Library ambassadors: written by Rabia Gill

Rabia Gill with Scholar the goose Hi, my name is Rabia Gill and I’m currently in my fourth year, completing a Honours Science degree, with a minor in Psychology.  I heard about the Library Ambassador program while working at my current job as a student shelver in the Collections Maintenance unit. Being a Library Ambassador sounded interesting because the job involved interacting with the UWaterloo community and I would be raising awareness about the services the library has to offer. This sounded like an awesome way to work on my public speaking skills and to develop strategies to help plan events.

The library was the first place on campus that I was totally comfortable with when I was in first year. It reminded me of the library in my high school, and needless to say I have spent a lot of time here over the last few years. I love the collection of books that the libraries have to offer, and the Waterloo Reads section is always so interesting. I love how the library is always willing to take suggestions, such as incorporating more graphic novels in the Waterloo Reads collection because of a student’s suggestion.

Being a Library Ambassador is one of the coolest jobs I’ve had. Being able to work on projects and talking to people is so much fun, that you sometimes forget you're actually at work. The events are always interesting, and new projects will be presented to you as they show up during the term. The position definitely keeps you on your toes, but it is really fun to be able to promote the library and have fun while doing so. Some of the upcoming events I’m going to be participating in are the Academic Integrity event as well as Library Day.

My term project is going to be setting up a Lego table and Colouring table, similar to the one I worked on with a fellow Library Ambassador last term. After the positive response from the students, I think it will be an excellent way to bring back a little bit of fun during the stressful times of midterms and finals. The colouring tables also gives students a way to de-stress before returning to a very stressful time of the semester. I’m also assisting with the Button Contest, as I will be responsible for packaging buttons of the designs that students have submitted for the contest.

As a Library Ambassador, I have been able to work on my public speaking and presentation skills, while also learning how organize an event and all the steps involved in managing a project. I love interacting with people, but sometimes I’m not sure if I’m getting information across in the most effective way. During training, we were taught how to handle different kinds of situations and how to respond in a way that is clear. While interacting with students at fairs and events, I have put the training into practice when similar questions came up. I am working on my presentation skills by signing up to talk about the Library Ambassadors at the next All Library Staff meeting. Although it is a short presentation, I believe this will help me learn to give presentations to larger groups of people with confidence. Learning how to design a proposal for a project, and then requesting signs, writing social media content, and requesting equipment was excellent experience. Having never organized my own public event before, it was really awesome to learn about the exact steps and the effort that is put into the events that we see in the Library.