Student Employees are an Essential Part of the University Libraries

As a new semester gets underway, students gravitate to the University Libraries. There are many reasons — learning about research resources, establishing study routines, using available technology, meeting friends, or even getting a cup of coffee at Bracken’s Bookmark Café. One lesser-known purpose is seeking a job.

The University Libraries employ around 100 students during an average semester, relying on their skills in virtually every facet of the organization from highly visible positions at public circulation points to behind-the-scenes operations such as technical support and cataloging.

Student Assistants contribute to the Libraries’ goal of providing high-quality service to the Ball State community. In return, the Student Assistants acquire workplace experience that serves as a useful foundation when they move to their chosen careers. Perhaps just as importantly, they are also exposed to resources that assist them with research and learning during their academic careers.

David Myers, a Student Assistant in Educational Resources Collections, agrees. He said, “I’ve become quite familiar with a lot of resources that help me in my classes, such as electronic resources, interlibrary loan, and digital equipment.”

Bracken Library is open 120 hours a week, which means there are positions to suit the Early Bird, the Night Owl, and everything in between. “This is one of the only jobs that allows you to have a set schedule for an entire semester and works around classes and extracurricular activities,” observed senior Amanda Rowlen, a veteran Educational Resources Assistant.

Candice Boren, a Student Assistant in Main Circulation, appreciates the geographical convenience: “The location is a major plus. It’s nice having a job at the center of campus.”

Other students, such as Tyler Davidson, whose position is in Information Services, view their work with an eye to the future. “Working at Bracken has been my first opportunity to work in a professional setting and has helped me to plan my future career in library science.” 

Jobs in the University Libraries are posted through Career Services and students interview for available positions. Once part of the University Libraries’ team, many student assistants stay until they graduate, a practice that speaks well of the Libraries’ workplace.

For more information, contact Suzanne S. Rice, Assistant Dean for Public Services.   ◙

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