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Member of the Month

June Member of the Month

Meet our June 2022 Member of the Month:

Jill Sodt (she/her) is the Director of Library Services at Mott Community College in Flint, MI.

She has been a CJCLS member for the last ten years. She has this to say about why she stays involved: “There are so many intelligent, thoughtful, and creative community college librarians out there and I’ve learned so much from them. I enjoy hearing about how other people meet challenges and I get inspiration and ideas to bring back to my library. I’m a better community college librarian because of my involvement with CJCLS.”

When she’s not managing a library and serving the profession in CJCLS, she enjoys camping and fiber arts. “Last summer, I bought a new travel trailer and am getting back into camping again. I also like to travel to new places with my camera in hand. You’ll often find me with a knitting or crochet project whether I’m on the go or relaxing at home. During the pandemic shut down, I got into needle felting and rug hooking. Like many librarians, I also enjoy reading or listening to an eclectic choice of books from psychological thrillers to classics to modern literature. Lately, I’ve also been dabbling in vlogging about my life, travel, and other random stuff.”

She counts two rescue dogs as family members, including a retired therapy dog.

What are your favorite things about being a community college librarian?

“We have such a diverse student body in all sorts of ways, from the first-generation college student, students who are just out of high school, dual-enrolled students, and those older adults looking to change careers or get more education. I’m honored when they are willing to share their unique experiences, perspectives, and challenges with me. They make me want to continue working to improve our library, so they have the resources and spaces needed to meet their individual goals.”

Catch up with Jill on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jill.sodt.71/ or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillsodt/  or reach out by email: jill.sodt@mcc.edu .

Her college has an on-campus coffee shop, if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by.

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Member of the Month

May/June 2022 Member of the Month

May/June 2022 Member of the Month

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Addie Holloman.  Addie is a Library  Services Assistant at Roanoke Chowan Community College.  She enjoys seeing students explore the library and is interested in providing excellent customer service.

When she’s not helping students in the library, she enjoys reading, music and walking.  Currently (or when she filled out our survey) she’s reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

She also Answered our silly questions. If she could have any superpower, she’d pick invisibility.

We’d like to get to know more community college librarians. Please nominate yourself or a colleague at this link: https://forms.gle/bivqkZrgSv7UQLKy6  or email Membership Committee member Kodi Saylor to nominate someone for July’s feature   kodi.saylor@ucdenver.edu

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Member of the Month

April Member of the Month

Suzanne Bernsten (she/her/hers) is the Chair of the CJCLS Communications Committee.   When she’s not busy making our section communications (including this blog, our other social media and our newsletter) work better, she’s the web services librarian at Lansing Community College Library, Lansing, Michigan. As web services librarian she “coordinates the library website, but also does instruction, reference, and liaisons with English and Science faculty. For the past two years, she has worked as a faculty fellow in the Center for Teaching Excellence. In that role, she teaches faculty development workshops and helps faculty create websites for their teaching and learning projects through our Open Learning Lab.”

Off the clock “I love being outdoors and enjoy hiking and taking photos of nature. I also enjoy gardening and my many houseplants. I play violin on Friday afternoons in a strings group and sometimes with our library string band.”

She’s been a CJCLS member for three years and has this to say about membership: “CJCLS has given me the opportunity to learn about what is happening at other community college libraries and to connect with librarians from across the country.”

We also ask our profiled members about the media they’re consuming. Suzanne recommends the book American Made: What Happens to People When Work Disappears by Farah Stockman.

We ask our profiled members what they like the most about being community college librarians.  The answers are always inspiring. Suzanne says,” I enjoy the variety of students I get to work with at a community college. It gives me the opportunity to continually learn new things. I also like collaborating with faculty through library instruction and liaison work. Our library is part of the Michigan Research Help Now chat collaborative and I love doing virtual reference. Last week on chat, I helped a student in Nigeria who was taking a class at a university in England. I find it rewarding to work with other librarians to serve students from around the world.”

If you have questions for Suzanne, you can reach her at bernss@lcc.edu.

