Libraries Launch New Initiative to Reach More Students

Jan 25, 2013

By Stephanie Sanchez, Communications Specialist

Notice something different when you enter one of our UTSA Libraries?

Staff members now are wearing coordinated blue polo shirts, button-up shirts and sweaters with the UTSA Libraries logo. They’re called the Blue Crew, and they’re available to answer any questions.

Watch videos about the Blue Crew >>

“The Blue Crew initiative is an attempt to give students a visual cue of where they can go to get help,” said Carolyn Cunningham, user experience librarian. “Now, students don’t have to differentiate between which staff members to approach.”

Anyone with a blue top is equipped to answer questions about class assignments, library resources and more. 

If students are studying in the library, they don't need to get up from their seats to find help. They can text, email and chat with the Blue Crew from the library, home or anywhere else.

“I hope students will start to feel comfortable asking anyone with a blue shirt and name tag questions whenever they’re in our libraries,” Cunningham said, “and over time I hope we can build a reputation as their first stop with any research or assignment questions.”

Students also have the advantage of asking their own peers for help.

The library peer coaches – a group of five student workers trained to help students with library-related inquiries – roam library spaces, making themselves readily available to answer questions.

“We get a lot of questions about finding books and looking for databases,” Luis Jasso, an architecture student and peer coach, said of roving library spaces. "We just want to make ourselves visible, so students know we're a reliable source."

Along with the blue clothing, there are also posters around the library and on digital monitors showing questions students may not have thought to ask library staff. There also will be monthly button giveaways, which will be promoted on the UTSA Libraries' Facebook page.