Categories
Member of the Month

Member of the Month

Meet Kathy Ladell, our November CJCLS Member of the Month (submitted by Kodi Salyor)

We’ve gotten a little behind in Member of the Month posts, for which we apologize.

 Kathy (She/her/hers) is a librarian  at University of Cincinnati Clermont College Library. 

As a Student Success Librarian, a large part of Kathy’s work is partnering with other student support entities on campus in particular, the Learning Commons to host events during midterms and finals to support students. Kathy’s favorite thing about being a community college librarian is working with students and providing direct support because the emphasis as a community college librarian is on teaching and supporting students. 

A newer member of CJCLS, Kathy joined the section this summer and believes that the section is a good way to network with other community college librarians to get ideas and support in her work. 

For Fun

When Kathy is not working, she is cycling in the warmer months, doing at least 50 miles per week. During the colder months with less daylight to explore the bike trails, Kathy transitions to her indoor hobby—knitting which she finds is  an excellent stress reliever. Lately, Kathy’s been enjoying watching Harlots on Hulu. Last but not least, Kathy has a very geriatric cat named Loki, who she describes as the sweetest cuddler in his old age. 

Categories
Research Skills Corner

Recent Research: Students’ Self-Perception of Information Literacy Needs

by Meagan Fowler, Assistant Professor/Librarian
Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio

To bring attention to the research that is being conducted in and about community college libraries, in this sponsored post the ACRL CJCLS Scholarly Research Committee would like to highlight research conducted by researchers at Florida State University and the University at Buffalo that was published this past July in College & Research Libraries.

In their article, “Community College Student’s Perceptions of Their Information Literacy Needs,” Latham et al. (2022) set out to explore community college students’ self-perception of their information literacy (IL) needs. Spurred by the paucity of existing research on community college libraries and IL, their research was guided by three research questions:

RQ1. What are the self-perceptions of students concerning their IL needs?

RQ2. Do students’ self-perceptions of their IL needs vary based on their educational and career goals?

RQ3. Do students’ self-perceptions of their IL needs vary based on the type of instruction they received (skills-based vs. threshold concepts)?

Latham et al. (2022) conducted semi-structured interviews with thirty-four students at five community colleges in Florida and New York and found that while students did value IL and understood its importance in their academic, personal, and professional lives, how they applied IL varied depending on the context of the information need (i.e., the sources that they considered acceptable for their personal work may be “good enough” for their academic work). Further information also emerged on the topic of students’ beliefs about their future careers and the applicability of IL and their perception of IL as a set of skills as opposed to threshold concepts.

You are encouraged to read the full article for a detailed review of the findings, interview questions, and implications for future research.

For further information on this research, the researchers can be contacted at: Don Latham (dlatham@fsu.edu), Melissa Gross (mgross@fsu.edu), and Heidi Julien (heidijul@buffalo.edu).

Reference

Latham, D., Gross, M., Julien, H., Warren, F., & Moses, L. (2022). Community College Students’ Perceptions of Their Information Literacy Needs. College & Research Libraries, 83(4), 593–609.
Categories
Research Writing

We’ve Still Got it: Sustained Value in Community College Libraries

By Terra Jacobson, Moraine Valley Community College and Spencer Brayton, Waubonsee Community College

We’ve recently released a call for proposals (communitycollegelibraries.com) for our new edited book “Valuing the Community College Library: Powerful Impact for Institutional Success” to address a gap in the community college literature. The plan for this book is to provide a historical background to community colleges and community college libraries, while also trying to push away from commonly held negative narratives to prevent further siloing ourselves from other areas of librarianship. This publication is not targeted at specific areas of practice but is a more holistic approach to showing library value through the historical context of these institutions, as well as practical applications and future thinking. 

Black and White Laptop” photo by Prateek Katyal from Pexels.

There is a gap in this area of publication for community college librarians and we aim to support them in proving their value and thriving with the assistance of this publication. In our research, we have not found a title that does the work to fill this gap. No other titles target community colleges and their librarians in this way and we want to work with community college librarians across the country in urban, suburban and rural settings of all sizes to share our stories of student success and opportunities we see for the future.  

We’ve got the tools to become the student success center of campus. We already are, really. We just need to work on demonstrating that value to administration and others. This book formalizes the work we all do to make it concrete, citable, and shareable. A way to reference the impact and value of community college libraries and push forward the new narratives of the future of community college libraries. 

Support to authors will include opportunities for networking teams to discuss / share research and help one another through their writing process. There will also be opportunity to continue to work together and support each other with additional professional development through panels and podcasts. 

