Library ambassadors: written by Karolina Kayko

Karolina and Scholar the Goose

Greetings from the 10th floor of Dana Porter, my personal favourite! My name is Karolina and I’m a 4B Geomatics student here at UWaterloo. I was a Library Ambassador during the Spring 2016 term and returned once more this semester to work for the library. I was originally a student shelver at Dana Porter, because it combined my two favourite things: looking at a lot of books, and organizing stuff. Being a Library Ambassador combines my other favourite things: interacting with other students, and spreading knowledge about my favourite place on campus!

In my third year, I had a co-op term in which I mostly fulfilled GIS analysis and mapping requests to support other departments. During this time, I realized I liked facilitating other people’s work more than I enjoyed doing my own research. I loved helping people be the best they could be and get access to the info they needed! When I saw the job posting for Library Ambassadors on the library website, I thought it would be a wonderful way to combine my love for the library and my passion for helping others. Currently, I’m applying to grad school to be a librarian, and I’d love to continue helping people and spreading knowledge as a full time job.

Over the summer, I worked with another ambassador on the Lego tables (and a building contest!) and on the colouring tables. The project was a great success! I loved seeing students’ Lego creations in person and online - it was difficult to pick a winner for the contest. This term, my self-directed term project will be working on Blind Date with a Book. This event has been successfully run around Valentine's Day for the last two years and has been very popular with students, faculty, and staff. I am working closely with library staff members who have previously run the project and know the ins and outs of what needs to happen. I'm hoping to re-organize the process and streamline it by analysing the data, and procedures. I'm also hoping to give the books a fresh look by revamping the label for the clues. I also plan to include some treats for the Blind Date with a Book tables on Valentine's Day!

Being an Ambassador has greatly improved my public speaking skills and my ability to think on my feet from interacting face to face with students.  I am able to answer questions quickly and effectively. The program has also enhanced my project management skills and allowed for more creativity and flexibility in my Library Ambassador work than my courses do. I really enjoy working with the other Ambassadors at events and on projects, as well as with other library staff. Everyone is incredibly helpful and welcoming, even though we’re all very busy! I would highly recommend becoming a Library Ambassador!