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 ( 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 or learn more about the call for proposals at

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 or check out the Library Writing Cooperative website.

Collections Events Leadership Research

Upcoming Events about Community College Libraries

CJCLS Section Events

Diversity & Collection Development – Friday, March 18, 2022 from 2-3pm ET

Coffee & Conversations: Accessibility in OER – Monday, April 4, 2022 from 1-2pm ET

Ithaka S+R Events

Join an upcoming virtual convening organized by Ithaka S+R.

Learn more and register: Conversations on Community College Library Strategy and Collaboration

  • Emergency and emerging technology programs at community college libraries – Tuesday, March 22, 2-3pm, ET
  • “When in doubt, go to the library”: Navigating the community college ecosystem – Tuesday, April 5, 2022 from 2-3pm, ET
  • Assessing the evolution of community college library mission – Tuesday, April 19, 2022 from 2-3pm, ET
Leadership Research

Apply for the Medical Library Association (MLA) 2022 Research Training Institute

Apply for the Medical Library Association (MLA) 2022 Research Training Institute

Are you a library professional who wants to take your research skills to the next level? Do you have a brilliant idea or research topic that you want to pursue but do not know where to start and need support to carry it through? The MLA Research Training Institute (RTI) is a unique, highly effective, and collaborative online research and support program. RTI assessment findings show that the RTI learning model is sound, effective, and increases the research skills, confidence, and productivity of participants. Librarians of all levels of professional experience who provide health information services, collections, and support, and want to contribute to improving library and health care outcomes, are encouraged to apply to the RTI program.

The institute is a one-year online program that consists of a series of online modules in advanced research methods, mentoring by faculty experts and peer coaches, preparing and implementing a research project, and an opportunity to present findings at the MLA ’23 annual conference. RTI ‘22 features an expanded research curriculum and greater affordability and flexibility for participants. Learn more about RTI program details.

RTI Applications will be open until January 12, 2022

Applications are now being accepted through January 12, 2022, for the 2022 cohort of RTI research fellows. Accepted applicants will be notified in March 2022. See the RTI website for eligibility requirements and selection criteria. The institute offers many scholarship opportunities for professionals from small libraries, engaging in DEI research, and for those with limited financial means.

Discover and nurture your research talents! Learn how to conduct and lead quality research projects. Meet like-minded research colleagues, make lifelong friends, gain research confidence, form research collaborations, and help end-users improve health and wellness! Apply today!

Read about the RTI success story.

CJCLS member, Sandra McCarthy, was a 2019 RTI fellow. The study of community college health sciences librarians’ perceptions was the focus of her research and her research findings, Health sciences librarian competency perceptions: A survey of national community college librarians were published in the January 2021 issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association.

The RTI fellow program was a very positive experience for me. The program provides you with training in research, an assigned mentor to meet with during the program as well as continued support during your research project, and the friendship with a network of librarians.

Sandra McCarthy, AHIP, faculty librarian at Washtenaw Community College

The project is made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

If you would like to learn more about the institute, please visit the RTI website or contact Project Director, Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA at