Meet the International Programs Library Ambassadors
Pepperdine Libraries has a long history of employing students to provide services to the university community. The Libraries are tremendously grateful for the collective contributions our students have made over the years to support student learning at our campus locations around Los Angeles and throughout the world.
"A few years ago, we moved to spread the Payson Library ethos of serving as the academic and social hub of campus globally by launching our International Programs Library Ambassadors (IPLA) program. It has been a resounding success," says dean of Libraries Mark Roosa. Through careful curation of a weekly agenda and significant training of students, Pepperdine Libraries established the program in London, Florence, Buenos Aires, Heidelberg, and, most recently, our new Château d’Hauteville library.
Diliana Iltchev, the Switzerland IPLA, has been responsible for putting the finishing touches on our new collections there in close partnership with librarians in Malibu and the local International Programs faculty and staff. She writes, "I love being my program's IPLA because I get to work surrounded by books all the time! I also enjoy managing the organization of the library spaces and getting to help my peers."
Each of our library ambassadors is responsible for communicating with the students, faculty, and staff at the international campus to make them aware of library resources related to their coursework and research. The IPLAs create weekly advertisements to promote resources relevant to their peers, such as ebooks before an educational field trip or specific research databases for an upcoming assignment.
Belle Li, the Buenos Aires IPLA, shares that her favorite aspect of the position "is being able to provide support to my peers and friends when they need it. In other words, when we are talking about other things, and they mention something they need or are interested in, I am able to say, 'You can find this here!' It is really nice being able to provide practical support to everyone in the program."
In addition to communicating regularly via email and their program's group chat, IPLAs make themselves available to assist students and faculty during set times each week in the library. At these impromptu meetings, library ambassadors help with research and reference questions and edit their peers' papers and presentations.
Joy Kim, the Florence IPLA, even found herself providing feedback on an assignment written in Italian. She reflects, "I love being able to help other students, and my favorite part about my job is the fact that it has enabled me to connect with the other students in the program."
Each semester, IPLAs also prepare a special project related to their unique interests and talents. In the past, library ambassadors have led research and writing workshops, offered restorative study breaks, and even created fun games to encourage the use of library resources.
Faith Siegel, the Heidelberg IPLA, is currently working on a scavenger hunt with rhyming clues like "To find the California town Pepperdine calls home, through the shelves you'll have to comb!" to inspire curiosity about the library collection. Unsurprisingly, Faith shares that she enjoys "getting to learn about and explore all of the resources that Pepperdine students have access to" through the library.
The Pepperdine Libraries team in Malibu works closely with our library ambassadors to ensure that the services they offer our international programs support both class assignments and the beauty and function of these libraries as community spaces.
Emilee Staley, the London IPLA, summarizes, "As an IPLA, I love the time I spend in the library, whether it be reorganizing the bookshelves or creating weekly graphics, as I get to enjoy the picturesque Princes Garden right outside the window. My favorite part of being an IPLA is introducing new resources to my peers in order to aid their success while studying abroad in London."
We look forward to continuing to serve our students and faculty abroad in the coming years. If you are studying abroad for the 2024-2025 academic year and would like to apply to be an International Programs Library Ambassador, fill out this form to request more information.