Every day student workers at UT Libraries must roam between the towering shelves organizing books. They direct phone calls, conduct research and provide a multitude of other services to the UT community. An integral part of the UT Libraries, the student workers will be honored Thursday at the first annual Student Recognition Festival.
"Students are such a critical part of the library staff and we wanted to recognize their contributions," Barbara Dewey, library dean, said.
"They literally help us keep the doors of the libraries open on a daily basis."
The event will be hosted by the libraries' Diversity Committee.
"The Diversity Committee wanted to do something special to honor our students," said GiGi Horodysky, president of the Library Staff Association and member of the Diversity Committee.
"Inside the libraries, we have an enormous student population which shelves books, does research, gets materials to patrons off campus, answers questions for the public, rearranges materials, aids in digitalization, helps to train the public about our resources and much more," Horodysky said.
The students that will be honored have worked as SLAs (Student Library Assistants) for two or more years, Horodysky said. They do not have to have worked in the same department for two years, however, just in the UTK Library system.
"We have collected the names and majors of all of these students, and we will be putting a book plate inside a book which will name them and express the library's appreciation for their hard work," Horodysky said. "While they did not choose their own books, we did select books that were in their major area of study. These texts are in good repair, and fairly new to insure that we would have them for a long time."
The ceremony will be held in Room 258 of the John C. Hodges Library at 2:30 p.m. The event is open to everyone.
"I would encourage staff, students, faculty and especially the supervisors of these students to attend this function because it is important to support those people who keep this building's operations running smoothly," Horodysky said. "We are all a team here, and our students are at the core of that team effort. We need to deliver this message in a formal, united and concrete way."
The event will begin by awarding the students and will be followed by refreshments.