Student group formed to help campus libraries

Library Ambassadors

This fall, K-State Libraries instated the first K-State Libraries Ambassadors. Twenty-three K-State students from a wide array of colleges were selected to serve and represent the Libraries. The organization was established to create a more formal avenue of communication between students and the Libraries in hopes to enhance the student-library experience.

“We want [the ambassadors] to talk to the different constituents that they are a part of across campus and bring feedback back to us,” Darchelle Martin, events and programs coordinator for K-State Libraries, said. “It’s a way for us to hear about what the students’ needs are.”

While each ambassador will serve a two-year term, the organization will have open spots between terms to allow for the replacement of any graduating ambassador. Ideal ambassadors are students who are passionate about the libraries, and who want to help others learn about what the library has to offer.

When I was at K-State getting my undergraduate degree, I was not aware of all the services and resources that were available to me,” Caleb Garten, master’s student in mechanical engineering, said. “I wanted to be a library ambassador to help inform students that are unfamiliar with the library to all the resources it has available to assist in their academics.”

Besides providing feedback, the ambassadors will also represent the library at various events throughout the year.

We also wanted to give the students voices when we’re talking to our stakeholders, such as our alumni, donors, future students,” Sara Kearns, undergraduate and community services department head for K-State Libraries, said. “We have many ideas about the libraries, but those groups of people really want to hear from students. Donors want to know who is going to be affected if they donate something and what that means to the student. We want to give the students a stronger voice in terms of the futures of the libraries.”

Finals week was the primary order of business at the ambassadors’ first meeting yesterday.

“Finals week is always a very big deal for the libraries and for students trying to study,” Martin said. “It’s one of the areas where we get the most suggestions and complaints.”

The organization will begin its recruitment again in the spring. The application is posted on the K-State Libraries website. Ambassador or not, the Libraries still welcome and encourage student feedback. Comments, questions and concerns can be submitted via the comment box located in the main entrance of Hale Library, an online post or in person.

“We do get some helpful
information out of almost any comment we get,” Kearns