Inside the Student Mind: Library Perspectives from a Student Engagement Ambassador

Picture of Student Ambassadors

Four of the Library Student Engagement Ambassadors.

Pictured from left: Katie Lehman, Michelle Laarman, Abbey Warren and Jenny Lee. 

 

Starting last October, I worked as the University of Michigan Library Student Engagement Ambassador. With six other wonderful ambassadors, we aimed to actively publicize library resources and services to the campus community through events and social media. We functioned in two different teams: the programming team focused on creating and planning events while the social media team concentrated on publicizing by making posts on Facebook and Twitter. The system was flexible enough to chime in and share ideas on both parts through our whole group meetings.

 As an active user of numerous social medias and an intending Information Science major, I joined the social media team in hopes of gaining experience in real-life social media work and the opportunity to take and edit photographs. We usually prepared three posts each week, taking photographs and writing interesting but resourceful captions in relation to the library.

One of my memorable posts was the Facebook post about National Squirrel Appreciation Day. After having a great time observing and taking pictures of the squirrels on campus, I completed the post by inserting an introduction about the Askwith Library, making sure to include the resources it provides. All of our posts include something about the library, actively engaging its resources that a lot of students have not incorporated yet.

It was not easy to come up with three different things to post weekly, although I was always brainstorming what could make a good post. The posts needed to be somewhat entertaining as well as beneficial, and I soon noticed that viewing the library from a student’s perspective could be effective. With this in mind, the four of us on the team created synergy and succeeded in producing great posts. Being on the social media team, in return, allowed me to become more creative.

One of my favorite tasks I enjoyed as an ambassador was practicing my graphic design skills, specifically when I was given the task to create a logo for the team during the first month of the internship. It worried me at first, thinking that I would not be able to complete an adequate logo within the short time limit--but with the support of the team and time invested, I was able to create a logo that everybody was satisfied with. The same applied for the graphic design for the “UGLi Sweaters and Therapy Dogs.” It needed to be functional as a clear advertisement as well as an aesthetically pleasing visual to grab attention. By speculating about what would work the most effective to attract as many students as possible helped me in shaping my goal of making these graphic designs.

When we passed out pizzas at the UGLi during finals last semester, it made me delighted to see the stressed out students smile after they got their free slice of pizza. When students made their own buttons at our therapeutic craft session, it made me feel accomplished to see them have a fun time. Not only did this program teach me profitable lessons, but it also helped the campus community by providing resources and service. I grew as a person as I became more confident in sharing my ideas and communicating with others. I discovered my strengths through this remarkable program. I value this internship for providing me incredible opportunities to execute what I love. 

--Jenny Lee