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Breaking down hierarchies: Student-led peer information programs

In Brief

This article will review the processes that two student success and engagement librarians undertook in order to embed social justice tenets into their management of peer consulting/teaching programs at two different institutions. While there has been much discussion of the reasons for and ways to implement peer consulting/teaching programs, less focus has been given to how to operate such programs from a place of equity and care. This is why two managing librarians worked collaboratively with student workers to embed social justice theories into a new and already existing peer consultation program. In this article, the authors will discuss not just what critical and justice theories were utilized to foster an environment of trust and engagement, but also how the programs operated day-to-day within such frameworks.

By: Kelleen Maluski, Jesus Espinoza, Samantha Pellman, Jessica Maxwell, and Zohie Cardenas


A revolutionary leadership must accordingly practice co-intentional education. Teachers and students (leadership and people), co-intent on reality, are both Subjects, not only in the task of unveiling that reality, and thereby coming to know it critically, but in the task of recreating that knowledge. (Freire, 2018, p. 69)

There has been much written on the reasons for, successes of, and possible roadblocks to having a student-led peer consultation and/or teaching program. These programs have been shown to help foster inclusion through breaking down traditional power hierarchies, offering more appointment times to students, and adding experts on the student experience (the students themselves) to research and education teams (Arco-Tirado et al., 2020; Collings et al., 2014; Colvin & Marinda, 2010; Lane, 2020; Lyon et al., n.d.; Maranda et al., 2019; Moschetti et al., n.d.; Rowley et al., 2015; Seery et al., 2021; Shojai et al., 2014; Smith, 2008; Terrion & Leonard, 2007; Wagner & du Toit, 2020; Wong et al., 2016). Through these shared experiences we have a myriad of descriptions on how such programs can be implemented and executed. 

Muddying the waters of this conversation though is the fact that there is no one definition of peer coaching. For instance, in doing a literature search, we can find resources describing peer mentoring, peer tutoring, peer teaching, peer reference in both libraries and through student success offices, writing programs, and other such departments – all using different terminology and descriptions. This is why, in addition to information about the logistics imparted through this literature, we sought discussion of the reasons for and uses of the programs. However, as Lane (2020) points out, many had a difficult time defining mentoring across the board and the literature lacked theoretical frameworks to continue to build upon. What is more, the literature gives almost no attention to building equitable and just management of positions that require labor from the often underrepresented voices of student workers. 

While Lane (2020) found that definitions of the theoretical and philosophical understanding of what peer mentoring can look like abound, we observe that they most often resemble something along the lines of “peer mentoring is a helping relationship in which two individuals of similar age and/or experience come together, either informally or through formal mentoring schemes, in the pursuit of fulfilling some combination of functions that are career-related (e.g., information sharing, career strategizing) and psychosocial (e.g., confirmation, emotional support, personal feedback, friendship)” (Terrion and Leonard, 2007, p. 150). What is less clear from the literature is how to imagine, format, and execute peer coaching programs with students at the center of decision making. Part of the reason for this lack of student-centered literature could be explained by the “resource saving” approaches that many organizations take since the programs at any given institution might look different depending on what they deem necessary to support the library, but also library workers. 


In the summer of 2021, the Student Success and Engagement Librarian at the University of New Mexico (UNM) health sciences library was given the opportunity to pilot a peer mentoring program. In reviewing options for such a program, she reached out to a colleague, the Student Success and Engagement Librarian at the University of Michigan (UMich), who had been successfully running a peer information consultants (PIC) department at the undergraduate library. While discussing ways in which to undertake such a program, it became clear to both librarians that a collaboration would be beneficial to launch the UNM pilot and help re-envision management practices at UMich. The joint venture would offer the freedom to discuss ideas, share resources, and build management practices that spoke to the need for social justice within a program rife with power imbalances. 

The UMich program had a cohort of 15 student workers to supervise while UNM had two the first semester. The end goal of the work at UNM was for students to begin offering consultation and instruction services. Research, discussion, and building of frameworks that the program could utilize long-term took the primary focus of the first semester. Though UMich’s program was long established, they created an objective to utilize the work being done at UNM to help engage with reflective and social justice management in a more robust way. 

In terms of logistics for each program, the PIC program is located in the library’s Learning and Teaching unit at UMich. More specifically, it can be found within the Learning Programs and Initiatives department (LPI). LPI delivers library instruction for first year students, coordinates outreach and engagement efforts for undergraduate students, and supports e-learning for the rest of the library. At UNM, the peer information partners (PIP) program at UNM was similarly located, with it resting within the Reference, Education, and Clinical Information Services (RECIS) department. 

