A library is an essential part of any city, and on a university campus libraries are even more essential.
The Harriet Irving Library is looking to see how its services are being received and how it can further help its users. They are launching a new initiative: a student advisory council to help oversee the library and all of its features.
“We are looking for feedback from students on the services that the HIL offers. It’s a chance for us to have a conversation and see what the students really want,” said Lesley Balcom, interim director of libraries.
With the help of this year’s intern, Laura Corscadden, Balcom did some research on how other universities have used their councils. They’re now ready to launch the pilot project.
“We want to hear about the services we are currently offering, like study guides and jobs. We want to hear what else students want us to offer and to let us know,” said Corscadden.
“Things like more quiet space for studying or more areas for group work, these are the things we’re looking to hear,” said Balcom.
The council consists of eight students, all based on the leadership role they hold on campus. Undergraduate and graduate students are represented, as well as St. Thomas University students.
With the council, Balcom and Corscadden hope to work together and create an open discussion. This will then generate new ideas and hopefully projects for the library to work on.
“This is also an opportunity for us to share with them what’s happening in the library that they might not know about. Then, hopefully, they’ll take what we tell them about the HIL and they’ll pass it on in their networks, so more people take advantage of what we have to offer,” said Balcom.
Every month or so, the group will meet and discuss where the library will go next. But for Balcom, she hopes that this group will really bring something new to the table.
“I really hope we hear something that we aren’t anticipating hearing. Something new that could change the way the HIL helps students.”