Presentation on theme: "Library Student Employees Matt Anderson. Library Student Assistants Make it possible to be open at odd hours Can do routine work, freeing librarians."— Presentation transcript:
Library Student Assistants Make it possible to be open at odd hours Can do routine work, freeing librarians to do more complex tasks Can work brief shifts Bring valuable, hard-to-find skills (like foreign languages or technical skills) Are not replacements for full-time people
Library Student Assistants Student assistants in the past: Emerged in 1800s Didn’t work with the public until the 1930s Usually handled card-filing and basic preservation of materials Were in demand in the 1970s to help improve cultural diversity of the library staff Source: Sweetman, K.B. (2007). Managing student assistants: a how-to-do-it manual for librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman.
Library Student Assistants In access services: 75% of ARL libraries have more student employees now than they did in 1995 Often fill positions as: Acquisitions assistants Circulation desk assistants Government information assistants Interlibrary loan aides Reserve desk assistants Shelvers
Why Students Work in Libraries As a student, what would make you apply to work in a library?
Why Students Work in Libraries Students want to work at libraries because: They can work night and weekend hours There is access to materials they need They see libraries as a place where they can socialize with their friends
Why Students Work in Libraries The primary reason students choose to work in libraries: 42% “learning to balance my time between work and studies” 21.1% “purely to earn money” 21.1% “training myself to be a responsible person” 15.8% “gaining some work experience” Source: Yang, Z.Y. (2007). “Survey of interlibrary loan and document delivery student assistants' job satisfaction: communication and feedback.” Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Information Supply 17 (4), p. 149-159.
Why Students Work in Libraries Studies indicate on-campus jobs increase the likelihood of graduation
Your New Job When you interview for an academic librarian job, do you ask about the library’s student employees?
Your New Job It is important to adapt to the library’s culture at first, rather than imposing changes People do not want to hear about how different things were at your last library Asking existing employees about themselves is like an informal interview Identifying each individual’s needs is important
Recruiting and Interviewing Students Students can have many different statuses, including: Volunteer Research assistant Intern Hourly Fellow Federal Work-Study
Recruiting and Interviewing Students Federal Work-Study Allows students to earn money while attending school without having to repay Students must be at least half-time At some institutions, FWS makes for a higher hourly wage Institutions only end up paying 25-50% of the wage FWS employees can be reassigned
Recruiting and Interviewing Students The interview should address: Experience (but not be totally based on experience) Technical knowledge Creativity Experience working with the public What the student likes about the library and the collection Future plans (but realize that many students change their plans fairly often)
Training a Student Employee Employees without much work experience need A LOT of training and repetition Training two 20-hour students takes more time than training one 40-hour employee
Training a Student Employee Nothing can ruin the student’s experience faster than miscommunication with a supervisor
The Student’s Experience Yang’s survey of 19 (17 undergrads and 2 grad students) student assistants at Texas A&M found: Only 5.3% felt daily job assignments were too large 15.8% said their supervisor had not trained them thoroughly 57.9% thought they worked as hard as their supervisors Fewer than half would like to have a student training manual 84.2% preferred supervisors to offer feedback in person
The Student’s Experience 68.4% felt free to voice frustrations to supervisors 89.5% felt free to voice frustrations to other staff members Source: Yang, Z.Y. (2007). “Survey of interlibrary loan and document delivery student assistants' job satisfaction: communication and feedback.” Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Information Supply 17 (4), p. 149-159.
The Student’s Experience Problematic student employees: Complain Procrastinate Become lazy Have low morale Are absent or late Have personal problems Have personality problems Refuse to do things Gossip Dress inappropriately
Communication When communicating with student employees face-to-face: Listen Smile Acknowledge their good work
Communication When communicating with student employees via email: Avoid rambling Proof what you send them Make sure your audience can understand what you mean Don’t work too hard on trying to impress
Good Student Assistants Will have a more positive academic experience for having worked in a library Will help you get work done Will make you a better librarian