Learning Through and With Peers

Image of Katherine Chen, Undergraduate Library Fellow



by Katherine Chen ’23

As a second year returning fellow, I had a lot of ideas and knowledge coming into this school year. I had the foundation of knowledge from last school year, and because of that, I had flowing ideas of what kind of projects and services the fellows could work on. 

Meeting this year’s fellowship cohort made me even more excited. In the Research Team specifically, we all came from different backgrounds with different knowledge and perspectives that only served to help us refine our project as it went. At the end of fall semester, the team had to present our pitch idea to a group of stakeholders where we would receive feedback. Working together with the team on our pitch idea was one of the most gratifying experiences of the fellowship for me. I came in with ideas of my own, and when they were introduced to my team members, the ideas were refined and iterated to be even better. One of my ideas was to work with New Student Services on GBO curriculum so that all incoming students would have working knowledge about the library. When I introduced this idea to the team, we worked together to refine it to be even better. We workshopped the idea so that it became working together with resource centers at Cal— such as the Career Center, the Student Learning Center, and Bridges— to discern what students knew about the resources the library offered and to provide a fact sheet about library resources so that students could easily find answers to their questions. We all had different backgrounds and knowledge that we brought to the table, and the team’s intersectionality only helped with refining our project. 

My biggest takeaway from the fellowship this year is that working in teams and being supported by your team members makes all the difference. I learned so much from my peers whether it be about library or campus services I was unaware of, to new perspectives on issues that I would have never encountered on my own. All the people I have met and learned from through the fellowship have made my experience memorable and worthwhile, and I am so grateful I had the privilege of their presence in my life.