If you or a colleague would like to be profiled in our May newsletter- please complete this nomination form. https://forms.gle/djNBm2uaw2B847fD7

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Member of the Month

March 2022 Member of the Month

Meet Spencer Brayton

Submitted by the CJCLS Membership Committee

Spencer (he, him) is the Director of Library Services at Waubonsee Community College in Illinois.  He has this to say about being a librarian in Illinois: “…we are lucky to have two fantastic consortiums for academic libraries (CARLI and NILRC). They provide me with great opportunities to connect with and learn from colleagues. I really appreciate how community college librarians at different institutions are open to sharing projects and collaborating with one another.”

“I hail from Wisconsin, so am an avid sports fan of all teams in the badger state. More importantly, I am having an amazing time with my nearly two-year old son, with a daughter on the way!” His family also includes a dog named Eddie. “We got him when I first started library school!”

We always ask what our members are reading or watching.  “Kaetrena Davis Kendrick mentioned the work of Ryan Holiday in a podcast I listened to a few months ago. I’ve been reading his books on stoic philosophy.”

He declined to choose a superpower. “I wouldn’t. Knowing I don’t have one helps me learn to be a better person and more effective in my work.”

He’s been a member of CJCLS since 2013, and has this to say about his involvement:” It’s a great way to learn from other great librarians and network. I’ve made lasting relationships that continue to benefit me and expand my knowledge of librarianship and leadership.”

In closing he tells us: “I’m fortunate to work with an amazing group of colleagues at Waubonsee libraries. I also try to embody the openness with sharing and networking that others have provided me. Please feel free to connect with me anytime!”  sbrayton@Waubonsee.edu

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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)”.

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Member of the Month Uncategorized

We Want you! Volunteer now for a CJCLS committee

Covid librarianship has given us all an opportunity  to re-evaluate how we spend our time.  I hope many of you will decide that this is a good time to engage with the section and volunteer for a committee.  The volunteer form is live. Remember,  CJCLS  committees do not require conference attendance. I could give you all the reasons I am involved, but our members say it best! 

The following quotes are from our Member of the Month surveys:

Networking, good friends, the opportunity to advocate for Community College Libraries. Colleagues who supported me when I went up for promotion.

Robin Brown, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York

I enjoy all professional development opportunities offered to me through my memberships. The availability to network is also a great benefit, especially through the COVID pandemic.

Evelyn Hudson, Hazard Community and Technical College, Kentucky

I appreciate the opportunity my membership provides to connect with other community college librarians. I volunteered for my first CJCLS committee in 2017 and somehow was made chair, which meant I served on the Executive Committee as well. That was a great way to get to know more about the organization and to meet other engaged librarians from around the country.

Andrea Kingston, Monroe Community College, New York

My CJCLS membership has provided me with the opportunity to connect to community and junior college librarians around the country. I have found these connections to be invaluable throughout my career. Community and junior college librarians are incredibly collegial, often sharing resources that they’ve created with me that allow me to do my job better and serve students more effectively.

Kristin Heathcock, Hillsborough Community College, Florida

The most significant benefit of being a CJCLS member is networking and getting involved with the ACRL CJCLS Section. I am the past chair of CJCLS. I encourage all to be active members of ALA by volunteering for a CJCLS committee or any ACRL committee.

Sandy McCarthy, Washtenaw Community College, Michigan

Membership in CJCLS has given me the opportunity to meet and work with librarians all over the country. I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent volunteering on committees. It’s been a great way to stay involved in emerging practices and work with other passionate librarians.

Jamie Witman, Community College of Baltimore County, Maryland

I truly value the opportunities to share various topics with other community college librarians throughout the country. As a small college librarian, these opportunities are beneficial to me in increasing my knowledge and expanding connections to other professionals. It also helps me stay up-to-date during ongoing changing times.

Yumi Shin, Lamar State College, Texas
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Member of the Month

Member of the Month a mid-year Progress report

In May 2021, CJCLS launched a Member of the Month initiative to introduce a member to everyone once a month.

As of November, we have featured seven librarians in our newsletter and on our blog. We look forward to profiling 12 more librarians in 2022.  Please nominate yourself or a colleague by completing this form: https://forms.gle/Bxxsb4kGmAAjLUfRA.  Most of our nominees so far have been pretty involved in CJCLS, but we welcome nominations from everyone.

