By Don Atkinson
CCC Journalism Program
In January 2014, Information Literacy Librarian Samantha Kennedy became a full-time librarian on the Camden County College Blackwood campus.
Growing up in Franklinville, N.J., Kennedy harbored an early interest in books and education. “I’ve always loved books and reading even as a child,” stated Kennedy. “That isn’t a reason to become a librarian, though. You don’t get time to do much reading when you’re constantly in front of a computer or assisting someone. It’s more about helping people.”
Kennedy’s natural outgoing personality enables her to do her job fervently and efficiently. Kennedy’s daily tasks include providing reference services, helping students with research, aiding students with tutorials for the campus computer software, and providing reference consultations, which is scheduling and/or prioritizing study and research times for students with inundated schedules. Kennedy said she loves working with students, and her career choice conforms to that passionate interest. “Being around people comes easy to me. I always like to lend a helping hand,” stated Kennedy.
Before obtaining her position at CCC, Kennedy attended The College Of New Jersey in Ewing, N.J., where she majored in philosophy and journalism. Kennedy later became a part-time librarian at CCC in 2010 while attending graduate school at Drexel University.
Kennedy’s arrival at CCC was met with a few difficulties. The biggest was student panic. Kennedy has a method to control frantic students. This method usually consists of asking questions such as: When is the assignment due? How much information is needed? What websites have you visited? What information have you gathered so far? Her primary method is to encourage the students to take a more rational approach to completing the assignment. “I ask them basic questions to get them where they need to be,” Kennedy stated.
Freshman communications major Nia Smith, 18, said Kennedy helped her on one occasion. “She gave me good direction in compiling information for my research paper. She gave me thorough step-by-step instruction and guidance on how to conduct my research,” Smith stated.
Kennedy said she loves working at CCC and looks forward to her employment for years to come. “Its been a great experience here. Students are so willing to learn and take advantage of good opportunities,” concluded Kennedy.