Former Knox College Librarian Ryan Lynch has officially begun their new journey as the Latin American and Iberian Studies Librarian and Intern Global Studies Librarian at University of California, Santa Barbara.
In this position, Lynch will have the opportunity to work with graduate students and faculty members with research, hold library sessions and manage three budgets for purchasing books, periodicals and other resources for Latin American Studies. Lynch will also be teaching sections of the Introduction to Library Research classes.
“It’s something that, when I went to library school, it’s what I thought I would be doing. My background is in Latin American History,” Lynch said.
While moving between jobs, working first as an archivist for the New York State Archives and then as a museum registrar for Skidmore College, taking care of artwork, Lynch realized that if they were to advance in their career and help students develop research skills, they would need earn a Masters in Art History or a degree in Library Science.
“I thought maybe I would get to do what I want to do more and better as a librarian,” Lynch said.
After graduating from Emory University with their Masters in History, Lynch migrated to Knox College as an Associate Librarian in 2013. Though they had never attended Knox as a student, Lynch mentioned that the college had been on their radar after receiving mail from the college after their high school PSATs and attending Emory University with a Knox graduate.
While working for Knox, Lynch worked closely with many students, helping themwith research. Lynch was also known as a resource on campus for student activism and worked on projects such as the Intensive English Language Program for international students.
From their time spent at Knox, Lynch said that the uniqueness of diversity amongst students will be one of the aspects they miss about the college. Not only did Lynch note the racial diversity amongst Knox students, but mentioned the wide variety of economic backgrounds as well as the LGBTQ community on campus.
When it comes down to it, Lynch said that the students of Knox were the key in creating the atmosphere between the faculty, staff and students at the college.
“The thing that I will miss absolutely the most at Knox College are the students,” Lynch said.
Despite their love for the Knox student body, Lynch knew that the time to move on had come and needed a position that was more suited to their background. A position in Latin American Studies, which is sparse, was exactly what they had been looking for.
“Honestly, the clock was ticking a little bit. If I was at Knox too much longer, I was going to have a harder time transitioning to a large institution,” Lynch said.
Lynch interviewed for a few other positions in the beginning of their job search. However, after returning from one interview, they came to the conclusion that they were not going to apply for a job despite their location or convenience just because they were qualified.
“I realized I wasn’t going to be happier [at the other jobs] and that it was going to have to be really something special to take me away from Knox. But, I was also pretty clear to myself that one of those special opportunities would be a Latin American position,” Lynch said.
Though they were not actively pursuing a new job, or looking to leave Knox, they were fortunate enough to find out about the Latin American and Iberian Studies position through their predecessor at Columbia University.
“I feel very fortunate that I got the one that I got … It’s a far better fit for me and a far better institutional match for me,” Lynch said.