Library ambassadors: written by Rabia Gill

Rabia jumping in the book stacks in Dana Porter Library

Hi, my name is Rabia Gill and I’m currently in my fourth year, completing a Honours Science degree, with a minor in Psychology. This is my third term working as a Library Ambassador, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey.  I heard about the Library Ambassador program while working at my 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 to raise awareness about the services the library has to offer.

The library has always been a place that makes me feel comfortable on campus. I love how the library has so many services to offer, such as the course reserves, which allows students to sign out textbooks for their classes on loan. This prevents students from missing out on readings if they are unable to afford textbooks for their classes. My favourite part about the library is that there is always something interesting going on, whether that be an event or a workshop. I love how the library actively engages with the students, and tries to provide many opportunities to learn something new.

Being a Library Ambassador is awesome, and it is a job that helps you improve skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem solving. 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 working with fellow ambassadors on projects is great. 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. This term, I will be participating in the upcoming March Break Open House.

This semester, my term project will be bringing back the B Mindful Challenge colouring table project that I co-created with a fellow Library Ambassador last term. We partnered with Dr.Mitch Abrams, the founder of the B Mindful Challenge, to bring his initiative to the University of Waterloo.The project involved having students colour mandala cards, and write positive messages in them during exam time. These cards were then delivered to patients at the Cambridge Memorial Hospital in an attempt to bring our communities together through kindness. We also invited President Feridun Hamdullahpur to show his support, and he was kind enough to colour and write a positive message for the patients at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. Through this project, the Library Ambassador program was able to collaborate with Health Services, the Cambridge Memorial Hospital, and Dr.Mitch Abrams from the Dr.Bird Project. I am looking forward to bringing this project back, and hope that students have the opportunity to de-stress during exam time, but also pay it forward through kindness.

B Mindful Challenge

As a Library Ambassador, I have been able to work on my public speaking and presentation skills, while also learning how to collaborate with others to create a project that promotes community outreach. I love interacting with people, but sometimes I’m not sure if I am communicating my ideas clearly and effectively. Last term, I was given the opportunity to present at the Library Circulation staff meeting, and talk to them about the Library Ambassador program. Later in the term, I was then given the opportunity to present to the Library All-Staff meeting with an audience of around 150 people. I feel much more comfortable giving presentations to an audience of any size because of my experience last term.

Rabia public speaking

This term, I hope to demonstrate leadership and collaboration during my term project, while improving skills such as communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. I’m looking forward to another awesome term!