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Johnson C. Smith #ELGLInspire Speaker: Cearra Harris

Posted on January 30, 2020


Cearra Harris Headshot

#ELGLInspire is at Johnson C. Smith University on January 30th! Learn more about our event speakers in these brief profiles, and connect with them before and after the event! To find information about all of the speakers, visit the #ELGLInspire homepage.


Cearra Harris

Sr. Library Assistant

 ImaginOn Library


What was the very first paying job you held (that you paid taxes on)?

For nearly a decade, I’ve worked diligently to find the “spice” of my community, by creating outreach programs that focus on teens’ direct needs. My first paying job was at Richland Library Southeast in Columbia, SC. My first position was as a shelver. I eventually turned that into my first full-time position as a Library Assistant.

What was your: undergraduate institution? Graduate institution? What was/were your degree(s) in?

I earned my MLIS from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro.

What class(es) (if any) are applicable to your job today?  

My passion lies with working with at-risk groups so during my studies I took seminars and courses that focused on serving young adults and diverse groups. These courses better prepared me to serve the members in my community.  

What book are you currently reading? Would you recommend it?

I am currently reading Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman and it is a must-read!

What’s the best networking advice for job seekers you’ve heard or shared?  

The best networking advice I’ve ever received is to not be afraid to put yourself out there and take every risk possible. And simply to never be afraid to take a leap of faith.

What’s the fastest way to NOT get a job or internship with you? (e.g. what should potential applicants avoid doing if they were to ever interview with you for a position).

When I am looking for an intern the biggest mistake that I see happen continuously is that potential applicants often ignore the required qualifications and do not include skills that aren’t applicable to the job description.

Do you have a work or life motto? What is it? 

My life motto is “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” by Dr. Maya Angelou. I love my community and my ultimate goal create programs that are innovative and transformative for all. 

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