For both institutions, we placed the emphasis of the programs on building support mechanisms for students to learn about information literacy needs from fellow students. Thus helping to break down hierarchical practices while also offering more resources to the student body, since we know “librarians have long created disconnection with students and patrons while using librarian-centered language and instruction, arbitrary policies, and collections that do not reflect the users” (Bruce, 2020). 

We understood that focusing on care and compassion for our students needed to be a guiding principle as opposed to strict adherence to subject-based knowledge. This approach required deep engagement with theory and social justice resources in a collaborative manner. Additionally, we agreed that these programs should build off the expertise that students already possess and the different perspectives they can bring to reference interactions, not “training” them to conduct reference and teaching interactions the same as us.

Another vital imperative was to value labor. There exists a common perception in this profession that although we hire students to assist with the necessary work of libraries, they aren’t actually skilled workers. We know that all work requires skill, thus the managers at both institutions worked to dispel this myth in relation to student-led library programs. 


At UNM, all students working as PIP receive class credit for their work since it’s part of their capstone. In addition, they receive $15.63 per hour for their labor. While the salary cannot compensate for the tuition they are paying for their classes, an attempt was made to help offset costs and contribute to a better quality of life for a requirement in which they already have to participate. 

The manager makes it clear that every second of the PIP’s time doing work for this institution should count on their time sheets, even if they show up 15 minutes early for their desk shifts to settle in. This practice doesn’t impact the budget since the students can only work up to 160 hours per semester and up to 20 hours a week, but it allows these individuals time to build their schedules appropriately for their needs. 

Furthermore, managers allot students a very flexible schedule in general. As long as they make their office hours and desk shifts and complete their projects, they can customize their work time to their needs. Students work predominantly remotely and at any hours they prefer. They even set the hours per week that they wished to work, which in turn informed the amount of time during the semester that they would be working.


Work hours and scheduling for students at UMich are similarly flexible. Students sign up for shifts they want to work while additional projects or opportunities for engagement are shared with the entire group for students to sign up for based on their interest and availability. Minimum wage for student workers at UMich increased to $15, and the PIC program manager successfully made a case for setting a higher wage for PIC students and to include longevity increases. Leaving the wage at just the minimum required rate would have sent the message that the program would pay students less if it could–an unacceptable way to value student work and knowledge. 

Key to the work of valuing labor and implementing social justice in management was expanding concepts of research to be more equitable (Lane, 2020). The managers of these programs valued this especially because: 

Across the centuries, countless philosophers and teachers – and legions of students – have asked that age-old question: What is the purpose of schooling? In the context of the United States and other nation-states living out the legacies of genocide, land theft, enslavement, and various forms of colonialism, the answer to this question for communities of color has been rather clear: The purpose of state-sanctioned schooling has been to forward the largely assimilationist and often violent White imperial project, with students and families being asked to lose or deny their languages, literacies, cultures, and histories in order to achieve in schools (Paris & Alim, 2017, p. 1).

Libraries, especially health sciences libraries, are intrinsically linked to this colonialism. Health sciences libraries have the additional problems of health inequities, an overreliance on evidence based-practice, and White-centric methodologies embedded into research structures (Benjamin, 2017; Bodenheimer, 2022; Bridges et al., 2017; Leung & Lopez-McKnight, 2021; Matthew, 2015; Washington, 2008). Therefore, having a program built off the knowledge and experiences of students means that we could actively employ asset-based strategies and incorporate community cultural wealth (Yosso, 2005). 

Because of this approach, the authors think it first important to make clear what this article will not be doing. We will not be working to justify peer consultation programs through a lens of off-loading work that we are too busy to perform onto student workers. The programs at both of these institutions were formulated to give students options to receive research assistance, not to employ our students in underpaid labor practices more concerned with the needs of “librarians.” Authors used social justice theory for the sake of improving research assistance and working conditions for our students, not as a means to make things easier for the people managing the programs.

Instead of focusing on ways that social justice can help the institution first and then trickle down, this article will discuss how our relationship to student workers needs to be transformed to place them at center stage when developing services. We will review not just the management of peer information programs at different institutions, but the importance of collaborating across institutions and how we embedded social justice into creating and maintaining these programs. We will focus on the values and theory behind formulating our policies, the importance of truly centering student perspectives, and how we were able to utilize justice-based concepts in the running of a peer reference program. Through this narrative, we will also share how managers and student workers at different types of institutions had the opportunity to create structures for their programs and what those services looked like.

