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Personal Librarian program introduced for freshmen

by Hal Rhorer,

Belk Library is offering a new Personal Librarian program for students. The service assigns a librarian on staff to every Elon 101 class. Intended to aid students with research, writing and all things library-related, the program establishes a relationship with students that the Belk staff hopes will continue to grow for the rest of the students' careers at Elon.

The program is up and running this year with positive feedback thus far. Lynne Bisko, a nonprint librarian, is leading the program and is one of the 15 personal librarians. Bisko researched and spearheaded the idea after hearing about its success at a few other universities.

"We thought it would be a good fit for Elon and that it would be a great program to start based on the benefits that would come from it and the reaction from the students," she said. "We just thought it was a really great idea."

New Student Orientation and Elon 101 classes helped publicize the new endeavor by introducing the service during orientation sessions and inviting the personal librarians to come and speak about the service. All freshmen also received an email from their personal librarians informing them of the program.

Freshman Gina Apperson first heard about the personal librarians in her Elon 101 class, where she and her classmates took a trip to the library with their personal librarian, Shannon Tennant, to get accustomed to the new building.

"She gave us an overview of the library, sort of an orientation, and we did a scavenger hunt," Apperson said. "I'll use the program for finding sources that I would need for papers and any other random things I need in the library."

Although the program is new to Elon, the personal librarian staff at Belk Library seems positive that the students in the program will find the service useful. Patrick Rudd, coordinator of access services and assistant professor, is also a personal librarian and said he has found the student response to be exceptional.

"I've been actually surprised at the response," he said. "We get asked a variety of questions and respond to all kinds of needs."

Freshman Casey Brown has already met her personal librarian and started using the program. Brown has been very impressed with the program and encourages her fellow students to take advantage of the service.

"If you're really serious about getting help or you are not too proud to say 'Oh, I'm having trouble and I need some help,' it's a really good program," she said. "I am going to continue to use it because it's worked for me so far. When you're in college, you want as many things to help you succeed and utilizing this resource is greatly beneficial to you."

Freshmen aren't the only students included in the program. All Elon students are welcome to request a personal librarian at the Belk Library information desk.