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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Library forms team to increase research resource knowledge

West Campus Library, known to many students as one of the most popular places to study on campus, is working to promote Internet databases, e-journals and other library services, through the creation of a student street team.
The street team concept, usually referring to volunteers promoting local musicians and groups, came to the library through the brainstorming of West Campus Library Director Leslie Reynolds and librarian Michael Smith. They wanted to increase student use of library resources and decided that using student leaders would be the least intimidating for college students.
Jennifer Foster, a class of 2006 library fellow, was assigned the task of organizing the student team last summer. She felt that many students were coming to West Campus Library but ignoring the valuable information sources that can be found there.
“Often they only use [West Campus Library] as a place to study without realizing that there are so many electronic resources that could help them with their research, so they can get better grades on their projects,” Foster said.
By fall, Foster had begun recruiting a team, which now consists of five students in varying majors. Jennifer Coffin, a senior management major and student worker at the WCL, was one of the first students to join the team. Coffin also sees the importance of the street team as a library outreach.
“Research has shown that many students, particularly undergraduates, do not know about many of our resources, much less how to use them,” Coffin said. “We want to show them that the information they need, whether it’s for class or for personal use, is available to them. And we want to help them find what they’re looking for.”
Events hosted by the student team so far include a movie marathon during last semester’s dead week and a Super Bowl party this semester. The events were better attended than was expected, with over 300 students participating in the movie marathon alone, but Foster still feels that the focus should be on spreading awareness of library resources.
“The challenge we are having is ensuring that we connect the fun activities to the Street Team and the library, and that we promote the resources in every fun activity we develop,” Foster said.
The student team is planning an art contest to decorate the new study rooms presently being installed in the library. They will host a second movie marathon during this spring’s dead week. While these events directly affect the students on West Campus, the team doesn’t want their mission to stop there.
Seth Gibson, a junior industrial distribution engineering major shares in the opinion of the rest of the student team that they need to reach out to the entire campus.
“I would also like some more diversity, major wise, simply because it takes all kinds to have an effective group that reaches everyone’s needs,” Gibson said.
“I think it’d be great if we could enact an event that expanded beyond the boundaries of West Campus,” Coffin said. “That’s what we hope to accomplish with the art contest.”
Regardless of the setting or event, the purpose of the street team will continue to be their emphasis – the team and library staff want to help all students succeed in all they do by offering the best library resources.
“Having a good understanding of how to access, comprehend, synthesize, use, and present good information is a competitive advantage in getting a job, in making decisions, and in being successful in life,” Foster said.

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