Centering Social Justice in Program Building

One issue in embedding social justice into programs within academic institutions can be the very fact that these institutions were not built to help promote social justice. Homogeneous values have been central to library science since the very beginning of these institutions existing (Collins, 2018; Ettarh, 2018; Gibson et al., 2018; Leung & Lopez-McKnight, 2021). In fact, in a recent update on the concept of vocational awe, Fobazi Ettarh and Chris Vidas poignantly stated: 

Libraries may be seen as inherently sacred; they inspire awe; they are safe spaces; they are holy, otherworldly, and a sanctuary; but again, only for those who are privileged and those who we deem worthy. Whether it is by allowing Nazis, TERFs, and other bigots into our supposedly safe space, or by having policies that are inequitably policed or by having actual police in the libraries, libraries often show that they are not safe spaces for everyone because there is no such place as a safe space for Nazis that are safe spaces for everyone (2022, p. 3).

What is more, we also know that these “democratic” values have been utilized to bolster toxic positivity and vocational awe to weaponize gratitude for library workers to the point where our profession has championed justification politics, the constant need to prove our worth in order to do our jobs, and a “do more with less” attitude (Ettarh, 2018; Ettarh & Vidas, 2022; Kendrick, 2017). This means that managers of peer consulting programs might not feel able to take the time necessary to critically evaluate the status quo of management procedures within these spaces. 

For UMich, social justice and diversity has been a focus of the Peer Information Consulting program since its inception in 1985 (Espinoza & Rivera, in press). The university developed the program to support Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) student success and particularly to support BIPOC enrollment and retention rates. The initial development of the program had several foundational theories: social learning theory, social comparison theory, reinforcement/affect theory, and identity theory. Based on this theoretical background, representation took on a central focus of the program in its development because of the lack of racial and ethnic diversity both within the university library and the general student population. This is especially important to consider since, as of 2017, the profession of library sciences was identified to be 86.7% white (Rosa & Henke, 2017). So while recruitment at both institutions was not explicitly about race, dismantling the intrinsic values of White supremacy within our profession was a part of the work in order to “move away from the language of diversity and toward the action of social justice” (Brown et al., 2018, p. 178). 

Throughout the decades, both the focus of the program at UMich and the nature of the work the students are engaged in shifted as library notions of diversity and inclusion and student success evolved. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic (and both subsequent transitions to virtual and back to in-person work) and national attention given to systemic racism, civil unrest and social protests in the summer of 2020 provided an impetus to be more intentional with the focus of the program and opportunities for engagement provided to the students. This was especially true in considering what impact these had on the mental health of all students and particularly, BIPOC students (Fruehwirth et al., 2021; Wilson et al., 2023). Moreover, the managers of these programs knew that, “As libraries continue to commit to anti-racist action, it’s imperative that an array of narratives are elevated for librarians and administrators alike to gain a more nuanced understanding of the issues that BIPOC librarians face within a profession steeped in white supremacy culture” (García Mazari, 2022, pp. 48–49). This in turn related back to aspects of social justice through the lens of the health sciences and helped inspire the initial approach to piloting the PIP program at UNM. 

In reviewing practices outlined by UMich, the manager at UNM also integrated feminist ethics of care, community cultural wealth, and culturally sustaining pedagogies in building the outline for the pilot program. Utilizing these theoretical approaches was intended to build space and reflection into the creation of a new method of learning. In line with culturally sustaining pedagogies, the aim was to “position(s) dynamic cultural dexterity as a necessary good, and see(s) the outcome of learning as additive rather than subtractive, as remaining whole rather than framed as broken, as critically enriching strengths rather than replacing deficits” (Kinloch, 2017, p. 1). In other words, it gave the manager of the program a way to outline goals of the program while still leaving much of the decision making for processes and execution of the program in the hands of the student workers. One of the primary reasons this became a foundation for this pilot was the awareness that “individuals whose institutional roles can influence whether students are successful or not need to learn cognitive processes that enable them to think about the situation of underrepresented students and their outcomes through the lens of equity” (Bensimon, 2005, p. 100). By taking this a step further and not relying on managerial thought processes alone, the manager was able to further work to combat bias.

Structuring the Programs

Regular meetings were established between managers at both institutions in order to review strategy and formatting of their respective programs and to engage with information and feedback that the student workers were communicating to each manager. With student perspectives acting as the centralizing factor for both managers in evaluating their program policies and service models, this consistent communication was key to learning from students in various different situations.

