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Atkins Fellows

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The Atkins Fellows program is an eleven-week paid summer residential fellowship for students at the mid-point of their Library, Archives, or Information Science degree program, or those within one year of having completed such a program. It is designed to provide each fellow who participates with a work experience that is focused on professional-level tasks, with high levels of independence and creativity, while also supporting Atkins Library's mission, goals, and initiatives. These fellowships are designed to give LIS students hands-on experience in an academic library.

Each year, Atkins librarians and staff have the opportunity to propose projects for the Fellows Program.  Applications are created for five positions and students can apply for one or more of the positions.  Interviews with selected applicants will provide an opportunity to speak with the project supervisor(s) and learn more about the position and the program.

Fellows will work on a specific project throughout the summer.  They will also have the opportunity to attend workshops, job talks, and local conferences, as well as job shadow and participate in departmental and all staff meetings.  Through this experience, Fellows will learn about the operations of an academic library, better preparing them for work opportunities in the profession.

At the end of the program, the library hosts a reception for the Fellows to present their projects.  Former Fellows have also presented their projects at state and national conferences.

Fall 2020 Announcement:

In acknowledging the uncertainty of what lies ahead for us next summer, and the impact of recent events on the UNC Charlotte budget, we cannot responsibly plan for an Atkins Fellows program in 2021. When the pandemic emerged last Spring, we tried to move the 2020 program online, but faced several barriers and ultimately were unable to move forward with it. It was disappointing to the fellows that were scheduled to join us, and all of us at Atkins Library. We were excited to work with the selected fellows and looked forward to their projects, and are greatly appreciative for their patience and understanding as we tried to work through the process. We want to learn from that experience, and acknowledge the continued uncertainty that may impact any plans for a 2021 program.

We are disappointed to make this announcement, but hope that it acknowledges our deep respect and value for MLIS students and the many applicants we receive for the program every year. We have enjoyed welcoming MLIS students into our library during the summer months, and have greatly benefited from those experiences. Part of what former fellows have always enjoyed about our program is the opportunity to join us in Charlotte for the summer and learn from each other and our amazing faculty and staff, and we want to stay true to what makes this program valuable and unique.

We hope to resume the program when the budget allows and the operations and staff of the library and the campus are more accessible to our fellows. Until then, please feel free to reach out to us for other opportunities, and know that everyone at Atkins Library is wishing you well.

How to Apply

We are unable to offer a 2021 Atkins Fellows program. Please check back with us next year.

  • Applicants must have completed 24 credits (or two full semesters of work) toward a Master’s in Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited program. We also accepts applications from those within one year of having completed such a program.
  • Applicants can apply for more than one position
  • Applicants will need to upload a resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcripts with their application
  • Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. to be considered for these positions
About UNC Charlotte and Atkins Library

The Atkins Fellows Program is hosted by Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte. Atkins Library serves the students, faculty, and staff of UNC Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. With current enrollment at nearly 30,000, UNC Charlotte is the fastest growing campus in the UNC system. Never been to our campus? Take a virtual tour.

Charlotte is also one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Our light rail system makes it possible for fellows to complete the fellowship and enjoy the city without a car. As North Carolina’s urban research university, UNC Charlotte provides access to all of the amenities that you expect of a city with the benefit of being situated in driving distance to the mountains and the ocean. This is an exciting time to live in Charlotte and work at Atkins Library and we hope you will consider joining us.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Our campus community is comprised of people who represent the wide breadth of gender and sexual identities, races and ethnicities, faith traditions, nationalities, and other social categories and backgrounds.  These varied identities and experiences enrich the University as a whole. UNC Charlotte and Atkins Library strive to celebrate this diversity, and to sustain an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. In order to advance this vision, the Atkins Fellows program encourages applications from all underrepresented groups.

Program Dates

The Atkins Fellows program typically begins the 3rd or 4th week of May and ends the last week of July or first week of August. Fellows will be expected to work a full-time schedule for 11 weeks total, with specific hours and availability determined by their project supervisor(s). A program will not be offered for Summer 2021.

Important Dates:

Early December - Positions posted

Early February - Begin reviewing applications

Mid-February - phone interviews with selected candidates

Early March - Notification to applicants

3rd or 4th week of May - Fellows Program begins

Last week of July or first week of August - Fellows Program ends

Participants in this program will receive a $6,600 stipend, paid at an hourly rate ($15/hour, for eleven weeks of forty hours per week). Paychecks will be issued by direct deposit every two weeks, two Fridays after the end of each pay period.
Participants will also receive a $750 housing and transportation stipend to help with the cost of moving to Charlotte for the fellowship.
Fellows can choose to live on-campus or off-campus. Intern Housing is for students enrolled at a college or university and working full-time in an internship or job in the Charlotte area. Exceptions do apply for recently graduated students. If you wish to live in campus housing you will need to complete a separate application after being selected for the program. Costs for summer 2020 were $26.92-$27.82 per night.  Learn more about campus housing options
Fellows are not required to live on-campus and may seek other local accommodations. Please contact the program coordinator to learn about off-campus housing options. 
If you will be bringing a car to campus you'll need to also purchase a parking permit. You won't be able to purchase the permit until you arrive on campus. Pricing and other information related to on-campus parking.
In addition to parking, you can use a free shuttle on-campus and public transportation (CATS) via bus or light rail to access the campus and the city. Learn more about all transportation options.  
The city's light rail system provides access from the university to many popular neighborhoods, museums, parks, and sports stadiums in Charlotte. For only $50 you can purchase a pass through the university that provides unlimited access to the light rail and bus systems for the duration of the fellowship.
Frequently Asked Questions

I am graduating this Spring.  Can I still apply for the program?
Yes.  Recent graduates and those that will be graduating in the upcoming Spring semester are welcome to apply to the program. 

The website indicates that applicants must have completed 24 credits (or two full semesters of work) toward a MLIS from an ALA-accredited program. By when must we complete those credits?
Any courses you are taking this Spring semester count toward the 24 credits. There is also some flexibility with that requirement if you are just a few credits short.

Due to other commitments, I may need to begin the program one week late or leave one week early.  Can I still apply?
Yes.  If you are selected for a phone interview, you can explain your situation. We cannot be flexible beyond a week due to the nature of the program.

I live in another state.  Is it feasible for me to apply and participate in the program?
Yes. Fellows have joined us from library programs across the country. You can pursue on-campus or off-campus housing options in Charlotte and we do our best to help you. You could also feasibly move here for the summer and navigate the city without a car (several have done so) because Charlotte has a light rail system.

To learn more about the Atkins Fellows Program, please contact the Program Coordinator:

Amanda Binder
Social Sciences and History Librarian
UNC Charlotte Atkins Library

Keep up with the program and our fellows by following us @atkinsfellow

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Atkins Fellows