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East Hampton Library wants to help you forge a career in library science. (Photo credit: David Benthal)

David Benthal is a commercial, portrait, and wedding photographer working in the New York area.

The East Hampton Library’s board of managers is offering a full scholarship (and future employment opportunity) to any bi-lingual individual interested in becoming a librarian.

The scholarship, according to a press release from the library, is designed for an individual that speaks and writes in both Spanish and English and would cover the tuition expenses of a master’s degree in library and information science, as well as a guaranteed job opportunity at the library. “This has been a work in progress for quite some time,” says Steven Dino Spataro, the head of adult reference at the library. “It’s a really good thing the board decided it would be a good idea.” Funding for the scholarship comes from private donations.

With an aim to empower Spanish/English speaking scholars passionate about libraries, community engagement and information science, the release says, applications are due by next Monday, April 29. Applications may be submitted to Dennis Fabiszak, the library’s executive director, at [email protected]. To view the application requirements, click here.

Criteria for the scholarship opportunity require the candidate to be proficient in both speaking and writing Spanish and English as well as the candidate possessing a demonstrative commitment to promoting literacy and community outreach. A bachelor’s degree is also required as is a strong academic record and a sincere interest in library and information science. To obtain the master’s degree, any college is suitable “as long as it’s an ALA [American Library Association] accredited school,” says Spataro, adding it can be done in-person or online.

The beautiful East Hampton Library could be your next place of employment. (Photo courtesy of The East Hampton Library)

While it wasn’t known at the time of this writing exactly how many people have applied to the scholarship thus far, Spataro noted the library “has a lot of outreach,” with past employees hailing from both out-of-state locations and as far as western New York state, who then ultimately re-located to East Hampton for the job.

“If we could get a local person, though, that would be great,” he says.

Presently, the library employs about a dozen full-time, year-round employees and a couple of part-timers, according to Spataro. The person who gets the scholarship, and ultimately the job in East Hampton, will start out at the reference desk assisting people with questions and directing them to specific reference tools and services as well as the library’s different departments. They would also, eventually, be extensively trained in both the young adult and children’s departments at the library, with Spataro noting “it’s a well-rounded, hands-on learning experience and mentorship.”

Noting the role would go well beyond just merely helping library-goers with finding specific books, he says duties would also include creating and implementing unique and engaging programming (which would include managing in-person, Zoom and hybrid versions), hosting book clubs, spearheading foreign language conversation groups and contributing to innovative projects and initiatives that serve the ever-growing and diverse community of East Hampton.

“The candidate would have to be up on computer and technological trends and be well versed in social media management,” Spataro says.

“This scholarship represents a unique opportunity for a Spanish/English speaking individual to pursue his/her academic and professional aspirations in the dynamic field of library and information science,” says Fabiszak. “The East Hampton Library looks forward to receiving applications from a talented and dedicated individuals who are eager to make a positive impact in our community.”

East Hampton Library is located at 159 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information call 631-324-0222.