Engaging the disengaged indefinitely, and with no budget: creating a sustainable model for student library ambassadors

Clifford, Mike and Gadd, Elizabeth and Coombs, Jenny and Hollier, Carol and Franklin, Ginny and McCormick, Karen and Maynard, Paul and Willmot, Peter and FitzGerald, Maurice (2012) Engaging the disengaged indefinitely, and with no budget: creating a sustainable model for student library ambassadors. In: 4th International Symposiumfor Engineering Education, July 2012, The University of Sheffield.

Full content URL: http://isee2012.group.shef.ac.uk/docs/papers/paper...

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Abstract

University Libraries offer a wide range of services and facilities to help
enhance the student learning experience and to aid the transition into learning at
University. Often, too few Science and Engineering students fully engage with the
services and facilities on offer and therefore do not benefit from the opportunities
available to them. Drawing on research highlighting the value of peer support, and the
fact that students are far more likely to use their peers as an information source than
‘experts’, Loughborough University Library obtained small project funding in 2010 to
employ four Student Ambassadors in a pilot project to improve student engagement with
the Library. The successful project demonstrated the potency of the idea in engaging with
students, particularly non-users, a large proportion of which are based in the Science and
Engineering Faculties.

In the absence of continued funding, the challenge, addressed here, is how to make such
posts sustainable. Past experience at both Nottingham and Loughborough Universities
has proven how difficult it is to recruit students on a voluntary basis to engage with
University Libraries.

In this paper, an innovative and creative method of recruiting and supporting “Learning
Resource Leaders” (LRLs) at Nottingham and Loughborough Universities is discussed.
The strategies employed have resulted in the recruitment of four LRLs – two at each
institution – supported by an industrial sponsor who provides a package of non-monetary
incentives. The paper also describes the techniques used by the LRLs to disseminate
information about the resources offered by the University Libraries and to engage with
the student cohort.

Keywords:student engagement, sustainability, industrial sponsors, academic library, learning resources
Subjects:H Engineering > H100 General Engineering
X Education > X200 Research and Study Skills in Education
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P121 Library studies
Divisions:Professional services > The Library
ID Code:16785
Deposited On:24 Feb 2015 14:02

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