We’ve had two members from New York profiled (Andrea Kingston- Monroe Community College in Rochester and Robin Brown- Borough of Manhattan Community College, NY)

Other states represented so far include:

  • Florida (Kristin Heathcock – Hillsborough Community College – Brandon Campus )
  • Kentucky (Evelyn Hudson- Hazard Community and Technical College )
  • Texas (Yumi Shin – Lamar State College – Port Arthur)
  • Maryland (Jamie Witman – Community College of Baltimore County
  • Washington (Laura Dimmit Smyth – University of Washington Bothell & Cascadia College

44 states to go to have a complete set. 

Our 7 featured members represent lots of different library roles:

  • Online Learning and OER
  • Fine Arts and Cultural Studies Liaison
  • Head of Public Services
  • Reference and Instruction
  • A little bit of everything

And they’re just as busy outside of the library:

  • My hobbies tend to be seasonal due to our long winters in Rochester. In the warmer months, I do a lot of flower gardening and explore local parks and wildlife reserves. I’ve been slowly replacing my lawn with a pollinator garden (mostly native plants). When it’s cold, I read, watch films on the Criterion Channel and journal about them, and work on genealogy projects.
  • Pre-covid, I played ultimate frisbee for a competitive team in Maryland. It is such a fun and active sport and I’ve been playing for over a decade. But right now, I really enjoy going on hikes with my husband and son and when I have the time, playing guitar.
  • Cooking or baking is my number one way to relax, and I love the challenge of new recipes. My husband and I also kayaking/hiking when the weather is good here in Seattle…and honestly, sometimes even when the weather isn’t that nice.
  • Disabilities Studies Research is at the centerpiece of my practice.  In the “before time” I would spend Saturday Afternoons at our local Public Library. That’s why when my book came out, I gave them a copy (https://litwinbooks.com/books/seeking-to-understand/). I read and write.
  • My life outside of work, and oftentimes overlapping with it, is consumed by my young kids and husband’s military career. When I happen to luck into downtime I enjoy writing poetry and fiction.
  • I live in Florida and like to do anything outside. I love to kayak, ride my bike, go to amusement parks, and am currently training to run my first half-marathon.

If I’ve counted correctly, we have 4 dog owners and 3 cat owners.

Book recommendations:

  • What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee 
  • Tears of Amber by Sofia Segovia
  • Hafner, Katie, and Matthew Lyon. Where wizards stay up late: The origins of the Internet. Simon and Schuster, 1998.
  • For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

Other media mentions:

  • I am always keen on space and the universe. I recently watched the movie, Oxygen. It is about the story of surviving inside a cryogenic unit with little oxygen. Finding out herself is giving a shocking truth that I cannot imagine.
  • I’m a big soccer fan, so honestly this summer full of international tournaments is just the dream!
  • Bo Burnham’s “Inside” on Netflix.

A total of 35 years of CJCLS membership is represented by our 7 featured members. 

On the silly side, we ask members what superpower they would like to have:

  • Time travel
  • See the future
  • Fly
  • Run
  • Teleportation
  • a pause button for real situations!

If you haven’t read the profile articles yet, I hope you’ll take some time to get to know your fellow librarians, and please nominate yourself or a colleague: https://forms.gle/Bxxsb4kGmAAjLUfRA . If there are questions you’d like added to the survey, please send them to Lisa.Eichholtz@kctcs.edu

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Member of the Month

November 2021 Member of the Month

Meet Kristin Heathcock

Kristin Heathcock (she/her) is one of two librarians at Hillsborough Community College – Brandon Campus  in Tampa, Florida. Like many of you working in small settings, she does a little of everything “ We both do a bit of everything. You will find us teaching instruction sessions, working with student groups, selecting materials as part of collection development, and working at the reference or circulation desks.” Here’s what she says about being a community college librarian,” I get to work with students every day. Community college students are so varied – each one teaches me something. Community college librarians have the ability to impact real changes in students’ experiences at the college. Because we get to work closely with students, we can learn what their needs are (research related OR not). We can then work with others at our colleges to make changes that benefit our students in direct ways. It can be simple things (free scantrons) or bigger things (like laptops or hotspots) or even non-school things (like food)!”

