Reference Services Review
This paper describes the benefits found in undergraduate students working to provide research assistance to their peers. The discussion includes how soft skills are built, along with how the position has aided in both educational and building towards their future careers. The paper is submitted for the special issue on “The future of peer-led research services.”
The authors provide a viewpoint from both a peer research supervisor and a student currently working as a PRC. The paper covers the requirements and implementations at the beginning of the program along with the changes that have occurred to better streamline the process of hiring and training. The viewpoint of the PRC was a key factor in the process.
Soft skills are a key component of the program. The undergraduate PRCs develop confidence, leadership and communication skills through interactions with their peers. The campus community is responding to the peer model because the PRCs are currently taking the same classes or have recently taken them, and the campus is now asking for the peer mentors that assist librarians in teaching introductory classes.
For libraries considering the development of their own programs, the benefits presented can lend to their proposals on real-world application beyond the college experience, as well as how it benefits the busy schedules of librarians.
The training the PRCs are provided by librarians provides credibility and trust, which encourages their peers to utilize the services. Soft skills are also one of the most requested needs for businesses beyond college. The PRC program is providing these skills, which the peer mentors use both in career readiness and their daily interactions.
This paper views a program only a few years old on how it managed through a pandemic, as well as how the supervisor adjusted training to reflect a renovation that brought about a changing desk model. With a current undergraduate PRC as the co-author, a unique perspective is brought to the writing by showing what they personally are taking away from working in the program.
This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karlene T. Clark and Avery Breiland. "“I want my PRC”: engagement of undergraduates with and assessment of the peer research consultant program" (2023). Librarian Publications. 22.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License