Library ambassadors: written by Mary Lynne Bartlett and Kailee Hilt

Kailee and Mary Lynne with Scholar the goose

Hi Everyone! Our names are Kailee Hilt and Mary Lynne Bartlett, and we are the co-leads for the Library Ambassador program.

This program has been an exciting opportunity for both of us to take on. Each semester we interview, hire, and train the new Library Ambassadors, but our engagement with the Library Ambassadors doesn’t stop there. Throughout the term we coach the Ambassadors on the skills they are working on, have catch up meetings, and help them with their term projects. The best part about being a co-lead has been getting to know each of the Library Ambassadors and see them grow. The Library Ambassadors bring a fresh perspective to meetings and ideas, which has been great.

Library Ambassador meeting

From the start, this project has been a great way to be creative. We created a comprehensive training program that matches the skills we want the Library Ambassadors to have by the time they leave the program to the training activities we have them participate in. The training day involves a Library Amazing Race throughout Dana Porter, where the Library Ambassadors work in teams to solve clues to get to the finish mat, a three-minute speech on any topic that they present to their peers, customer service scenarios, and adaptability and approachability activities.

Library Ambassador raceLibrary Ambassador race

We have had lots of positive feedback from the Ambassadors about the training day and have said the activities helped them throughout the semester in their jobs. What a fun way to start off the semester!

It has been awesome to watch these students engage and grow. Throughout the program, Library Ambassadors have developed their leadership, time management, public speaking, and planning skills, while educating students on the services and initiatives that the Library is leading as part of the campus community. One of the best parts about the program is the term project. Term projects can be worked on alone or in groups of three. The Library Ambassadors write a proposal about their idea and by critically thinking, employing time management and organization skills ensure that their project can be executed. There have been a wide variety of projects completed so far, and it is great to see what the Ambassadors choose to work on. The projects enhance leadership skills, by encouraging critical thinking, oral and written communication, and problem resolution skills.

Harry Potter event

Photobooth poster

Passport challenge

Another really great aspect of the program is the mentoring opportunity that the Ambassadors have available to them. Ambassadors pick a mentor and meet up to talk about work skills and school amongst other topics. There have been really great bonds built between the Ambassadors and the mentors, and it has been great to see these interactions take place.

One of the highlights for us in this program has been working with our campus partners to create the best experience possible for the Library Ambassadors, but also for the UWaterloo student body. We have learned a lot from the campus partners in terms of potential student engagement opportunities, how to develop the mentoring aspect of the program, and cultivating the skills the Library Ambassadors are working on. We sit on a working group with FEDS and the SSO, and also have a partnership with the Office of Academic Integrity. We look forward to creating more partnerships across campus in the future.  

Office of Academic Integrity booth

As much as the Library Ambassadors have gained and enhanced their skills, so have we. This program has helped us strengthen our problem solving, communication, critical thinking, time management and leadership skills. We have had lots of opportunities to strengthen our skills by writing proposals, creating budgets, training documents and activities, the Library Ambassador handbook, and public speaking at meetings.   

We encourage all students to apply to be a Library Ambassador! Watch for the job postings on social media and the Library website!

We wish everyone luck on exams. Have a safe and happy holiday! 

Scholar the goose in an elf costume