At the start of this work, the manager at UNM began to build off what had already been executed at UMich. For instance, the discussions led to the creation of reading selections for the PIPs to engage with, formulating a consultation training outline, building recruitment materials, and figuring out compensation. Once hired, the student workers themselves were tasked with creating their program recommendations and reflecting on power dynamics within library spaces in order to expand the program to better align with the needs of the UNM campus specifically. 

Centralized in this work with the students was the concept that, “In libraries, how we choose to engage with scholars matters; it shows what we believe to be their inherent skill as well as what we think is the most important mode of interaction with information. In this vein, when we focus on tools instead of questions and habits of mind ‘…students learn only how to find information for a specific need rather than how to think about information’” (Hoppe & Jung, 2017, pp. 141–142). To help alleviate biases from the managing librarian and create a comfortable environment for student workers to freely express their critiques and ideas, different discussion formats were created to help foster trust. 

The managing librarian made sure to meet with the student workers individually and as a group. She introduced herself and the theoretical frameworks that would be utilized to ground the program and worked to show her vulnerabilities in order to even the playing field for, as bell hooks states, “Professors who expect students to share confessional narratives but who are themselves unwilling to share are exercising power in a manner that could be coercive” (1994, p. 21).

Beyond the initial work of building trust, the program consisted of regularly scheduled meetings, and student workers were encouraged to meet with each other to discuss all readings and recommendations before meeting with the manager. The manager made it clear that this was to allow them a space to express their concerns fully without having to worry about possible feedback from the managing librarian. 

Reflection logs were also created at the student workers’ request, which included space to reflect on roadblocks to their work, giving student workers a weekly way to express possible needs and concerns in a format other than verbal discussion. This allowed the student workers to reflect deeply on their concerns and gave the managing librarian a way to reflect before immediately responding. 

Lastly, the readings selected for the curriculum were organized in a way to start with questions around authority, academic biases, and the history of library sciences in order to further reinforce concepts of social justice and the manager’s commitment to them as a supervisor. These steps were key in order to “take the time for small interactions that humanize your students by being present with them. Understand the racialization and power of learning spaces and literally reconfigure them” (Leung & Lopez-McKnight, 2021, p. 20). However, an important aspect to how this dynamic functioned was the fact that the managing librarian at UNM has training in bias and anti-racism facilitation. It is imperative that anyone else wishing to run such a program also have this background. 

In addition to the discussions and curriculum built around the reading schedule, the PIP conducted a literature search and synthesis for what other institutions had done and pulled out practices they thought would be worthwhile and received training in reference, consultations, and use of research tools. The discussions for the readings also provided time to review any other concepts or knowledge gained that they would like to apply to the program. In fact, a majority of suggestions for the program came out of these meetings and then were researched more in depth. One sentiment shared by a student worker in these discussions became central to the work for this program: “Stop downplaying inequities and problems within academia to help combat incrementalism” (Maluski, 2022). 

While helping to frame the program, these discussions in particular rewarded the manager of the project as she learned an incredible amount from the students and their discussion of social justice concepts as well as how they impact the ways in which students access our services and resources. Regardless, student workers had the opportunity to opt out of discussions or answering questions that might touch on personal experiences and cause distress. Additionally, at the start of every discussion, the manager reiterated that the student workers’ interests and considerations dictated the conversation. The questions acted merely as a jumping off point for students to share their identified needs and therefore were not approached as a requirement.  In creating the structure for the program, the manager from UNM would discuss items with the librarian from UMich in order to garner feedback and understand the possible challenges or benefits to specific items. From this, the manager from UMich gained different perspectives and outside input on management styles that might be beneficial to implement at their program. The syllabus of readings and reflection questions in particular is an idea UMich hopes to incorporate into its ongoing curriculum, since it can provide additional context for the library and information fields and where diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) intersects with the program’s practice and service. Thus, we have a concrete example of how the very act of collaborating with a trusted peer helps break down hierarchical models of learning and mirrored feminist ethics of care (Accardi, 2017).

Students as the Leaders

Student workers at both institutions led in terms of creating program recommendations. Examples of these suggestions that were executed include students from public services being invited to participate in readings and discussions; community of practice meetings where PIP met with the manager to discuss progress once they started consultations to help address any questions that arose in real time; and even the naming of the PIP program (“partners” was recommended over “mentor” in order to break down power hierarchies). These decisions emphasize a collaborative educational service rather than a service where someone in a perceived position of authority will answer questions (Terrion & Leonard, 2007). 

