Blackburn’s library, better known as Lumpkin, is the resource center for students to achieve academic success. Lynn Armstrong, Lumpkin’s supervisor, and Noelia-Martinez Voigt, Lumpkin’s manager, gave information about Lumpkin via email to help students understand what it is they do.
Lumpkin is one of the best places on campus for students’ academic success. The Writer’s Block, located to the left inside the main entrance, offers writing assistance, testing accommodations and the provided space for weekly writing studios for Writing 111 and Writing 112 classes. The peer tutoring program in subjects such as math, science, psychology and more, are coordinated by Mrs. Barbara Clark. The staff of Lumpkin also offers one-on-one consultation for students. Students across campus also has access to quiet study spaces, peer study spaces and collaborative workstations. All students also have access to printers, electronic and video resources, along with reference assistance and interlibrary loan services. Free coffee and free printing are also available for students.
Armstrong said, “We provide a welcoming space for classes, research and study.” The combined resources and staffing help provide students many tools that are needed for academic success. “Our space is also utilized for seminar presentations, guest speakers and group meetings and activities by a number of campus groups,” Armstrong stated. Martinez added, “It provides a variety of academic support services that are important for student success.”
The workload for the student academic resource assistants, or ARAs, isn’t too much, but enough to keep them busy at all times. “Our ARAs are the first point of contact as patrons enter Lumpkin LC,” said Armstrong. They answer questions, offer directions, answer the phone, provide basic reference assistance and manage the circulation functions of our library system, according to Armstrong. ARAs also assist patrons with simple technology problems, maintain the smoothest operations of printers and copiers and shelve/retrieve books, DVDs, reserved materials and items on the hold shelf. “In addition, they have weekly shelf reading assignments, cleaning duties, make coffee when needed and any other tasks assigned by the manager,” Armstrong said. She added, “Our archive workers have both circulation desk assignments and work hours to answer archive requests and manage existing and new archival acquisitions.”
To encourage a student to apply here, Martinez said, “I encourage them by making them aware of the skills they can earn by working in the Learning Commons, whether it is interpersonal and communication skills, tutoring skills, writing skills, technology skills and doing research effectively.” The qualities that Armstrong looks for in ARAs are flexibility, strong communication skills and willingness to serve all our patrons. “ARAs should be approachable, have basic technology skills and respond to needs and problems that arise,” she said. So, students don’t need actual library work experience to get a job in Lumpkin; these skills are really good to have in hopes to work in Lumpkin.