We look forward to hearing from you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at cclibraryimpact@gmail.com or learn more about the call for proposals at communitycollegelibraries.com

Categories
Research Skills Corner

Dissertation Summation

An Examination into the Library’s Influence on Community College Success, by Kate McGivern

Kate McGivern. Photo by Joan Dalrymple.
About Dissertation Summation: In Dissertation Summation, we read a dissertation related to community colleges and their libraries and note the key takeaways for you. This summary is more than an abstract but not the entire dissertation... because you don't have the time to read dissertations; you work in a community college! This segment provides an opportunity to highlight the doctoral work in the LIS field in community colleges and share the great research our colleagues are conducting. If we are lucky, you also hear from the author as they reflect later on their process.

Do you have a dissertation you've completed that meets this criterion? Please comment below so we can share your research work with the population most interested. Please include full citations of your work.

Citation

Introduction

McGivern’s Dissertation An Examination into the Library’s Influence on Community College Success considers the links between “award-winning community colleges using the framework created by the ACRL Standards” (pp. 4-5) and if there are links between libraries and high-achieving community colleges. The researcher looks at winners of the Aspen Prize and those that have also been awarded the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award to determine if there are “commonalities in practices, procedures, and policies” (p. 7) at these libraries “that make them a valuable asset to the institutions” (p. 7). This study had a sample size of three institutions, but due to issues with IRB offices, only two of the three eligible institutions participated in the in-person interview visits for this study. The research questions for this study were (p. 8):

  1. What are the characteristics of excellent community college libraries?
  2. What are the commonalities between the award-winning libraries which influenced their colleges’ recognition?
  3. How did the libraries at these community colleges contribute toward the college’s success?

Methodology

The methodology used in this study was a multiple- or collective- case study design utilizing qualitative data (p. 34). The author utilized interviews, documents, observations, and artifacts as evidence to inform this study (p. 8). They also utilized data from NCES and documents and reports that the institution provided. Site visits were conducted with two of the three selected institutions, and interviews were conducted with the head of the library and the Chief Academic Officer (p. 9) at each of these institutions. The researcher did not interview the third library since “the institution’s review board did not respond to a request for research approval” (p. 9).

Assumptions

The researcher makes assumptions about the awards provided to the institution in the “assumptions” portion of the study. They state that ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries “are examples of the best community college libraries. This designation sets them apart from other community college libraries and defines them as excellent” (p. 10). I struggle with this assumption as libraries are nominated (by themselves or others) for this award as the library must be aware of the award’s existence and have been able to put forth the time and effort to complete this application. This award has only existed since 2000. The Aspen Prize has only been in place since 2011. This study assumes that the Aspen Prize and the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries award are actually signs of quality and equate to successful libraries and community colleges. A limited history provides very few institutions for this sample.

Using the multiple-case study design, the researcher conducted in-person interviews with two of the three institutions. These interviews were recorded and transcribed by the researcher themselves and were conducted within the same month. The researcher coded the data, utilized software to assist with this process, and created codes aligned with the ACRL Standards.

Key Findings/Outcomes:

Regarding the findings and the anticipated outcome, the author states that they “anticipated that the study results would show a correlation between the Aspen Award-winning institutions and their libraries” and that the results would “indicate similar characteristics of excellence for all the college libraries of the study” (p. 38). The researcher found similarities between the institutions that included the following characteristics: “librarians are members of the faculty, with tenure, professional rank and representation in the college governance” (p. 60) and that librarians are considered partners in the “educational journey of their students and… a commitment to service to the college community” (p. 60). The researcher organized findings with each research question. Findings for each question are as follows:

What are the characteristics of excellent community college libraries?

The researcher found the following consistent characteristics (p. 69):

  • Intentional engagement in the greater college community
  • Collaboration with faculty and staff
  • Librarians that are active in college-wide activities and governance
  • Openness to change and willingness to adapt
  • Creativity and innovation with resources
  • Belief in the educational role of the library

What are the commonalities between the award-winning libraries which influenced their colleges’ recognition?

The researcher found the following commonalities (pp. 86-88):

  • Knowledge of their value to the institution
  • Contribution to institutional leadership and participation
  • Partnership in teaching and learning
  • Service

How did the libraries at these community colleges contribute toward the college’s success?

