As part of my Leader Advancement Scholarship requirements, I served on one of the university committees for the 2018-2019 academic year. CMU’s Academic Senate is the university’s primary policy-making body for a wide range of issues involving academic life at CMU. Much of the work of the senate takes place through an elaborate network of committees. There are several university committees that focus on different projects and initiatives at CMU that students and faculty play an important role in. I decided to apply for a seat on the Library Committee whose charge is:
- Serve as a liaison to facilitate communication between the library staff and other segments of the University, particularly students and faculty.
- Act as a board of arbitration for the librarian in cases where a conflict of interest arises between parties or groups.
- Aid the librarian in planning and executing programs for library growth in quality and service.
This committee is composed of 12 faculty members and 5 students. It meets once a month to discuss topics and data such as instruction services, access to services, documents on demand, student learning, faculty research, building usage and satisfaction, budget reports, speaker series events, collections, and more. We also analyze survey results from different studies that were conducted last year about the library’s offerings.
This interested me because I use the library often to work on classes, meet with groups, and hold tabling events. However, I rarely use it to actually check out books, nor do I use any of the online services. The majority of students at CMU also do not use the library for anything other than a work space. I was curious to learn about the different benefits and services that the library offers and what changes they were making to better suit students and faculty’s needs. I also wanted to get insight on what programs and initiatives where currently in place and any that were in the process of being implemented. My goal with this committee was to act as a voice of students to give decision makers input for future changes.
My experience on this committee was very unique because I was able to work with faculty in an area that I haven’t been highly involved with. Every committee I’ve been on at CMU has been composed of students only, it was refreshing to sit in a room where the majority of people were not students. The library is such an essential part to CMU’s campus and has the ability to serve many different purposes to all kinds of people. I’m grateful I could be a part of the library committee to learn about its capabilities and give feedback for improvements.