Carolina Academic Library Associates

The Carolina Academic Library Associates (CALA) program is a paid, practice-based supplement to academic coursework that allows selected graduate students the opportunity to enhance their Library or Information Science education with practical experience in an academic library. The program also provides students with tuition support, paid health insurance, and career development and mentorship.

CALAs are assigned to a variety of departments within the University Libraries at UNC-Chapel Hill, according to their background, interests, and experience. Assignments and work duties seek flexibility to match students’ developing interests as they learn and grow in their education and career plans.

The Libraries’ goal is to provide an enhanced graduate experience that introduces students to key issues in librarianship and information science and to the culture of the professions.

The program assists in preparing students for their first position in their career through hands-on work and gives them opportunities for professional networking and creativity during their graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

If you’re interested in applying to be a CALA, there is no separate application. For more information visit the Prospective Students page.

History of the Program

In the fall semester of 2000, the University Libraries introduced the Carolina Academic Library Associates (CALA) program for graduate students in the School of Information and Library Science interested in preparing for careers in libraries and information science. The program is a collaboration between the University Libraries and the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), and the librarians and staff of the University Libraries value highly the relationship with the faculty and students at SILS.

Graduates of this prestigious program have gone on to hold positions like Head of Software Development, Head of an Art Library, IT Specialist (Usability), Humanities Research and Digital Instruction Librarian, Manuscripts Research and Instruction Librarian, Biomedical and Life Sciences Librarian, Head of Research and Instructional Services, Outreach and Engagement Program Librarian, and Library Director.