The researcher found that they contributed to success in the following ways (pp 89-91):

  • Responsiveness to student needs
  • Using data to assess and demonstrated value
  • Engage in the college community
  • Actively engage students
  • Participate in professional development
  • Lead innovation

Limitations & Study Recommendations

The researcher noted the following limitations to their study (pp. 101-102):

  • The need for a larger sample of community colleges.
  • Not all documents were available from all the institutions, and only two data sources were available for all institutions.
  • Data coding was limited to the nine ACRL Standards, and it only addressed the first research question.
  • A second researcher from outside of the field of librarianship would be beneficial.

The researcher provided five recommendations from this study and suggestions for further research. The researcher suggests that more “research should be conducted into library perception and value of other institutional stakeholders, especially community college administrator and Board of Trustee members” (p. 111). They also suggest in their second recommendation for further research that the value of faculty status for community college librarians is examined (p. 114).

Study Significance

The significance of this study is that it fills a major gap in the LIS literature for community college libraries. There is a gap in the amount of literature published on the whole about community college libraries and specifically a large gap related to community college library assessment, the value of community college libraries, and the perception of community college library value by campus administrators. This adds to a baseline of knowledge about the value assessment of community college libraries and compares two relatively new awards in librarianship and community colleges, which could be indicators of success. This study is limited as it only examines three institutions but provides a starting point and a direction for assessing the perceived value of community college libraries by library directors/deans and college administrators. 

Commentary & Author’s Notes:

I asked Kate McGivern to share her insights and feedback about her dissertation, doctoral pursuits, and research work. Kate shared with me that she enjoyed the entire process of pursuing her Ed.D in Community College Leadership. At first, she did not plan to pursue her doctorate, but when an on-campus cohort program was offered, she decided to go for it and thoroughly enjoyed the coursework and entire research process.

Kate selected this research topic because she was passionate about student success outcomes related to libraries and wanted to know if there was a correlation between “great libraries and their institutions being recognized for excellence” through awards like the Aspen Prize. She advises that picking a research topic that you are passionate about makes the process seem like a breeze, but noted that the best motivating factor for conducting this research and pursuing her degree is that she was “doing it for me” and that even if it takes longer than expected, that is okay and to still count that “as a success.” The most difficult part of the research process was the repetition of some of the writing in the dissertation process. Kate notes that “some chapters started to feel like they were stating the same thing, over and over,” which made it difficult for her to recall what was addressed already and what was not, but “that is part of the dissertation process.”

When asked if Kate would change her research in any way, she stated that she “would not change it at all.” She loves the work that came from her study. Kate added that in addition to this research, a few more recent positives have come from this work. Kate has recently received full professor status at her institution, Bergen Community College, and has been asked to serve as Vice Chair of the American Association of Community Colleges’ National Council for Learning Resources committee https://nclr-aacc.org/ due to her research work.

Kate can be contacted further about her research work at: kmcgivern@bergen.edu

Categories
Leadership Mentoring

Apply to the CJCLS Mentoring Program

Hello Community and Junior College Libraries Section!

Our CJCLS Mentoring Pilot Program was a success and we are now accepting applicants for the 2022-2023 (8-month) mentoring program. Pilot program participants shared many positive experiences. Comments included:

  • A positive experience and plan to participate again in fall.
  • This was very helpful for me to be able to talk with another director about the challenges we are facing.
  • Found it very beneficial to talk to someone further along in their career who is specific to the college setting.

Are you new to community college libraries and want to expand your professional knowledge and skills? Or are you an experienced librarian willing to share your knowledge to help others? The CJCLS Mentoring Program Committee invites you to participate in the CJCLS Mentoring Program!

We’re accepting participants until September 15, 2022. After the deadline, participants will be paired and there will be a Mentoring Program Kick-Off Meeting to review expectations. The program will run from October 15, 2022 until June 30, 2023.

Participation Requirements

Mentees

Open to all who are currently employed at a community college library as a librarian, staff, administrator, or students enrolled in or recent graduates from graduate-level Library and Information Science (MLIS) programs.

Mentors

Currently employed at a community college library as a librarian or administrator with a minimum of 4 years of library experience.

Submit your application by September 15:

Contact Committee Chair, Sandy McCarthy, at mccarthy@wccnet.edu with questions.

With Appreciation,

The CJCLS Mentoring Committee

Sandy McCarthy, Yumi Shin, Sabrina Dyck, Nathasha Alvarez, Laura Mondt, Mi-Seon Kim, Robin Brown

Categories
Research Skills Corner

Researching as a Community College Librarian

video, recording, scientific, research” by Jennifer Strickland. CC0.