At both institutions, managers encouraged students to leverage their experiences and areas of expertise in their individual projects as well as in connecting with and helping other students. For example, UMich offers individual tabletop signs for each student to display at the spaces they staff. The sign includes information about the PIC Program, library topics covered, and an individualized “Ask Me About…” section with topics the student has experience in such as finding internships, study abroad, specific majors, and student organizations in which they’re involved. The purpose is twofold: firstly to encourage PIC students to consider the value of the unique skills and knowledge they are bringing to the position, and secondly to make visiting students comfortable asking questions not related to what they perceive to be research or library questions. 

The work the students perform at both institutions includes drop-in research help hours in conjunction with campus partners. They also assist with tours, library instruction, and outreach programming and events. There have also been internal opportunities for student engagements, with student workers joining library-wide committees and offering feedback on library marketing materials and online modules. Furthermore, special projects are always an option for the student workers. Both managers purposefully build autonomy in the work and programming so as to continue to assist students in reaching their long-term goals and honor their expertise (Heinbach et al., 2019). In other words, we converse with the students about what their interests are and what skills they would like to hone for their CVs and then base projects around this. 

Emphasis is given to utilizing culturally sustaining pedagogy to evaluate the reference experience and “work to combat and eradicate oppressive, racist educational policies that advantage monoculturalism, that debase the linguistic virtuosity of communities of color, and that recode terms such as relevance and responsiveness to mark tolerance over acceptance, normalization over difference, demonization over humanization, and hate over love” (Kinloch, 2017, p. 29). The PIP are also asked to list any barriers or roadblocks they think might hinder them in their work and internalized work processes they could use that would bring them joy. We take this approach in alignment with concepts identified through trauma-informed care, most specifically that of offering choice (SAMHSA, 2014). This helps to make clear to the PIP that while the users they work with will have multiple intersecting needs, so too do they. 

One key component to this work is to help the student workers feel comfortable, confident, and prepared while also placing emphasis on the fact that they should allow themselves grace and patience as they begin formulating their own teaching practices. This approach aligns with the description laid out by bell hooks on the importance of the self in engaged pedagogy, “…teachers must be actively committed to a process of self-actualization that promotes their own well-being if they are to teach in a manner that empowers students” (1994, p. 15). Success for this is measured by the feedback of the PIP themselves. For instance, one stated, “Having reference trainings made me feel more comfortable as a peer information partner” (Pellman & Maxwell, 2022).  

As part of their training, PIC students at UMich are encouraged to provide feedback and share any questions or concerns through various options for communication, including Google Chat, their biweekly reflections, the team’s group text, or in one-on-one meetings. The manager attempts to instill a collaborative program management approach so that students can see themselves as co-creators and co-developers of the program, acknowledging the leadership and planning skills students bring to the program. This is balanced with providing as much flexibility as possible, allowing students to choose their shifts and what library-identified projects and programs they sign up for. This sense of balance is stressed throughout their training and tenure with the program. Furthermore, student workers at both institutions have access to spaces to connect with each other so they can ask questions, request shift coverage, etc. 

Providing students with a sense of ownership over their work has been another goal at UMich, especially over the last three years, and at UNM. Both institutions seek to provide projects tailored to the students’ interests and experiences. For example, one student at UMich who was a public policy major and very interested in civic engagement developed programming and services around the 2020 presidential election. Other examples of such projects have included a student interested in user experience and design joining a service design team, and another student interested in DEIA working with the education librarian to develop collections and services to better support students who identify as mixed-race, and students who have taken over library social media duties. 

Besides the leadership student workers displayed for program recommendation and policy updates, one large item that the UNM PIP helped usher in was a more vigorous assessment of the program. The PIP indicated the need to understand the program from a holistic place of learning as opposed to simply counting the number of participants, stating, “PIP should be a part of the evaluation process as they are the people doing this work” (Pellman & Maxwell, 2022). This need becomes especially apparent when reviewing the literature that shows peer mentors were left out of evaluation processes, felt that they weren’t given clear roles, and felt they weren’t taken seriously (Wong et al., 2016). The PIP requested emphasis on qualitative assessment, as they found peer mentoring programs were frequently evaluated with focus groups and qualitative interviews (Maranda et al., 2019). This outlook follows the concept that “a more critical version of assessment, one that takes a participative approach, seeks to mitigate [this] power imbalance by assessing with rather than on students to improve their learning experiences” (Arellano Douglas, 2020, pp. 50–51). As a result, the manager of the PIP program encouraged students to completely reimagine assessment. The PIP created their own criteria of what needs to be evaluated and why and then built out the assessment models (such as follow-up forms, interview questions, and additional questions for their personal logs). 

