Introducing the Undergraduate Library Fellows Blog

Undergraduate Library Fellowship Logo

The Undergraduate Library Fellowship is a cohort driven program that promotes peer-to-peer learning and mentorship opportunities for Berkeley undergraduates with the shared goal of improving Library services and spaces. Established in the Spring of 2018, the Fellowship program has evolved and grown with each Fellows cohort. The Fellowship initially took shape as a one-on-one mentorship model in which students focused on individual projects within a particular area of librarianship. Fellows were paired with mentors who specialized in fields ranging from GIS to making and encouraged to explore their interests while developing a peer-to-peer teaching service. One impressive examples of a Fellow’s work is the Design Fundamentals research guide by 2018-2019 Fellow Melissa Cheyenne Foote.

Of course, the 2019-2020 Fellowship was interrupted by COVID-19, forcing our Fellows to redirect their projects to a digital setting. Each of the 2019-2020 Fellows created diverse and compelling research guides with topics that included citations, philosophy, and wellness. The mentors were inspired by the Fellows’ flexibility, watching as they readily adapted to the rapid changes 2020 kept throwing at them. At the end of the semester, every Fellow described flexibility as a key takeaway of their experience. With uncertainty about the coming year, the mentors decided to harness undergraduate students’ adaptability, positivity, and problem solving skills to develop peer-to-peer digital learning content including tutorials and handouts for the Library. Motivated by the collaborative and creative vision for the Center for Connected Learning and the unique energy of Berkeley Undergraduates, the Undergraduate Library Fellowship will undergo some new and exciting changes for the 2020-2021 year — this includes the creation of the Fellows Blog!

The new vision for the Undergraduate Library Fellowship is to empower undergraduates to become library champions and contribute to the vision for the Center for Connected Learning through inclusive design and critical frameworks. In the Fall semester, Fellows will receive training in different aspects of librarianship, from user experience and design thinking to research and instruction. In the Spring semester, fellows will foster connections between the Library’s ecosystem and undergraduate communities by prototyping peer-to-peer services developed in teams. In affinity groups (media and making | research and instruction), the Fellows will work to develop peer-to-peer digital learning objects based on their research into their peers’ needs with an eye to critical and inclusive design frameworks. We hope to espouse the values of experimentation, reflection, empathy, and flexibility. 

This blog will be a space for the Fellows to reflect on their processes and experiences. Design thinking is a highly reflective exercise and we hope to capture the Fellows’ ideas, experiments, prototypes, and improvements in this blog. We will be publishing posts from each of this year’s Fellows. 

Without further ado, allow me to introduce the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Library Fellowship cohort:

Keziah Aurin ‘22 – Social Welfare major, Creative Writing minor

Katherine Y. Chen ‘23 – Rhetorics and intended Linguistics major, Public Policy minor

Chloe Chu ‘22 – Public Health major, Data Science minor

Natalie Chu ‘23 – Architecture major, Global Poverty and Practice minor

Zhané Garlington ‘21 – Film and Media Studies major

Tara Madhav ‘21 – Political Science and History major

Joseph Rodriguez ‘21 – Political Science and Philosophy major