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The LibRAT Program: Peer Reference and Basic IL Instruction

The LibRAT Program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

The LibRAT (Library Research Assistance Technicians) Program at Cal Poly is now in its tenth year.

This effort to leverage peer learning was first piloted in 2009-2010 when LibRATs were stationed in Residence Halls to provide research help.  As they did not receive enough questions to justify this "outpost" effort, beginning in Winter 2011 they were brought back to Kennedy Library to staff the Research Help Desk. In Spring 2011 they also began leading basic information literacy instruction sessions to lower division GE courses in English and Communications. In addition to basic IL instruction, in 2017-2018 the LibRATs began leading customized workshops including Finding and Citing Images and Data Visualization. 

LibRATs now staff the majority of hours at the Research Help Desk and lead over 250 IL instruction sessions per year. As of Spring 2019, the LibRAT crew consists of 12 students from a variety of disciplines with four additional students in training.

To get a sense of how we have implemented peer learning, we invite you to explore the navigational tabs. 

For in-depth details more about the program, you can view these articles "They CAN and They Should: Undergraduates Providing Peer Reference & Instruction" in College & Research Libraries, "They Not Only CAN but THEY SHOULD," a paper presented at ACRL 2013, and chapter two "The LibRAT Program at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo" in the book Peer-Assisted Learning in Academic Libraries.

LibRATs Spring 2023

        LibRATs 2023

LibRATs 2018-19


Drawing By Briana