Welcome to the Research Skills Corner, a sponsored post by the ACRL CJCLS Scholarly Research Committee

We plan to be here monthly to provide:

  • Highlights of recent research articles written by community college librarians and articles written about the issues that pertain to our libraries.
  • Tools, trainings and a spotlight on ways to grow your own research capacity.
  • A place for conversation in the comments section.
  • Thoughtful and salient opinions (we hope!).

Conducting research can be difficult in a community/vocational/technical/junior college. We often do not have staff tasked with research explicitly or tied to our promotion or tenure process directly. And it is critical that this research is conducted on us and with us. Our institutions frequently have higher numbers of first gen students, diverse and historically underrepresented students as well as PELL grant recipients, veterans and more. Our students are our strengths and while there are similarities to the demographic makeup of students in R1s, our populations are not identical. How do those differences impact the applicability of student success research done at R1s to our institutions?

How can we provide service to our students and our institutions through research? How can we help each other grow our research capacities? One thing we can do is collaborate with each other across institutions on topics we are most curious about. Our committee recently hosted a network and brainstorming session around ways to collaborate around potential research interests. A few people attended and the conversation generated turned out to be very valuable for future work opportunities. Would these informal conversations and community building sessions be something that could be useful if held more frequently such as several times a year? Alternately, is LibParlor a growing channel for this discovery of collaborative opportunities? How can we tap into the work of other existing ALA committees that focus on growing research capacity? All the questions.

Please let us know if there are any topics/papers/tools that you would like to see featured in this column. Did you publish something recently? Drop us a note below!

Categories
Research Resources

Get Involved with the Library Writing Cooperative’s First Draft Matchmaker Program

Written by Holly Jackson on behalf of the Library Writing Cooperative

Someone writing on paper using a pen
Writing” by dotmatchbox is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Are you interested in publishing in the library field? Or are you an experienced writer already involved in the field? The Library Writing Cooperative, organized by and for library workers, offers a First Draft Matchmaker service to match volunteer reviewers with writers for supportive and nonjudgmental feedback that can improve the writing process prior to submission at a journal, conference proposal, or trade publication and to encourage many voices to participate in the professional conversation.

For writers who hope to have their work reviewed, you get to choose the aspects of your work where you would like feedback. This offers you the chance to get some additional feedback before you go to an editor or further in the peer review process. Generally, the timeline for this process is 2-4 weeks depending on the volunteer reviewer’s availability. Request to have a reviewer look over your work. You don’t even have to have it done yet – tell us that you’ll have it ready in the near future and we’ll send you monthly check-in emails until you’re ready.

For reviewers who want to give back to the field by looking over others’ drafts and supporting new and practicing authors in the field, you’ll receive onboarding materials on how best to share feedback with colleagues and a letter of thanks to include in annual reviews. You’ll be matched with a writer on an as-needed basis as requests come in. Sign up to be a reviewer and learn more about the review process.

We are thrilled at the initial responses for this program and hope to see this help both aspiring and already established writers from across the library world gain help and experience through this program. Through discussions with others across different areas of librarianship, we’ve found that there is a range of support when it comes to publishing. Some areas are not as supportive because it’s not a requirement (and therefore it’s hard to find help if you’re interested in publishing), while others have very strict requirements due to things like tenure track responsibilities (so it might be a bit more competitive). This program opens up access to all librarians (public, school, special, community college or other academic librarians, archival, etc.) and provides supportive and nonjudgmental feedback.

If you’re interested in taking part, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at libwrtcoop@gmail.com or check out the Library Writing Cooperative website.

Categories
Member of the Month

February 2022 Member of the Month

submitted by Kodi Saylor, CJCLS Membership Committee

Every month, we are highlighting a member of CJCLS!

Meet Sandra McCarthy, Our February 2022  CJCLS Member of the Month. 

Sandra McCarthy is a librarian at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI. 

At Work 

As a faculty librarian, Sandra has many job responsibilities working as a liaison librarian responsible for collections and services in health sciences and nursing, mathematics and sciences, and computer science. She also creates online courses, tutorials, and libguides for these subject areas. Additionally, Sandra plays a key role in her library’s research instruction, reference, and virtual reference services while aso working with electronic resources, outreach, and sustainable programs. 

A member of CJCLS for over twenty years, Sandra says, “The most significant benefit of being a CJCLS member is networking and getting involved with the ACRL CJCLS Section.” Sandra encourages all active members of ALA to get involved and volunteer for a committee. 

Sandra’s favorite part of working as a community college librarian“ is working with the diverse student body and networking across campus for the common goal of student success.” 

