Keeping Current: Student Employee Recruitment and Training at Syracuse University’s Bird Library

Laura Benjamin, Lisa Brigandi, Christina Huffaker


At Syracuse University Libraries’ Bird Library, a departmental restructuring and change in staffing meant that student workers in the Access & Resource Sharing department needed to take on new roles. These shifts prompted the new team of supervisors to reinvent the existing student training program, in an effort to cross-train students in both stacks and circulation tasks, as well as to increase students’ confidence, performance, and investment in their work. Revamping training involved creating a LibGuide, PowerPoint tutorials for all tasks, increased tracking of student progress, and weekly quizzes using LibWizard. Modified hiring strategies were introduced, focusing on the recruitment of graduate student applicants to the MSLIS program on campus, offering a paid position at Bird Library as part of their admission package. Overall, these changes resulted in success, making training more efficient and effective. As evidenced by analysis of the LibWizard quizzes over two semesters, improvements in students’ understanding and retention of library processes and procedures were seen.

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