Academic libraries are well lauded for offering supportive spaces for students’ self-directed study, and significant resources are dedicated to librarian instruction in the classroom. What many academic libraries lack, however, is a middle ground, a routine way for students to help one another using best practices in peer-to-peer learning theory. A new, nonauthoritative, supplemental service by students and for students began at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, in fall 2012 with a cohort of “peer research consultants.” Students learn information literacy skills with a well-trained peer, untethered from the hierarchy inherent in formal instruction environments. This paper describes the program design, training, and conclusions after two academic years in operation and argues the value of peer tutoring in libraries.


Library and Information Science


Original Citation:

O’Kelly, M., Garrison, J., Merry, B., & Torreano, J. (2015). Building a Peer-Learning Service for Students in an Academic Library. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 15(1), 163–182. http://doi.org/10.1353/pla.2015.0000