Greg Careaga

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Head of Assessment and Planning
Santa Cruz
When did you start in your current position?:
Jan 01, 2000
Years in LAUC: 
19

How did you become interested in librarianship?

I spent a year doing mortgage banking and wanted my soul back. I had enjoyed the time I spent working in libraries as a student and staff member and thought an MLS would allow me to make a more meaningful contribution. I was intrigued by the potential of the proto-web in the early 90s and thought libraries would have an obvious role in connecting people to it.

Describe the first time you worked in a library.

I got a job at the circulation desk as an undergraduate student. I was a reentry student and a little bit older than average. It caused a bit of a scandal since the practice had been to hire students into the stacks and make them earn their way onto the desk. Among other shifts, I worked Friday evening study hall and did the weekly backups of the CLSI ILS. It backed up onto stacks of Winchester drives that probably weighed twenty pounds and had less memory than my current watch.

What is your current or recent role in LAUC, either locally or systemwide?: 

I am Vice Chair and soon to be Chair of CAPA. I was statewide Secretary about a decade ago.

What do you like best about being a UC librarian?

I like working with undergraduates, seeing how they use our spaces and resources. I especially like learning about their research and other creative work.

Describe a recent or current project on which you are working.

We're renovating the top floor of our Science & Engineering Library this summer and fall. We're updating worn out or otherwise insufficient mechanical and electrical systems, but we also get to be very creative in improving the student experience with new carpet, paint, group study rooms, acoustic improvements, etc. It is really a fun project.

Describe your recent professional work outside of work, such as association work, writing, research, or anything else.

I was active in LLAMA Building and Equipment Section and Assessment Section before they reorganized. I led a team through and ACRL Assessment in Action project. I do some space planning consulting. I recently worked on CSU Stanislaus library renovation project. 

What would you like the next big thing in libraries to be?

Breaking the hyper-inflationary academic publishing industry.

Complete this statement: "One surprising fact about me is...”

I am a veteran. I spent five years in the Navy so I could save for college. The thought of graduating from college in debt deeply freaked my teenaged self out.

Can you recommend a book or movie or tell us your favorite book or movie and why?

What, one? Movies: 1994 was a very good year. Pulp Fiction for sound track, asynchronous storytelling, and overall originality (at the time). Shawshank Redemption for superlative writing and performances. Four Weddings and a Funeral for being the last funny RomCom. Books: Sci-Fi. For the classics, I am a Dune guy, not a Foundation guy. For contemporary stuff, I like the New Weird. China Miéville's Bas-Lag trilogy (Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and Iron Council) for extraordinary world building. Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance) for making fungi even more eldritch than they already were. TV: Firefly. Best cowboy pirate space opera ever.

Please note your website or social media site, if you would like to share

I am slowly disengaging from social media. As someone more clever than me said, "if you aren't paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product."