As with much of the program’s work, UMich seeks to center students when it comes to assessment (García et al., 2022). Students submit biweekly reflections with each timesheet in which they share any feedback or questions they have, areas outside of their work in which they feel they have applied what they have learned in the PIC Program, any meaningful patron interactions, and any challenges. Moreover, managers at both programs felt it important to interrogate their notions of assessment and success, particularly within the nebulous concept of “student success.” Moreno and Jackson state: “Student success is contingent on straddling two worlds–the academic and the social. […] the library is also a social destination for the entire community that is essential to academic life on campus” (2020). Thus, we hope to impart the value and impact of welcoming and connecting with students in library spaces regardless of whether it is in a research interaction or not. 

To help further these concepts, UMich also provides an exit survey to graduating or former PIC students to capture feedback on areas for improvement, challenges, and impacts of the program. In their exit surveys, several PIC students identified the PIC program as playing a role in their decision to attend graduate school. We also typically have a couple of PIC students go on to work as graduate assistants at the library. In 2021, two PIC students co-presented at the 11th National Conference of African American Librarians. In reflecting on their experiences with the program, one student stated: “[The PIC Program] broadened my horizons in the sense of what is possible in terms of research and learning” (Rivera et al., 2021). 

This process of reflection takes place at UNM as well but through reading discussions, a weekly reflection log reviewed by the manager intended for the student’s benefit, and weekly or bi-weekly check-ins to make sure that the PIP have multiple spaces and avenues to express their thoughts. We use this feedback to make changes to the structure of the training, reading questions, set-up of PIP schedules, and more. However, since the program at UNM was initially a pilot, there wasn’t room for long-term feedback, but at least one student worker indicated a desire to pursue library science as a career path, though the authors want to make it clear that this program is not intended to be a recruiting tool for library science. 

One last point regarding assessment: we find it important to acknowledge and emphasize that for some students, their position within our programs is just a job among a busy schedule of other commitments and responsibilities. Our work often feels pressured to provide examples of the deep and long lasting impact our programs have on our students (García et al., 2022). Of course, it’s wonderful when those moments of impact occur, but it should not be the bar we hold ourselves up against nor should it be the only marker of success.


Through the work at both UNM and UMich, we have concrete demonstrations of how a peer-focused student program can provide a myriad of benefits to both the library and students. Within their exit survey and reflections, student workers have shared their perceived growth in leadership and confidence by leading and participating in projects over which they feel a sense of ownership and agency. Their feedback and questions continue to inform our practice, services, and programming within our unit. Finally, both campus partners and internal library partners frequently share what a positive experience working with the student workers is and the impact their contributions have on their respective work. Most importantly though, what we can say from this collaboration is that the discussions of centering social justice within the context of assisting and collaborating with students led to valuable discoveries. Reviewing concepts like cultural humility, critical race theory, community cultural wealth, intersectionality, and more with the student workers allowed them to open up about their lived experiences and their professional opinions. The authors know “authentic thinking, thinking that is concerned about reality, does not take place in ivory tower isolation, but only in communication” (Freire, 2018, p. 77). The robust and open communication that this program fostered has made us think more holistically about our students’ needs and create more all-encompassing discussions on research.

The authors would like to thank the incredible work of our editors Jessica Schomberg, Ikumi Crocoll, Brittany Paloma Fiedler, and Nicola Andrews. All editors on this team brought their own perspective, expertise, and massively helpful feedback. This was especially appreciated since the article had been previously pulled from another publication that had edited it away from the initial intent. We are so thankful for the editors’ graciousness in offering their time and dedication to work in such a scenario. We also want to thank every student worker who has been a part of the peer-consultation programs. Although we list two student workers as co-authors of this piece, there have been so many amazing perspectives that have shaped these programs.


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1 Response

  1. Oh! This is absolutely brilliant. We have a “Library Student Team” at the University of Manchester in the UK, and this is somehow (I think) the first time I have heard of something similar in the US. Our Student Team co-creates all Library teaching materials (and delivers a lot of it as well!) It sounds like we have very similar set ups (quite a bit of standard work, but loads of agency around shaping and picking up other activities.)

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