By Allison VanLannen and Jasmine Jackson
The libraries across the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus provide a ton of different experiences for students, faculty, and staff alike. Library student workers have a unique perspective on the Libraries and the top resources they offer.
As students working in the library Jasmine and I have had the ability to see just what an educational experience it has been to work for the Libraries at the U.
My name is Allison VanLannen, I am a third-year student studying Neuroscience and Spanish Studies. My co-writer, Jasmine Jackson, is a second-year student studying Marketing and Architecture.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can dive into what’s really important: the library itself.
The Libraries has so many different resources we simply wouldn’t have known about before starting here. Working for campus libraries we have learned to be detectives. We can now look deeper for something that’s hard to find. We know how to use the website, librarians, and other resources.
Speaking highly of our positions may give us some brownie points with our supervisors. So, to prove this isn’t a media stunt, we spoke with other student library workers to take a look behind the scenes at the UMN Libraries.
Sam Bloomquist is a senior studying computer science. He has been working at the Law Library since his first year at the U. In our discussion, Sam mentioned the many resources the libraries have to offer.
One of the resources Sam talked about was the interlibrary loan system and how it is one of the best kept secrets that can help relieve students’ financial stresses.
“I have personally used it for textbooks in the past and in most cases was able to keep the books for the whole semester free of charge, and return them after my finals,” he said.
In this way, students are able to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars during their college career. The best part about this tool? It is available to all students, not just those who work for the Libraries!
Equipment and spaces
Next, we took a trek to Wilson Library to speak with Tina Tram, a recent graduate who studied Asian Languages and Literature.
Tina raved about how most students don’t know that they can check out things like phone chargers and even bike locks!
“People come for multiple things such as meetings, solo study, or to study with friends,” she said. “But it doesn’t have to be just studying, you can come to hang out with your friends.”
So how do students get the knowledge they need to utilize the resources? Tina says, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help on research topics.” Reach out to subject librarians and other library workers for help.
Whether it’s bike locks or Interlibrary Loans, clearly student workers agree that the Libraries has more to offer than what meets the eye. Each of the libraries provides deep and intricate resources to students, staff, and faculty alike, and anyone can benefit as long as you’re willing to ask.
If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t even know where to start, student staff can be your launching pad. If you ever catch me or Jasmine at one of the libraries, come and say hello!