KSU Library Opens Doors to Student Assistants


Junior industrial technology major Devon G. Roach shifts and organizes books in the library on Thursday, Feb. 7. Roach shelves books at the 7th floor, which collects a lot of science books that interest him. Photo by Yolanda Li.

Dominique Todd

University Libraries mentors students and offers workplace experience through paid Student Assistant positions. Student Assistant positions are offered for both undergraduate and graduate students at Kent State.

Karen Hillman, director of University Libraries Marketing, Communications & Public Relations, said student assistant positions are not just jobs but mentorship opportunities.

“Here at the library, we don’t want to just provide students with jobs,” Hillman said. “We want to give them as much as an experience as we can.”

She said students don’t need any experience to work in the libraries and can fill out applications at any time.

“Undergraduate and graduate students of all majors can apply to be student assistants,” Hillman said. “We mentor our students, teach them what to do, and assist them in applying the knowledge learned here to their general interest.”

Student assistant applications are available both online and in the University Libraries Dean’s office.

Hillman said student assistant position is offered and beneficial to all majors.

“Student assistant positions are available in all of the campus libraries, and there are multiple departments,” Hillman said. “Working here gives students the opportunity to learn skills needed in any career field.”

Iman Alexander, a junior theatre major, said she began her student assistant position in November 2012 at the Performing Arts Library.

“So far I have had a great experience,” Alexander said. “The PAL is a very positive atmosphere and I enjoy my job.”

Alexander said the library staff took the time to thoroughly train her on her position, and taught her the skills needed to successfully accommodate her patrons.

“They teach you how the system works, good customer service techniques, how to best interact with others, and how to be organized amongst other things you need to know,” Alexander said.

Alexander said working as a student assistant has also taught her valuable workforce skills that will benefit her in future career paths.

“You’ll always need to know patience, and working here has taught me a lot of that,” Alexander said.

She said it can be a tedious process working with customers and that patience is required in order to do her job effectively.

“Not everyone comes in the library knowing what they are looking for,” Alexander said. “I just have to take my time, listen, and help them get what they need.”

Jasmine Jefferson, a biomedical science librarian, said she began her career working for University Libraries as a library student assistant.

“When I first started working in the library as a freshman, I didn’t even know what librarians did or that you had to go to school for it,” Jefferson said. “Having people take me under their wing and working close with others really got me interested in how the library worked.”

Hillman said she remembered Jefferson making the decision to become a librarian after sitting in during an interview session with her supervisor.

“She started off studying American Sign Language,” Hillman said. “After sitting through that interview, she told me she realized exactly what librarians did and that she wanted to become one.”

Hillman said the experience is not only beneficial to the student assistants but to the entire faculty in the libraries.

“The students that come to work in the library are so hungry for knowledge, and I love working with them,” Hillman said. “They have the opportunity to make profound changes in one’s life and we make sure to live up to their expectations.”


Dominique Todd at [email protected].