Meet our Student Engagement Committee co-chairs, and learn about all the fun stuff the Library has in store for you this term.
The Library's Student Engagement Committee is a group of dedicated and enthusiastic staff working to create awareness about the Library and build relationships through student-focused events and activities. Their fearless leaders are student engagement coordinator Mary Lynne Bartlett and library associate Ryan Ball.
If you've ever thought the Library is THE MOST FUN department at Waterloo - you would be right - and you have this team of Library staff volunteers to thank.
It takes a lot of work to make the Library the happiest place on campus, but Mary Lynne can easily describe what motivates her:
"Outreach is important to me because I like seeing the positive impact that we have on students. When we had the first Therapy Dogs event, the stress on students’ faces was evident. After petting and interacting with the dog, they looked noticeably more relaxed. We don’t always know the impacts that we have on the student body, but even if we can make a small difference for someone, that’s amazing. Academics are incredibly important, but so is down time. There has to be a balance with everything in life. The Student Engagement Committee provides opportunities for students to learn about the Library in a fun and interactive way."
The Student Engagement Committee has been doing outreach activities for many years, but now has more than ever, including keystone events each term, such as the annual Library Day fall fair, Blind date with a book and, of course, Goose Week. However, both co-chairs agree that having therapy dogs in the Library each term is their favourite event, expressing that seeing the instant transformation in stressed-out students is very rewarding.
Pro tip: We have the shortest lines of any therapy dog event on campus. Shorter lines = longer cuddles.
Many of the Library's events are so successful thanks to the support of our campus partners, as Mary Lynne learned in the role that "we have a lot of opportunities to create partnerships on campus to have a bigger impact on the student body." During Goose Week alone the committee partnered with Retail Services, Waterloo Athletics and Recreation, and Food Services to deliver a week filled with Goose-themed activities, events, displays and swag. The co-chairs see even more potential to grow the committee's work and reach across campus. "I would also like to continue the momentum we’ve started with establishing more campus partners," says Ryan, "getting to collaborate and share knowledge has been very exciting, and helps create a more cohesive campus experience for everyone.
"We’re lucky to have a very passionate group who is excited to make both the Library and university great places to be."
Get to know your Library's Student Engagement Committee better at one of the many Library events running this term - kicking off on Monday September 17 at our grand opening of the third floor lounge in Dana Porter Library, with refreshments, a photo booth and a chance to win great prizes!