Document Type

Conference Presentation

Presentation Date


Conference or Event Name

ALAO 45th annual conference

Conference Location

Columbus, Ohio


Student employees are a vital part of this library’s workforce. Without them, it would be difficult to sustain the services we provide. Over the last few years, we have developed a more deliberate approach to student employee hiring and training, emphasizing their roles within the library mission and the value of their library jobs in preparation for the workforce. This process has taken time, mandatory training, good humor, and food. The work within public services really coalesced with the hiring of the student coordinator for public services. Tasked with uniting and supervising a workforce of 30, the coordinator commenced this work during a library renovation. In making an effort to meet with each student employee, developing ongoing training, communicating regularly, and celebrating milestones, the department quickly saw results. Very shortly, student employees were offering feedback, suggesting workflow improvements, and presenting ideas at library staff meetings. This session will ask attendees to consider whether or how they recognize student employees as essential members of the library workforce. Attendees will learn successful strategies and techniques that they can use to empower their student employees. They will also hear from student employees and brainstorm ways that they might advocate for and collaborate with their student employees.