Heena Karavadra (Academic Librarian) and Khadidja Kelalech (PhD Student)
University of Leicester
The University of Leicester Library Champions scheme was launched in September 2019 as a means through which the library could work in partnership with students to develop and improve library services and initiatives. Prior to this scheme the main methods through which the library was getting student feedback was through the National Student Survey results and Staff Student Committee meetings held within subject areas during term time. Feedback for the library through these channels was often generic. In order to work more closely with students to gain their perspective on specific areas of development the Library Champions scheme was developed by Heena Karavadra (Academic Librarian).
Library Champions are student volunteers who are actively involved in a number of short-term projects through which they provide feedback as well as promote library services and campaigns within their departments. In return Library Champions gain valuable work experience and develop their transferable skills and learn about the different areas of work within the library. Volunteers only need to complete a minimum of one project in order to gain a Certificate of Participation. The scheme is open to students from all subject areas and from all levels of study. In the last three years of the scheme has attracted students from foundation courses to researchers from across all disciplines, thereby providing the library with a varied viewpoint.
Now it’s in third year, this cohort is the first to work with the library using a hybrid approach of working online and on campus. This case study focuses on the work of the 21/22 cohort who have been involved with projects that include the diversifying library collections and developing guidance to help academics diversify reading lists. The video below will focus the impact of the work completed by Library Champion Leader Khadidja Kelalech within the library and more widely across the University, the impact of Covid-19 on volunteering with the library as well as highlight the skills and experience she have been able to gain as a result of volunteering.