By Derek Woellner —

It has been one month since the University of Wisconsin–Stout Robert S. Swanson Learning Center began its new program that brings librarians to a location near you.

“The (Re)search and Rescue Squad is our outreach effort to provide reference service outside of the library,” said Reference Librarian Ann Vogl. “We know that a lot of students never make it to the library, so we thought as a way to help students and faculty we would go to them.”

A few articles Vogl had read inspired the idea. She had the opportunity to test out a similar program when she worked at University of Wisconsin–Baraboo.

The program is essentially a mobile reference desk where students can meet in-person with a librarian. The librarian can help with search strategies, coming up with search terms and provide help entering and navigating the right databases.

“If [students] have access issues, getting some of the articles and books and things, we can help with that,” explained Vogl. The squad can also help with citations, the bane of many college students.

The squad has been spotted setting up camp in two alternate locations.  Every Monday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. they can be found in the Jarvis Café lounge. On Tuesdays, the squad bunkers down inside the Heritage Hall second floor lounge, also from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Fourth year student Mandy Groth thinks the program is a great idea. However, she questions whether students can utilize the time slots the (Re)search and Rescue Squad currently offers.  “Most students want to start their day as late as possible, so that time period is often spent in class.” Overall, Groth believes it’s a good concept that can benefit students. She said, “It allows students to be in an environment that’s more comfortable to them.”

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