Friends of the UConn Library aims to make library more user-friendly

Students in conjunction with administrators at Homer Babbidge Library are establishing the Homies: Friends of the UConn Library organization. The organization welcomes undergraduate and graduate students in addition to members of the larger UConn and Mansfield community, to increase student engagement with the library.  (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus) 

Several University of Connecticut students are founding an organization designed to increase student participation at the university’s library with the help of library administrators.  

Students in conjunction with administrators at Homer Babbidge Library are establishing the Homies: Friends of the UConn Library organization. The organization welcomes undergraduate and graduate students in addition to members of the larger UConn and Mansfield community, to increase student engagement with the library, said Samantha Mairson, a Friends of the UConn Library executive board member.

One way in which Friends of the UConn Library will increase student engagement is by asking students what changes they would like to see at the library, said Mairson, a 7th-semester digital media and design major.

“We want to make the library a more user-friendly space,” said Nicholas Helber, a 5th-semester individualized sports promotion major and Friends of the UConn Library executive board member.

The organization has held two meetings to date with the purpose of recruiting members, according to Mairson. Three more meetings will take place before the semester’s end.

The organization has also been creating its plan of action at these meetings, said Zachary Corolla, a Friends of the UConn Library executive board member.

We want to make the library a more user-friendly space.
— Nicholas Helber, UConn Library executive board member

“At the first meeting, we talked about the learning goals of the club,” Corolla, a 5th-semester Spanish major, said. “We hope members will understand the mission statement of the library, the organization of the library and how we can better use the library.”

Corolla proposed a “return to books” as a method for achieving the organization’s learning goals.

“We could have a book club within the club and a ‘Babbidge Reads’ program, because we already have ‘UConn Reads,’” Corolla said. “We could also have theme tables like they have at bookstores.”

Mairson said the organization is currently writing its constitution and completing necessary paperwork.

“Ideally before the end of this semester we’ll have the paperwork set and be established,” Mairson said.

The organization’s initial marketing began about three weeks ago, Mairson said.

“We’re trying to have a dynamic social media strategy,” Mairson said.

The organization has a presence on Instagram and Facebook, Corolla said.

According to Mairson, organizations similar to Friends of the UConn Library are present at UConn now, but do not have student members.  

“The faculty equivalent of this group meets once a month,” Mairson said. “[Friends of the UConn Library] is a place where students can bring their concerns about the library.”

“Or compliments,” Corolla said.


Alexandra Retter is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at alexandra.retter@uconn.edu.