Tuesday, August 9, 2022, 1:00-2:00pm ET

Motivating Student Staff for Successful Service

Date & Time:

Tuesday, August 9, 2022, 1-2 P.M. ET


You have just hired a student to staff your circulation desk. In their interview, they excitedly told you that their favourite place in the world was the library, and they couldn’t wait to engage with collections and patrons! It’s a week into their new role, and you walk by the front desk. Their head is down, hiding behind the computer screen. What are they looking at? You take a closer look… Is that their phone?!

Libraries often hire student-staff to assist with service provision. With students’ many responsibilities and contextual factors, it can be challenging to maintain engagement in part-time roles, risking passive, disengaged service provision. Effective student support service provision is grounded in our ability as managers to empower student employees to develop professional competencies, and to actively shape our services to address evolving patron needs. How can managers of student-staff foster motivation, engagement and commitment to part-time work, given competing commitments and challenges? How can we support student-staff if they fall short?

This session outlines how we implement four themes of student-staff motivation (personal and professional development; honoring lived experience; empowered leadership; and community support) in recruitment, training, and the workplace. We will describe how we address common issues related to student-staff motivation while addressing evolving student needs, through supporting student-staff to actively shape our programming. Although we’ve faced significant changes and challenges, our student staff have remained passionate, engaged, and motivated due to their ownership of our services and resources.

You will learn how to:

  • address challenges related to motivating student staff, from recruitment, to training, to the workplace; with a particular focus on management approaches that facilitate engagement
  • identify and/or build on opportunities to increase student staff motivation and engagement through shaping programming and services
  • design methods for effective reflection and integration of your student staff’s professional experiences with their personal and professional development.

By supporting student employees’ professional and personal development in alignment with library services, we can empower student-staff to develop innovative, flexible, inclusive, and relevant programming while maintaining a motivated team.

About the Presenters:

Alex Kuskowski – University of British Columbia | Learning Services Librarian

Emma MacFarlane – University of British Columbia | Learning Commons Coordinator

If you need assistance in registering or connecting to the webinar, email us at education@accessola.com.