Peers prove perfect partners: Student Peer Advisors at the University of Limerick

Waters, Jesse (2021) Peers prove perfect partners: Student Peer Advisors at the University of Limerick.


The University of Limerick (UL) is committed to providing excellent services to
the university community it serves, particularly to new students and those
transitioning from second level education. In keeping with this university
objective, the Glucksman Library has provided an innovative service to support
new students at the start of the academic year in the form of a team of Student
Peer Advisors since 2009. We were the first Irish university library to introduce
such a service, since adopted by other university libraries.
Peer Advisors are undergraduate and postgraduate students with excellent
customer service and communication skills who report to the Librarian, Student
Engagement & Success. Trained to assist with orientation activities in the library
such as tours and answering general enquiries about using the library and
finding information, they are essential to reducing library anxiety amongst
students. They also support other UL divisions such as ITD and Student
Academic Affairs by answering all types of enquiries asked by new students in
the early weeks of the semester.
The library continually strives to make a strong contribution to the student
experience and the Peer Advisors play an important role as visible frontline staff.
In the past 6 years, they have dealt with nearly 60,000 queries. This poster
provides some detail on the queries and feedback received, and how the queries
have helped the library to redesign and improve services to students. For
example, the number of queries received in 2018 related to finding physical
items in the library resulted in the creation of a new video tutorial- 'How to find
a book in the library'. This has been widely used in classes, workshops, and in
The students also lend an authentic student voice to the social media presence
of the library by contributing ideas and content to our Snapchat account. It was
successful enough to result in a library takeover of the UL Marketing and
Communications account in a campaign to build awareness for Open Days 2018,
and a Peer Advisor VLOG as part of the Virtual Open Day in 2020.

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