Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Look Back: Library Student Assistants

As with many departments, the University Library has always relied on excellently trained student assistants to help with everything from circulation and shelving to, down here in the Special Collection, describing and arranging archival materials. Recently, one of the Special Collection’s student assistants came across this thick hardbound book from 1973 and expressed shock at the size of the student manual for library assistants.

The University Library student assistant manual from 1973. 
With 90 pages of text, this book offers a window into library procedures. Many of the rules are familiar. Students were expected to dress properly and show up to work on time. Others are slightly outdated, including a section on cigarette breaks.

The cover page of the manual for Student Staff at Samford University. 

Inside the manual includes an example time card for tracking the student’s hours. Students could “swap out” with another student worker if they were going to need to miss work.

An example timesheet has been pasted into the manual to show students how to fill out their hours. 

Example card catalog cards were included to show students how to use the card catalog, a skill that is rarely needed today.

Card catalog card examples in the manual help student’s train to use the card catalog. 

Tucked in the back of the manual is a map of the campus library of the time, slightly crumpled. This old library map includes graduate reading room, a map and art room and no study rooms. The University Library was renovated in the 1990s.

A map of the University Library prior to the renovation in 1996.  

Pictures and text provided by Rachel Cohen of the Special Collection.  Thanks, Rachel!


Anonymous said...

Lee Ketcham (then head of Reader Services, SUL, now dean of libraries, Grand Valley State Univeristy, Allendale, MI) and I wrote this manual.
Stephen Henson

Ruth (Lanier) Huston said...

As a library student assistant in 1964-65, I remember working in Dr. Helmbold's office for his secretary. The job was varied and interesting, especially with the new XEROX technology! A bonus was being able to study while music recitals were held in the basement because a library staff member had to be present when the library was officially closed on Saturday or Sunday. I always volunteered! I have wonderful memories of and gratitude for that campus job!