The Library is thrilled to announce that the Student Engagement Committee has two exciting initiatives launching this week designed to help students feel connected and engaged.
The pandemic has presented many challenges for everyone, but one that is consistent for every student is a change in how they connect with their peers. In a time of uncertainty, encouragement and shared experiences go a long way in creating a sense of community and ease to face challenges. Enter the Birds of Encouragement.
Birds of Encouragement
Birds of Encouragement (created by Mary Lynne Bartlett, Kellie Karim, Karen Pavao, Caitlyn Sageman, and Ariel Stables-Kennedy) is a partnership between the University of Waterloo Library and McMaster University Library, using both mascots as identifiable connection points. Scholar the Goose and Maud the Marauder adorn red cardigans as a symbolic nod to Mr. Rogers and being nice to one’s neighbour. These two fine feathered friends are sharing words of encouragement via a special Instagram account created for this project. Students from each university can submit words or drawings of encouragement for their fellow students to promote encouragement, kindness, and community-building. Each week these sentiments will be posted with the hope of encouraging students.
The idea behind this project came from the concept of pen pals and while student connection will remain its main purpose, there are plans to expand in the future. Students at either university will be able to share their library experiences (helpful tips, resources, ideas) with one another. This will create quite the knowledgeable flock of students.
To celebrate the launch of this special partnership, we are sending out a limited-edition Scholar and Maud skating sticker to any student who submits words of encouragement. We hope Birds of Encouragement will be a high-flying success!
Also, launching this week is the “Scholar(ly) creates with special guest” series. This initiative includes activities orientated towards providing students an opportunity to get creative during the quieter winter months and socialize with one another.
Every Wednesday during the winter semester from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. there will be a themed activity and a special guest. Activities range from a paint night, knitting, planting, a poetry café, learning to create fantasy maps using GIS and how to make green screen pictures. Each event will also include a Student Engagement Committee member to help facilitate conversation and guide students through the creative activity. Time will be allocated for the guest speaker to talk about their position in the library, how they interact with students, their research, and any special projects they are working on. We have also partnered with Waterloo Public Library who will be leading some of the activities during the semester.
Keep an eye out for regular reminders on our social media pages to join in on these exciting new initiatives!