For Fun

When Sandra is not working, she is making jewelry with seed-beads or gardening. Beading for over 20 years, Sandra has made hundreds of bracelets and necklaces. Gardening is her other passion. She keeps a small backyard garden full of herbs, flowers and vegetables. 

Sandra also enjoys watching documentaries about sustainability and the earth. She highly recommends: David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020); Kiss the Ground (2020); and Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Land by Patagonia (2020).

Sandra’s rescue dog, Tank, is a nine year old Australian Shepherd, Chow Chow, and Labrador mix, who loves to listen in on her Zoom meetings. 

Mixing Work and Fun

Sandra combined her work as a librarian and her passion for gardening by starting the WCC Seed Library in 2015.  She says that “the Seed Library is a popular free resource of seeds to start your garden.” The mission of the seed library is to create a place “within the Bailey Library where students, staff, and community members can get seeds for free to start their own garden, learn about seed sowing, protect open-pollinated and unique varieties and support the fight against climate change. This will be a place to educate the WCC community about gardening and saving their seeds for future crops.” In 2019, she initiated the WCC Bee Campus USA which works to “ensure the survival of animal species, improve local food production, and to educate students and the community about the importance of bumblebees and honeybees (and all pollinators)”.

Categories
Leadership Mentoring Outreach

Get Involved in the CJCLS Mentoring Program

Are you new to community college libraries and want to expand your professional knowledge/skills? Or are you an experienced librarian willing to share your knowledge to help others develop their skills? The CJCLS Mentoring Program Committee invites you to participate in the CJCLS Mentorship Pilot Program!

We’re now accepting participants until March 15, 2022.

After the deadline, participants will be paired (mentor/mentee) and the mentoring pilot program will then run from April 1, 2022 until June 30, 2022.

After the pairing, there will be a Mentoring Program Kick-Off Meeting to review the expectations.  At the end of the program in June, participants will be asked to complete a survey to assist our committee in collecting data on what worked well, what can be improved, and assessing the program overall.

Requirements for Participation

For Mentees – Open to all who are currently employed at a community college library as a librarian, staff, administrator, or students enrolled in or recent graduates from graduate-level Library and Information Science (MLIS) programs.

For Mentors – Currently employed at a community college library as a librarian or administrator with a minimum of 4 years of library experience.

How to Apply

Fill out the appropriate application at the link below before our March 15 deadline!

For more information, contact the Mentoring Committee Chair: Sandy McCarthy (mccarthy@wccnet.edu)

With Appreciation,

The CJCLS Mentoring Committee

Sandy McCarthy
Yumi Shin
Sabrina Dyck
Nathasha Alvarez
Robin Brown

CJCLS Mentoring Program LibGuide

Categories
Uncategorized

New: Privacy Field Guides

Submitted by Erin Berman : Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee

Privacy is a core value of librarianship, yet it often feels like an overwhelming and onerous undertaking. Library workers repeatedly say that there is a lack of practical how-to guides for making concrete privacy changes in the library. To address the concerns voiced by library workers, Bonnie Tijerina and Erin Berman partnered to create the Privacy Field Guides. Sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the American Library Association, written by privacy experts and reviewed by librarians in the field, these guides were designed to work in school, public, and academic libraries. These guides are now complete and the creators would like to send physical copies to any community and junior colleges who are interested (while supplies last)! All you need to do is fill out this form and we will ship them to you.

The complete set of guides is now available for download on ALA’s Privacy Resource Center. A fully interactive companion site to the guides is slated to be released in February where library workers can view additional resources and complete the guide activities. Later this year the guides will also be available for purchase as a workbook through ALA editions, so stay tuned! 

There are seven guides covering topics important to library workers.

  1. How To Talk About Privacy covers privacy talking points, creating an elevator speech, and how to build a persuasive argument
  2. Non-Tech Privacy looks at space design, user surveillance, information printed on paper, and self-service options.
  3. Digital Security Basics walks through creating strong passwords and phrases, multi-factor authentication, phishing, and the importance of staff and user training.
  4. Data Lifecycles introduces readers to each area of the user data lifecycle and gives tips and exercises to learn more about what your library may be doing.
  5. Privacy Policies introduces the read to privacy policies, how to read one and how to write one for a library.
  6. Privacy Audits helps libraries ensure their procedures are in line with their promises of privacy and confidentiality by offering an audit framework and providing resources to perform the audit and tell the audit story.
  7. Vendors and Privacy helps the reader evaluate vendor privacy and understand who in their organization controls decisions to buy and negotiate with vendors.