Meeting name

ALA Annual Conference

Meeting location

Las Vegas, NV

Document Type


Publication Date



Academic institutions’ digital collections often face the challenging issue of not having enough professionals to create metadata for the thousands of digital objects that exist in their collections. Anybody can scan, but not everyone is cut out for metadata creation. However, universities abound with intellectual and energetic pre-professionals, a.k.a. students. Instead of assigning student workers and volunteers to perform purely menial tasks, why not tap into their ability to learn and train them to do more “professional” jobs, such as metadata creation and website maintenance? With an entire campus filled with students eager to gain experience and willing to study, it’s easy to find capable workers that are able to learn and perform complex tasks. Teaching student workers to work on a professional level is also aligned with the over-arching goals of knowledge-sharing and mentorship found in academic environments. Training college students to perform professional tasks is a win-win situation for academic libraries. The students come away from the experience with something to put in their resumes, and libraries come away with affordable, high-quality workmanship.


Cataloging; Cataloging of archival materials; Digital libraries; Libraries – Special collections; Student library assistants


Archival Science | Cataloging and Metadata | Library and Information Science