Miami University Libraries’ Residence Hall Research Ambassadors Peer Research Assistance in Residence Halls: a Partnership Program with Residence Life and the Libraries
Just to Clarify--We are from THE Miami University--the other one is here in Florida
Jenny Presnell Information Services Librarian King Library Nancy Moeckel Life Sciences Librarian Brill Science Library Who Are the Partners?
Additional Partners • Residence Life • Dr.Todd Holcomb, Director, Residence Life and New Student Programming • Kay Thomas, First Year Advisor in Emerson Hall • Libraries • Belinda Barr, Head of Information Services • Jerome Conley, Coordinating Head of Special Libraries • Joanne Goode, Head Science Librarian
Additional Key Players • Ambassadors • Jassmine Foust • Anne Gregory • Catherine Johnson • Chris Jones
The Research Ambassador Program in a Nutshell • “This Program will provide research assistance to students in their residence halls, when they need it, from their peers…
The Research Ambassador Program in a Nutshell “…undergraduate students will be hired and trained as Research Ambassadors to provide basic information and research advice and to connect students with Librarians for further in-depth assistance when necessary.”
The Current Library Climate • Remote access to • Indexes and databases • Full text • Journals, books, reference tools • Many services online • ILL, chat, email ref, online renewal
Current Research • What first year students know in High School • Used library • 29% weekly • 29% 2 times a month • Tools Used • 60% WWW • 65% electronic index
Current Research • The article from jp that we talked about might go here • Stats about use
Current Research Dr. Karen Schilling presented research findings at a library staff meeting Increasing Expectations for Student Effort by Karen M. Shilling and Karl L. Shilling. About Campus May/June 1999 • Findings show the importance of setting high initial expectations for academic effort • “increasing expectations means heightening the intellectual challenge of course, moving beyond memorization to engaged critical analysis that creates excitement for students”
Concerns Many First Year Students believe that the Internet is the only tool they need. But, there are many other research tools they must add to their toolkit. • Everything looks like a nail if the only tool you have is a hammer
Concerns • Many students believe that an Internet search will find the answer to everything. • Some services support this notion • Questia • NetLibrary • XanEdu • Ebrary
Concerns • Some students experience library anxiety • Easier to just avoid coming to the library • So much available remotely
An idea begins to form… Remote access is important, Schilling and others’ research, our concerns…
Could specially trained students help their peers with research in their residence halls?
Can Peer Assistance Work for Libraries? • Students may learn better from peers • Some more comfortable asking for help from peers • Peer tutor model already successful
Related but Different Peer Programs Already Exist • Some examples of successful Library peer assistance programs • Peer Information Counselors • Libraries in residence halls--IU • Hall computer labs--BGSU • Peer interns--U Mass (Dartmouth)) • Student Navigators in the Knowledge Commons --U of Cape Town) • Library Peer Assistant--SUNY Binghamton Roving Peer Mentors in Library--U of Cincinnati
Our Reasoning • Peer programs demonstrate success already • Librarians can’t cover services in the library during the day and then cover a Residence Hall in the evening • Training students as Ambassadors means each Hall can eventually have evening service, every evening • There will be some immediate assistance, as well as a direct link to more in-depth assistance
Let’s Try It! First Year students often come with few research skills,and are too willing to rely solely on the Internet, are adapting to life away from home for perhaps the first time, are peer pressured, yet may readily accept help from their peers, may experience library anxiety, there aren’t enough Librarians ……for all these reasons and more, having a peer assistant IN THE RESIDENCE HALL seemed worth trying.
The Program Pilot • Determined which Residence Hall • Bertha M. Emerson Hall. • Co-educational, first year residence hall. • Nearby are Morris, Tappan, Scott, Minnich and MacCracken.
The Program Pilot • Emerson Hall demographics • 345 residents • 300 males • 45 females • 1 First Year Advisor (resident) • 1 graduate assistant advisor • 11 undergraduate resident advisors
Miami’s Class of 2005--(3,450 selected from 12,500 applicants) 37% ranked in top 10% 66% ranked in top 20% 25% earned ACT of 29 or higher 25% combined SAT of 1300 or higher 9.6% Multicultural African American Asian Pacific Islanders Hispanic Native American Emerson Hall GPA high school 3.2-3.5 ACT 23 SAT 1200 Majors Undecided, business, education,fine arts Multicultural 10% The Program Pilot Some Demographics
The Program Takes Off • Hired the Ambassadors • Created brochures to advertise the position • 10 hours per week • Learn while you earn • Added job description to library website • http://www.lib.muohio.edu/libinfo/employ/rh.html
The Program Takes Off • Trained the Ambassadors • Blitz training to start • 2, 2 hour sessions • Weekly training and worksheets ongoing • Meet weekly for training • Worksheet completed on their own time
The Program Takes Off • Ambassador job duties • 4 main categories: • 1: Directional: • answering basic directional questions, such as where libraries, computer labs, media collections and other resources are located and assisting with services such as Check your Circulation Record and Interlibrary Loan services.
