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Survey of Academic Library Upper Management: View of the Use of Student Workers in the Library 

Survey of Academic Library Upper Management: View of the Use of Student Workers in the Library 

Novel of Particularly Beneficial Ways to Use Student Labor in the Library

We asked respondents to list and comment on novel or particularly beneficial ways in which they had used student labor.

Although a sizeable portion of respondents listed nothing, some activities were frequently mentioned. These can be summarized by one answer: “Nothing unusual. Just traditional roles: shelving resources, sorting returns, checking out resources, assisting students with basic computer needs, filling paper in the photocopiers.”

In addition to these “traditional” roles, respondents also reported benefits for students acting as tutors, particularly for classes known to be challenging.

A few respondents described student laborers taking on more atypical roles, such as working on graphic design, running a 3D printing service, and being placed in managerial roles.


The 50-page report presents data from 84 academic library directors, university librarians, library deans and other high level library executives about their experiences with and plans for student workers in the library. The study gives detailed data on the total number of students workers per library, and their full time equivalent count. It also gives librarian satisfaction data with the overall performance of their student workers, and their level of satisfaction with the training regime in place. In addition, the librarians sampled give their opinion on whether they plan to use more, less, or about the same amount of student labor in the library in the near future. They also give their advice on how to select, train, motivate and deploy student workers.

Table 1.1 Approximately how many students does the library employ?
Table 1.2 Approximately how many students does the library employ? Broken out for public and private colleges
Table 1.3 Approximately how many students does the library employ? Broken out by Carnegie class or type of college
Table 1.4 Approximately how many students does the library employ? Broken out by enrollment
Table 1.5 Approximately how many students does the library employ? Broken out by tuition, $
Table 1.6 Approximately how many students does the library employ? Broken out by the location of the college

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