A Year on the EDGE

On June 2,  students participating in this year’s DePaul University Library EDGE team presented posters documenting their major projects throughout the year, and what they had learned about the library, its role on campus, and the information skills that will be helpful to them (and to their classmates) throughout their college careers.

DePaul Education and Development Grant for Employability (EDGE) program was launched in 2011, and received the 2016 Career Services Excellence Award from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. EDGE students are offered “an experience that provides career and job skill development in a team setting within a DePaul campus department,” and staff members are offered the opportunity to join like-minded colleagues across the university in mentoring first-year students. EDGE student teams have been formed in departments across the university, including the Global DePaul EDGE team (sponsored by the offices of International Students and Scholars and Study Abroad), the Green Team (sponsored by Housing Services), and, since 2015, the Library EDGE team.

This year’s Library EDGE team provided leadership for a number of special projects, including student engagement during National Library Week and National Poetry Month, and contributed to projects that introduced them to a number of library departments, including Access Services, Digital Services, and Special Collections and Archives. These library-related projects were pursued alongside core EDGE student development programs, including an introduction to career services, financial fitness, and more.

This month’s poster session, open to students and staff across the library, as well as to staff in EDGE partner programs, allowed students to discuss what they had learned from the library projects in which they took part, and to reflect on the transferable skills they had gained that they believe will help them to be successful throughout their time at DePaul. In addition to the planning and presentation skills needed to complete the projects noted above, students reflected on what they had learned about the ways in which library programs and services are assessed, and improved, with the student in mind. EDGE team members also reflected on the ways in which their perceptions of the library had changed as a result of their look “behind the curtain,” with one student noting that “The biggest change in my perception of the library was the sheer volume of services the library provides for students.”

We look forward to welcoming our EDGE students back to the library in the fall, and to continuing our collaboration with the EDGE program in 2017-18.

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