I have been pretty neglectful of this blog for the past half a year or so. I’m afraid the COVID19 pandemic (which finally reached the shores of our fair town with full force in December of 2021) kind of took the wind out of my sails there for awhile. But… I think we are back in business. Fingers crossed.
This September it seems that things are a bit more back to ‘normal’ (whatever that is or means) and students are more present in our library again. It feels motivating. I’m also motivated by a slightly new direction our library is taking this year.
While of course we have always done outreach to students, this year we are doubling down on our efforts. We have hired a young ‘straight-out-of-library-school’ Librarian in a 2 year term position as our Diversity, Outreach & Engagement Librarian. Her name is Grace Bourret and she will be leading new programs designed to engage students. With a deep understanding of the challenges of diversity and equity in higher education Grace is leading our outreach activities to increase connections on campus, with a specific focus on the following communities: Indigenous, Black, First Generation, 2SLGBTQIA+, and International students and faculty.
To support this new position we are also experimenting this year with 2 new programs: The Student Library Ambassador program and the Library Student Advisory Council.
The Student Library Ambassadors are students who are (or will become) library advocates! As the Library’s biggest fans, their mission is to increase student familiarity and usage of our library. As employees of the library their job will be to spread the word about our library and to seek ways to enhance student engagement and promote library services.
The Library Student Advisory Council is designed to provide students with direct access to the administrative leadership of the Library and will exist to facilitate two-way communication between students and library staff. The Council will advise the University Librarian on important and impactful issues related to the Library’s spaces, services, resources, and collections.
We are currently finalizing the plans for both these programs. Recruitment has begun for the Ambassador program and we hope to begin recruitment for the Advisory Council very soon.
Our library recognizes that our students our are primary stakeholders in the services, resources, and spaces the library provides and we are working to engage more directly with them. I look forward to sharing how it goes.