Research 101

By Sofia Hernandez, Undergraduate Library Fellow (2022-23)

A highlight of my ULF experience this semester was being able to bring our peer-to-peer consultation experience outside of Doe 190 and into a different setting: Doe 223! Last semester, I learned a lot about hosting peer-to-peer consultations and meeting the needs of a wide variety of learners. Assuming the role of a “mentor” to my peers while simultaneously being an undergraduate student myself gave me unique insight into the research consultation experience: it is daunting to ask for help, but that fear slowly dissipates as you work alongside someone who looks just like you and is on the same educational journey as you are! I loved getting to know our consultees and the wide-ranged string of research ideas they brought us to untangle together, therefore, I was delighted to learn that this semester would bring in the opportunity for the Research fellows to host a “Research 101” workshop of our own in the library classroom (infamous and aforementioned Doe 223) on the second floor–talk about moving up in the world!

As a returning fellow, I’ve attended a couple of Research 101’s in my time; all of them uniquely wonderful and engaging. The rotating teams of librarians who host these workshops have a seemingly natural “synergy” to their presentations and teaching styles, a quality I greatly admire as an aspiring librarian myself, so the idea of hosting a workshop for students, by students, made me feel equal parts nervous and excited. 

After some tentative scheduling and planning, a date was set: March 16. The lead up to that Thursday was short lived (as was the rest of the spring semester…where did the time go?!). Alongside two of the three other Research fellows, our consultation-free days were spent going over changes we’d like to see in the current workshop module. We played around with the order of information, reworded text-heavy slides with student-friendly language, and most importantly: bonded and got to know one another the more time we spent together tinkering with our Google slides. 

The day of our presentation rapidly crept up on us, and though I was nervous beforehand (and admittedly during), our workshop ran quite smoothly. Hosting a research workshop was no different than hosting a consultation, plus, I had the support of two awesome Research fellows beside me who I could rely on to take the reins and fill in for spots or details I missed. Everything did not fall solely on one person–a feat unknown to many who have experienced college group projects. Hosting Research 101 allowed me to exercise the skills I have been learning in our consultations (for instance, how to be flexible and open to throwing “the rule book” out when things don’t go as planned) and apply them to a larger and more collaborative scale.

As I close out my junior year at Cal, I am excited and eagerly anticipating returning to the fellowship in the Fall and seeing what new opportunities and doors the fellows and I can open together.