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Special Collections and Archives Student Training Program

Training Methods

In an effort to respect the multiple ways students learn, a variety of methods are employed to train student workers. Examples include:

Mentoring and job-shadowing (for Social learners) - New students will often follow or job-shadow their labor supervisor or an experienced student in order to observe, absorb, learn, and ask questions about the work being done in Special Collections.

Self-paced online tutorials (for Visual, Aural, and/or Solitary learners) - Online tutorials have been created to aid in teaching needed skill sets, such as how to navigate BANC and Voyager, or to perform Special Collections-specific tasks. The tutorials combine videos, written text, pictures, and quizzes.

Hands-on training (for Verbal, Logical, and Physical learners) - Hands-on exercises are done during labor meetings and spontaneous one-on-ones with the labor supervisors and coworkers. Having the opportunity to perform new tasks can help cement knowledge and lead to more in-depth understanding of work that needs to be performed.

Outside-training (for Visual, Aural, Physical, and Social learners) - At times, students are provided opportunities to learn from departments and groups from outside Special Collections to enhance their ability to perform their job. For example, students may be cross-trained in Technical Services to learn more about barcoding books and materials.


Special Collections student workers are assessed and provided feedback regarding their performance in a variety of ways, which may include:

During hands-on training exercises, student workers demonstrate their knowledge by completing a task. They are given instant feedback from their peers or labor supervisor.  If needed, information may be re-taught.

Through online training modules, students are quizzed to demonstrate content mastery. Quiz results are automatically sent to  labor supervisors who review results and provide needed feedback.

Written labor evaluations are administered twice a year by the labor supervisor using a rubric provided by the college labor department.  The labor supervisor meets with students one-on-one to review the evaluation.  Students have the opportunity to respond in writing to the review.

During weekly departmental labor meetings, the supervisor will give general feedback to workers as a group. This feedback may include general notes about changes to processes, reminders about the correct completion of tasks, opportunities for training exercises, or acknowledgment and celebration of a job well done.

Incentives and Promotion

Special Collections workers will undergo a labor evaluation each semester. This evaluation serves to gage where the worker is in growth and potential. At the time of the evaluation, the student may be promoted up one pay grade if he or she has proven capable of handling additional responsibility within the department. Most pay grade promotions are given at the end of the calendar school year to begin at the start of the next school year. Pay grades within the Special Collections department range from 1, Special Collections Apprentice I, to 4, Special Collections Associate.

In addition to pay raise opportunities within the department, exceptional workers may be nominated for a Building Manager position.The Building Managers are a team of student supervisors from various library departments who are responsible for the building when staff are not present. Being hired for this position after a nomination is dependent upon an interview process with Judy Gergen and/or Calvin Gross. Pay grades within the Building Manager team range from 4 to 6, with the highest pay grade reserved for the Building Manager Supervisor.