The Undergraduate Library Fellowship is a cohort driven program that promotes peer-to-peer learning and mentorship opportunities with the shared goal of improving Berkeley Library services and spaces. Fellows foster connections between the Library’s ecosystem and undergraduate communities by prototyping creative solutions to Library problems. This year, the fellows collaborated in two teams of four, each focused on a certain type of service offered by the Library: Making and Research.
Learn more about their projects by watching their showcase video:
Fellows also reflected on their experiences this year through blog posts. Many of the fellows noted personal growth in collaboration, empathy, receiving and incorporating feedback, and understanding new perspectives. A summary of their reflections is below:
The Making Fellows designed and hosted a workshop to help students discover the Makerspace. Alysa Liu described the Making Team’s process in detail in her post, “we set up stations that featured a specific tool in the Makerspace that they can use to customize their tote bag […] It was really rewarding getting to speak with actual students that were both interested and amazed by the Makerspace since it was completely free and open for any student to use.”Making Fellow Maura Adela Cruz summarized her experience in her post, “[The Fellowship] helped me apply the lesson to observe, empathize, and question, as was discussed in our Makerspace team meetings.” Through her time as a Fellow, Maura’s teammate Chloe Chu learned to embrace the spirit of the Makerspace, writing, “at some point, we reminded ourselves that this process was meant to be messy. It is okay to fail. That is the purpose of iteration.” Christina Park also learned a lesson about iteration, “the feedback at the ULF showcase was a small example of how feedback would be used in a positive, constructive way throughout the fellowship that expanded on any ideas that we brought to the mentors or the research team. This was a valuable part of the process and helped improve the quality and depth of our project.”
Research Fellows iterated on service project ideas, settling on a survey for Student Library Employees in order to better understand the types of questions that students are comfortable asking to their peers. Returning fellow Katherine Chen wrote about the experience of collaborating with her teammates, “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.” Her teammate Sofia Hernandez reflected that “being open to change and feedback helped our group’s deliverable in the long run” and also helped her to develop her resilience. Margaret Asperheim reflected on the design thinking process, writing that “over the course of this fellowship, I learned that making resources isn’t enough; you have to engage with students to really improve research skills, something that I believe will make a noticeable difference in the way students relate to the library.”
Christina Park cogently summarized the fellowship experience, writing, “ULF emphasizes teamwork, creative thinking, and communication… I think the fellowship was a genuine two-way collaboration between the mentors and the fellows.”