A new program at the University of Calgary makes navigating the Taylor Family Digital Library a lot easier.
The Peer Roaming Program at the TFDL, which began on September 10, has a total of eight students who walk around at different times in bright orange shirts answering questions and helping students get acquainted with the library.
Third-year psychology student and peer roamer Grant Cheung said the program is a great opportunity to help fellow students.
“It shows students that the university and other students are committed to helping them. We’re here to offer assistance and help in any way. If they are confused about anything they can always ask — we’re friendly,” said Cheung.
Cheung said he benefited from his experience as an orientation leader in previous years. His search on the U of C website led him to the Peer Roaming program and allowed him to continue helping students.
“I enjoyed helping students and showing them around. This is the perfect position for that because it’s just like an extended orientation leader position,” said Cheung.
The Peer Roamers Program is a combined effort between the TFDL, the Students’ Union, Learning Services and the Student Success Centre. It was funded by a Quality Money grant that the U of C provides to the SU to delegate.
According to Learning Services and TFDL librarian Susan Beatty, the peer roamers can help students in many ways.
“The idea is that peer roamers are the friendly faces of the library,” said Beatty. “They wander around the floors of the library helping students with their work, whether it’s related to basic library information, writing assistance or just pointing students in the right direction.”
Beatty said it is important for a learning institution, like the U of C, to have many options available to help students learn.
“Students always need help with their learning, and we are a learning institution. The library and [SSC] support learning and we saw it as just another form of support in a place where students are studying,” she said.
The peer roamers can be found at the TFDL weekdays during main business hours. The peer roamers also have an information booth set up on the first floor of the library.
“If you see us in the orange shirts, come find us. We’re here to help and we don’t bite,” said Cheung.