Wednesday, August 17, 2016

U of T’s Personal Librarian program eases the university transition for first-year students

The library program offers personalized help to more than 6,200 students in two faculties.
By RYLEY WHITE | August 16, 2016 
Using the library is a daunting task for many first-year students. That’s why University of Toronto has established Personal Librarian, a program that pairs first-years with a librarian.

“As a personal librarian, I think of myself as a facilitator between the student and the library, and library resources,” says communications librarian Jesse Carliner. He compares the volunteer role to that of an adviser: he answers students’ questions, helps with citations and works through additional issues with students either by email or one-on-one.

Building off of similar programs like those at Yale and Drexel universities, U of T launched a pilot in 2012. According to student engagement librarian Heather Buchansky, that year 1,000 students were connected to 10 librarian-volunteers. As of 2015, personal librarians reached out to all first-year students in the faculties of arts and science, and of applied science and engineering – more than 6,200 students were contacted by one of 49 personal librarians. About eight to 10 percent of students contacted will participate, says Ms. Buchansky. Read more...
Student engagement librarian Heather Buchansky helps a student. Photo courtesy of the University of Toronto.


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