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PRA Main Duties
- Be on time
- Wear Name Badge
- Wear Proper attire
- Check My scheduler for online appointments first thing
- Check in with Team
- Be friendly and look friendly too
- Approach others and ask if they need any help
- Fill out the Reference stats right away
- Don't forget the Peer Review Survey
- Live and Breathe the Library Databases (lol, but know them really well)
What to Expect?
- First Day/First Week
- Your first day, and first week, will be abnormally hectic compared to the rest of the semester. There will be new students that are lost, students that don't know how to login onto the computers, students looking to check out textbooks, as well as many students needing directional help within the library and around campus.
- First Day
- Do not get frustrated with yourself. Remember you are awesome, that is one reason why Carrie hired you.
- Take a walk around the library to reacquaint yourself with the location of various books and call numbers (Call number practice)
- Ask questions, and then re-ask them if you are still unsure! Use the veteran PRAs and the library staff to help you out.
- Expect minor hiccups (Review Creating Good Searches).
- Bring a hoodie, because the library runs cold.
- Wear Comfortable shoes to walk around in.
- The bright side is that the first day should fly by since you will be very busy.
- The Research Appointment (Reference How To Guide) ----------------> See the Consultation Guide Page for Further Detail
- Research appointments can be walk-in or scheduled online.
- Students should be prepared, where they have already conducted their own research, have an outline of their project, and have put in some hard work already on their assignment. But, most of your students will not be that prepared.
- Time wise, research appointments can last from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. You do not want to go over 45 minutes per session, so that you are not doing all of their work, and that you can make yourself available to other students.
- Your number one goal is to help them in their project. Sometimes that is to assist them in finding research sources, or helping draft an outline, or giving them reassurance. etc.
- Never forget, to walk them through everything you do, always have the laptop turned towards them, and go step by step, slowly.
- There will be times when students will expect you to do their research for them. A lot of times they don't know what their topic is and will ask for help. That's all and fine, but after awhile it becomes apparent they are relying on you to give them the sources they need. Use your better judgment and determine whether that person genuinely needs help or is too lazy to do the work themselves. If the latter, find a breaking point and ask if they are confused about anything. If not, let them know you've given them everything they need to research their topic further and remind them to come back if they need further help.
Nothing to Do?
- There will be down time where you do not have any research appointments and you need a break from your assignments (Meister Task, Go-Animate, Libguide, Social Media Post, etc). This will be a great time to take a walk (get some blood flow to the lower extremities) around the library and ask students if they need help. Especially if you see students working on essays.
- Weeding the stacks (ask Carrie for more info.)
- Push in any chairs if needed
- Familiarize yourself with the library's resources if need too
- Ask Carrie if anything needs to be done
- PUT YOUR "Creative Cap" on and take the initiative to fix/upgrade/ something that could benefit the PRA program, Library, and Students.