Publication Date

January 2013


The continuing backlog in collections processing could be reduced through the application of More Product Less Process (MPLP) or other approaches, but the effort is still hampered by a lack of personnel to assign to processing. This discussion addresses whether it is possible to consider student assistants a viable labor source in special collections and archives to mitigate this personnel gap. A retrospective literature review determined historical attitudes toward the use of student assistants in academic libraries and the tasks that students were capable of performing. Study participants practicing in Special Collections and Archives in academic libraries in Georgia were interviewed concerning their views on student assistants. Their responses were compared against the perceptions uncovered in the literature review. These responses revealed that historical attitudes toward student assistants persist, but that students can be a viable labor source to mitigate labor shortages.



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