California Academic & Research Libraries 2020 Conference
poster, student mentors, peer-to-peer learning, library
This poster outlines CSU, San Bernardino’s (CSUSB) Library Ambassador initiative, a partnership between the Pfau Library and the Office of Undergraduate Studies’ Student Mentoring Program that aims to connect students in first-year courses with peers knowledgeable about library resources and services. The poster includes the history of the program, which was piloted in 2016, and addresses some of the challenges and successes encountered along the way. It details the program’s student-focused philosophy, which strives to combat library anxiety by ensuring that early exposure to the library centers authentic student research experiences, concerns, and needs. The Library Ambassador program also allows students, in select courses, to identify the Student Mentoring Program as a safe place and valuable resource to receive assistance and support as they learn how to navigate the university.
Anticipating questions from attendees, the poster briefly addresses the logistics of the program, including: how ambassadors reach students (via classroom visits in targeted courses that have a research learning outcome); how ambassadors are prepared to successfully engage with students (training and a “buddy system” in which experienced students take the lead); how the value of the program is communicated to targeted faculty; how scheduling works, and more. Finally, the poster highlights findings from assessment of the program, and we hope to solicit additional ideas for avenues for assessment and evaluation from attendees.
Schlesselman-Tarango, G., Herrera, B., & DeMoss, S. (2020, June 4-5). Showcasing the authentic student experience: The library and student mentoring partner to create a first-year Library Ambassador program [poster presentation]. CARL 2020 Conference, online.