The Program Takes Off • Ambassador job duties • 4 main categories: • 2: Instructional: • teaching the use of MiamiLINK including: how to connect to SHERLOCK, other catalogs, online databases, online reference tools, and the Internet and assisting with the use thereof.
The Program Takes Off • Ambassador job duties • 4 main categories: • 3: Referral: • connecting your client with a Librarian for more in-depth instruction of resources or in-depth assistance with research
The Program Takes Off • Ambassador job duties • 4 main categories: • 4: Record keeping: • maintaining accurate information regarding use of this service, questions asked and similar statistics
The Program Takes Off • Service began Fall, 2001 • Lobby of Emerson • Sunday 7-11pm, MTWR 8-11pm • Total of 16 hours per week • Question log • Record date/time/question • Advertising • Flyers posted through out Emerson • Signage • Large poster near the duty desk
The Program Takes OffSample Questions Asked by Residents • What are the hours of the Health Center? • Can you help me find the English 111 tutorial? • What is the “twinkie defense” • How does an electric shaver work? • Need some books about euthanasia. Can you help? • Need some articles about consumer behavior in Colonial America • Have you seen a blonde girl go by here?
The Program Takes Off • Assessment • Feedback weekly from Ambassadors • Questionnaire responses from residents
What we have just described is the program without any of the “challenges or opportunities”There were a few…
Challenges and Opportunities • Scheduling of Service • Duty hours • Thursday night party night • Holidays • 3-days • Coordinating our schedules • Classes, activities, meetings, training, • Student teaching…
Challenges and Opportunities • Posters and advertising • Covered up • Replaced • Not noticed • Survey results show • 1/2 didn’t know about Service
Challenges and Opportunities • Phone • Critical for referral to librarians • Removed from lobby • Replaced and removed again • Still working on it • Cell phone might be solution • Alternatives • More use of chat (limited hours) • More use of email reference service (24 hr response time)
Challenges and Opportunities • Better location in the Residence Hall needed • Lobby is busy • Students on their way in or out • Small and crowded • Spring Semester relocated to small living room adjacent to lobby. • Optimal space in basement study lounge • Trying airport equipment • Waiting for wiring
Challenges and Opportunities • Safe storage for equipment • Ambassadors have to unpack and pack equipment each time • Locked in office • Locked out once or twice
What’s Next this Spring • Spring semester 2002 • More assessment • Questionnaire during corridor meetings • First one done • Incorporate results in planning/revising program • More advertising • More flyers • More demonstrations • More word of mouth
What’s Next this Spring • Coordinate with specific assignments • Tailor advertising in the Hall to specific recurring assignments • Tailor training schedule for Ambassadors • Offer special sessions • By topic • For those on academic probation • others
What’s Next For the Program • Offer the service in more Residence Halls • Hire more ambassadors • Train more ambassadors • Current ambassadors mentor new ones • Current ambassadors participate in training • Create an Ambassador Listserv • Expand the Ambassador web page • http://staff.lib.muohio.edu/~presnejl/ambass/ambass.html
Some costs • Equipment • 2 laptops • $5,228.70. • Other equipment • Splitters • Surge suppressors
Some costs • Time • Coordinators time • Substantial • Will only require more time as program expands • Student wages • 4 students @ 10hrs/wk X 16 weeks • $3,296.00 per semester • Promotions • 10cent pay raise/yr • Expanding program will require more wages
Some benefits • Partnerships Strengthened • Residence Life learns about Library and services • Library learns about Residence Life • Understanding of each units goals as we all strive to support the University's goals
Some benefits • Learning by all • RAs making use of library as a required academic program • Library learns about FYE • Learn while you Earn Opportunities for Ambassadors • Improved support of and response to the First Year Experience needs
Some benefits • Most importantly • First year students acquire sound research skills • Are connected to the library (information specialists) early in their student careers