What is a Library Associate, and how you can become one?

The University of Warwick Library is a fantastic place not only to study and to read but also to enjoy being a part of the Warwick Community. The Library Associates is one way in which students can get involved with the library and be a part of the team!… By Lucy Burn, Bianca Giacalone and Josephine Murphy

Warwick Library has many members of staff and volunteers who ensure the smooth running of our amazing 24-hour facility. There are many opportunities for students to get involved with the Library through volunteering or paid work. The Library Associates are a group of students who are selected to volunteer to work with library staff as student representatives. Students involved in the scheme come from a wide range of disciplines and everyone is encouraged to get involved even if your course does not traditionally engage with the Library as much. Everyone’s voice is important and useful as the Library is there for everyone to benefit from and enjoy. These students work with a group of wonderful library staff to discuss student experience in the Library. The Associates meet twice a term with a number of library staff and Academic Support Librarians to examine and find possible solutions for issues that students face when using the Library.

Alongside this, the Library Associates plan initiatives to help us with these aims. For example, last year much of the focus of our work was on how students communicate with the Library and how this could be improved. As a result of this, we completed several projects to investigate this topic. For example, in January 2019 and March 2019 there were Library Associate takeovers of the Warwick Library Instagram page. This included making students aware of various aspects of the library that were useful but perhaps underused. Alongside this, in February 2019 we held focus groups to ask students about how they communicated with the Library and what they thought could be improved. The Library Associates can be contacted through this online form on this webpage: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/library/students/student-associates. Applications to become a Library Associate take place in term 3 every year so if you are interested, make sure to apply!

At this time of year, there are thousands of new students coming to Warwick for the very first time. Using the Library for the first time can be daunting so here’s a list of 6 top tips, compiled by the Library Associates to help you on your way!

  1. Go to a library tour so that you understand how the Library works.
  2. Do visit the Library’s website. The Library offers lots of services to develop your skills and support your wellbeing.
  3. Explore! The Library has so many resources beyond the expected academic stuff. Don’t hesitate to walk around the aisles or browse the catalogue, you might stumble on an unexpected favourite! Or, if you’re more into visual media and fancy a bit of old-school physical disc action, check out the DVD & video game section, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised.
  4. If you need to enter the Library but don’t have your university card on you, print out a temporary day pass from the kiosk by the entrance – saves you having to head back to halls.
  5. Get involved with everything you’re interested in, even if it’s a bit scary!
  6. Try to get involved with the Study Happy events! There is always something positive and light-hearted going on which is a welcome break from your studies!

We hope you have found these top tips useful and that you visit the Library soon to see everything that is on offer! The Helpdesk is always there to answer any questions and there is plenty more information on the Library website!

 

Have you heard of the Library Associates? Perhaps you would like to apply to become one? Tweet us at @warwicklibrary, email us at libraryblogs@warwick.ac.uk, or leave a comment below.

 

Don’t forget to share this post! #studyblog

 

Cover Image: The University of Warwick Library

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