She has been a member of CJCLS for 16 years, and is currently our webmaster. Here’s what she says about belonging to CJCLS: “My CJCLS membership has provided me with the opportunity to connect to community and junior college librarians around the country. I have found these connections to be invaluable throughout my career. Community and junior college librarians are incredibly collegial, often sharing resources that they’ve created with me that allow me to do my job better and serve students more effectively.”

And of course she has a life outside the library. “I live in Florida and like to do anything outside. I love to kayak, ride my bike, go to amusement parks, and am currently training to run my first half-marathon.” “I currently have a cat, a hamster, and four leopard geckos. I have two children, so we seem to always have a variety of critters. I live on a large lake – which means I have an endless supply of duck friends living in the back yard.”

If she could have any superpower, she’d like to have “a pause button for real situations! I often have trouble responding well in the moment, so a pause button would allow me to make better responses!!”

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Member of the Month

October 2021 Member of the Month

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Evelyn Hudson.  For the last two years, Evelyn has served with me as an officer in the Community and Technical Roundtable of the Kentucky Library Association.   In April she presented a poster session at ACRL “We Don’t Need Your Elegy.”  I hope you enjoy getting to know Evelyn (She/her).

Evelyn is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Hazard Community and Technical College in Hazard, Kentucky.  She notes that “at a small community college library we all kind of dabble in everything, including archives, outreach, marketing, tech, etc. My passions are developing instruction materials and managing our culturally vital Appalachian Oral History Collection that documented firsthand accounts of life in Appalachia in the Great Depression and WWII.” Her favorite thing about being a community college librarian:  “I love the intersection of being a community center and academic institution. Our mission emphasizes that intersection and gives us flexibility to work with community organizations to leverage the best of academics and the best of our local entities.”

She has been a CJCLS member since 2017, and says “I enjoy all professional development opportunities offered to me through my memberships. The ability to network is also a great benefit, especially through the COVID pandemic.”

Now for the lighter side. Evelyn has three pets: “A dog named Chewbacca for the noises he made as a pup and occasionally now when my kids play on our piano. We call him Chewy for short. Two rescued kitties my husband found hunkered in a military vehicle, Sugar and Diego.”

If she could have any super power she would fly. 

Life outside of work “My life outside of work, and oftentimes overlapping with it, is consumed by my young kids and husband’s military career. When I happen to luck into downtime I enjoy writing poetry and fiction.”

We also ask our nominees what they’re watching or reading. Evelyn recommends Bo Burnham’s “Inside” on Netflix.

In closing she says “My college, library co-workers, and community mean so much to me. Our region in Southeastern Kentucky is facing significant challenges but I am so proud that I get to work with people who are genuinely making a difference.”

If you want to know more about Evelyn, or community college library life in Eastern Kentucky, ehudson0018@kctcs.edu or follow @HCTC_Library on Twitter.

Everything that makes sense in this profile is from Evelyn. Typos, and poor syntax are all me. Nominate yourself or a colleague for a future profile. Submitted by Lisa Eichholtz, Chair CJCLS Membership Committee.

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Member of the Month

September 2021 Member of the Month

Submitted by Membership Committee member Kodi Saylor

Meet Robin Brown, our September 2021 CJCLS Member of the Month

Robin (she / her / hers) is the Head of Public Services at Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City, New York. 

As the head of public services, Robin manages reference, instruction, the library’s appointment service, and takes the lead in assessment. She says, “Teaching is the best part of my day.”  

A member of CJCLS for six years, Robin values the section for networking and developing relationships with colleagues who supported her when she went up for promotion. CJCLS has also created the opportunity for Robin to advocate for community college librarians.She is the current chair of the section. She has also been program planning chair, membership chair and the liaison to the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee.

When asked about her favorite part of serving a community college, Robin says, “Our students.  We get everybody!” and that she is very grateful to work for  Borough of Manhattan Community College, which is a very large and diverse community college part of the CUNY system. BMCC is currently looking for a Student Success Librarian. Please reach out to Robin if you are interested.  

When not working, Robin spends her time reading and writing, saying “Disabilities Studies Research is at the centerpiece of my practice.” Check out Seeking to Understand: A Journey into Disability Studies and Libraries which Robin co-authored with Scott Sheidlower. Lately, Robin has been reading 

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet and spending her time with her tabby cat, Fuzball (sic).