue a student from giving up and failing.

“(That is) why I became a librarian just to work with students who are in danger of falling into the cracks,” Jenkin said. “If I can just catch a few of them then that is honestly why I am doing my job.”

Jenkin’s peers have noticed how she is passionate about her professionalism and how she is student-oriented.

“You can tell how much she cares about the students and how she enjoys what she does,” Cindy Lopez, library media technician No. 3 said. “She goes into great lengths to explain things. It is like that old saying ‘you don’t give someone the fish, you teach them how to fish’ and she is really great at doing that.”

Another librarian admires her work ethic.

“She is an integral part here at the library. She has been so excellent to work with, really,” reference librarian Analu Josephides said. “It is my hope that all other librarians can reflect that same generosity in customer service so students can feel that they can work with all the librarians equally.”

Jenkin’s advice for students is “to take full control of your education and to value yourself.”

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Former Warrior returns to EC as adjunct librarian