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Library Student Ambassadors

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 1st, 2021

A library fails to live up to its name when patrons are too intimidated to pass through its doors, or unsure of how to use its resources. When that’s the case, even a world-class repository ceases to be a library. It instead becomes a warehouse.

To be a true library, an institution must provide a welcoming environment and address its users’ needs. The process for determining those needs cannot be top-down. A library must listen.

Creating a feedback loop between the College Libraries’ users, staff and administration is one of the many goals of the Library Student Ambassadors (LSA) program.

The LSA program is a working group of undergraduate and graduate students supporting ongoing user research and participatory library service design, serving as a bridge between library patrons and staff. LSA members engage in conversation about CofC Libraries, promote library resources to fellow students, and works to shape and reform student library experiences.

While LSA is strictly advisory in nature, it exists in support of the College Libraries’ mission of encouraging students to realize their intellectual and personal potential and recognizes student interest in improving the spaces, resources and services necessary for academic inquiry.

Ambassadors gain valuable experience working with library staff and faculty, learning new skills as they represent the College Libraries as professional, knowledgeable and courteous advocates for library services, spaces and resources.

The LSA program, formerly known as the Student Library Advisory Board, is helmed by faculty member Amanda Kraft, Addlestone Library’s research and instruction librarian, who works with a diverse group of Ambassadors every semester.

But don’t take it from us. Reflecting on their time as Ambassadors, here are several students describing their experiences with LSA:

Katie Hill, 2020-2021 President

Majors: Political Science and Public Health

Minor: International Studies

“I have absolutely loved my time as a member of LSA because it has provided such a great opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of my fellow students. This year especially, with all the changes to the library experience due to COVID-19, it’s been so fulfilling to have had a part in making sure students are still able to enjoy their library experience. I’ve also had the honor of serving as the President of LSA this year, and together with my amazing executive board, we were able to get LSA recognized as an official organization on campus, which was awesome!”

Lauren O’Steen, 2020-2021 Vice President (and incoming President for 2021-2022)

Majors: Economics and Jewish Studies

“I have served in some capacity with the organization since the Spring of 2019. The development I have witnessed within LSA since the beginning of my membership has been astounding. Since then, we have completed a total rebranding, became an SGA registered student organization and launched the Instagram link between the College Libraries and students. Last year, we were able to help out with the annual Library User Survey, and our suggestions grew student response by over 700 percent!”

Laurie Fogleman, 2020-2021 General Member and Marketing & Outreach Student Assistant

Major: Communication

Minor: Leadership, Change, & Social Responsibility

“I joined LSA in the Fall 2020 semester and have loved being able to meet new people, share resources with my peers and find out new ways to improve the library experiences for students. LSA has also given me the chance to improve my marketing and communication skills, as I have helped to serve as a liaison over the past Spring 2021 semester between LSA and the Marketing and Outreach Team for the College Libraries.”

Gerell Lawhorne, 2020-2021 General Member

Major: Computer Information Systems

“I became a member of LSA in Spring 2020. Within my time, LSA has been able to improve experiences for fellow Cougars that attend the College. I’ve also been able to network with other students and CofC staff. LSA has given me the opportunity to be the voice for students to help continuing changes that positively impact everyone.”