Perks of Park: How Research Helpers Aid Your Library-Going Experience

Story by Krystal Black
Feature photo via Central Michigan University Facebook Page

With a quiet work environment, a variety of choices of where to sit all with great views, readily available printers and computers and so much more, it’s no surprise that Central Michigan University’s Park Library is one of best places to get work done.

One thing that many students do not know about the library or have not had the privilege to work with yet are the people who work in the library solely as help to your research.

The Job of a Research Helper
These research helpers are located on the second floor next to the elevators. Sophomore Heather Labrecque provided insight into the job of a helper.

“We are here to provide basic research help, whether we are finding titles to books that could be useful, getting started in general or helping students make connections to librarians,” Labrecque said.

Junior Sophie Bedford said she got involved as an ambassador to the library before working at the library.

“Freshman year, I became a Librarian Ambassador where you go around campus explaining library resources, and then someone from the club put in a good word for me and I’ve been here ever since,” Bedford said.

Bedford got involved because she loves the library, but one of the hardest parts is actually getting the job after submitting an application.

“A lot of people are interested in this position and there are a lot of applications for the librarians to choose from. Once you get the job you stay for a while, so there are rarely any openings,” Labrecque said.

“I’ve been working here since the spring semester of my freshman year and I’m a junior; it’s been three years,” Bedford said.

Perks of Working in Park
When you become a research helper you find yourself in a quiet environment where you are able to work on your own tasks as well as aid students in finding a place to start their own research.

“The best part of this job is the flexibility. I am able to not only do my own work, but also help other students where they need help. This job is consistent around my classes, but if I need to change a shift someone helps me out,” Labrecque tells.

Bedford says that the job is not always fun despite how easy it might seem.

“When people come and their papers are due in the next couple days but we won’t have a book they need for a couple weeks, it’s hard. I hate telling them we don’t have what they need,” Bedford said.

All of the research helpers apply for different reasons. Labrecque applied as a good way to help herself and others while Bedford applied because her mom worked at a library and it felt like home.

“This job is convenient to my location on campus. Also, the environment encourages me to do my homework as well as helping others as best that I can,” Labrecque said.

“It’s really great to help students experience their true research capabilities, and that’s what we are here for!” Bedford said.

There are countless resources to help with homework or projects at Central’s Park library.