By Stephanie Willen Brown & Chelsea C. Hammond
UConn’s experiment with student ‘ambassadors’ for vendor-funded training on specialized searching.
Free library training! All expenses paid! This sounded pretty good to us in the University of Connecticut (UConn) Libraries, and it sounded great to our students. The Scopus Student Ambassador (SAm) program, funded by Elsevier, permitted the UConn Libraries to hire graduate students to teach citation searching, using both Scopus and Web of Science, to other graduate students. The training doesn’t cost the libraries anything, and it is free for graduate students, benefitting both UConn Libraries and UConn graduate students. The peer-to-peer training model we used can be replicated in many types of libraries.
Peer-to-peer training holds great potential for all types of training and educational scenarios with different types of libraries, not just academic facilities giving training on databases. For example, public libraries could set up training programs for teens about using library resources that are facilitated by other teens, or have seniors teach other seniors how to find medical information using MedlinePlus and other reliable resources. School librarians might consider setting up programs where students teach other students about using the library to help complete book reports. Corporate librarians might offer brown bag lunches where one employee facilitates a round table discussion about how other employees could use the in-house librarian and library resources to their best advantage. The possibilities really are endless.
Library Journal; September 15 2008, Vol. 133 Issue 15, p28-30, 3p
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