Categories
Tech Tuesdays

The Simple Newsletter

CJCLS has been using newsletters to communicate with community college librarians for a long time. You can visit the American Library Association Institutional Repository to read section newsletters dating back to the 1940s. Our most recent newsletter will be coming out sometime in October. If you are a section member, you’ll receive a copy via email or you can visit the CJCLS newsletter webpage.

I ran across a recent article from the Atlantic, the Internet’s Unkillable App: The noisier our digital lives get, the more popular the humble newsletter becomes by David Pell. Reading it inspired me to do an inventory of the newsletters I subscribe to. I thought I’d share a few of my favorites in this month’s Tech Tuesday column.

An envelope with the word News written on it with a wing on each side of the envelope.
Newsletter, Julian Kücklich, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

What newsletters do you subscribe to? Please share your suggestions!

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
Tech Tuesdays

Crowdsourcing a List of Regional Groups of Community College Librarians

A few years ago, I gave a lightning talk at our local Michigan Academic Library Association annual conference as part of a panel of community college librarians. The panel was organized by our Michigan Community College Libraries Interest Group. I enjoyed sharing ideas with other community college librarians in Michigan and that experience inspired me to join CJCLS. As a CJCLS member, I have had the opportunity to meet community college librarians from many different states. You can read about some of these librarians in the Member of the Month feature on  the CJCLS Blog.

As I have become more involved in CJCLS, I was curious to find out how many states have regional groups focused on community colleges like we do in Michigan. So, last month, I shared an empty Google Sheet in our CJCLS ALA Connect group to crowdsource a list of regional community college groups. So far, librarians have added groups from Arkansas, California, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, and Washington. 

Do you have a group to add to the list? What do you find valuable about being a member CJCLS or of a regional group community college librarians?

Categories
Friday Finds

Today’s Library… and Tomorrow’s Library

I recently came across a fantastic Pinterest board with library design ideas assembled ten years ago by the Inver Hills Community College Library as they planned a remodel. Wouldn’t it be inspiring, I thought, to create an updated version of this?

Next year, my library building celebrates its 30th anniversary. From the outside, it still looks contemporary and appealing. This plot of land has come a long way since it was home to a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant!

The PCC Shatford Library at Pasadena City College

Much has changed, though, since the library was built in 1993. The year of our grand opening, a student might have walked out the door of our sparkling new edifice with a backpack full of books, a ream of photocopies, or a stack of printed articles accessed via CD-ROM databases. Today, students can access sources and get online research assistance without ever setting foot in the building, but the many who do come in expect a robust WiFi connection, power for their devices, easy access to help, and spaces for both quiet study and group work. (Yes, and books, too.)

Birthday cake celebrating Shatford Library 20th Year in 2013
Our 20th anniversary cake in 2013.
Next year, another photo cake?

How has our building kept up with the times? Some areas have been successfully repurposed over the years. For example, the Periodicals room gave way to our “Research Zone” computer lab. The copy room is no more – in fact, our photocopiers have all made way for book scanners and networked printers. We have plenty of computers for students, the WiFi is generally stable, and we’ve installed a phone locker that sanitizes devices with ultraviolet light while they’re charging.

However, our wish list is growing. We need more outlets throughout the building to accommodate students’ needs, but that wasn’t foreseen in 1993, and we’d have to dig into the concrete floor to run more power. Shelving that once housed a massive and aging reference collection and a wide range of print periodicals now begs to make way for collaborative space for students, but the only lighting in that area was built directly into the top of the shelving itself. Oops.

Hey, let’s build all the lighting into the shelves!

Our faithful Reference Desk is an island set apart from the imposingly large Circulation Desk – the pinnacle of 1993 library services planning. We’d love to see a combined services desk giving us more flexibility, and students less consternation. Now we’re talking demolition and construction.

You may approach.

We librarians are a scrappy bunch, and we’re always dreaming/devising/proposing ways to update our 30-year old building. When infrastructure isn’t adequate, we find a workaround when we can. But the wish list, it keeps growing. And planning is made even more challenging as we wonder whether pandemic-era changes have made a lasting impact on library use.

How old is your library building? Has it kept up with changes in use? What were the best changes made over the years, and what do you want or wonder about for the future? Maybe you’ll stir a colleague reading from across the miles to propose something new. May today’s Friday Finds lead us to find some inspiration!

Categories
listserv-results

The Framework: Love It or Hate It?

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Love It or Hate It?

by Lindsay Davis

What’s it like to live in a post-Standards world? Do you love or hate the new Framework  (sorry, we’re capitalizing on Valentine’s Day)?

In January, the CJCLS listserv had a lively conversation regarding the “Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education” and the rescinding of the “Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.”

Troy Swanson, Teaching and Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College, shared his article “Sharing the ACRL Framework with Faculty: Opening Campus Conversations.” In the article, Swanson outlines a professional development course for faculty that he designed with librarian Tish Hayes. The course was focused on introducing faculty to the Framework. Faculty who participated made a variety of connections to the Framework from their own disciplines. The experience also allowed for discussion about how the general education information literacy outcome might be approached at Moraine.

Heather Craven, Learning Resource Center director at County College of Morris, also shared her opinion piece “ACRL and Community College Libraries: We’ve been Framed!” Her article discusses the Framework/Standards issue as it affects some community college libraries.

Sharon Weiner, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, W. Wayne Booker Chair in Information Literacy at Purdue University Libraries, also shared a citation for her and Lana Jackman’s opinion piece “The Rescinding of the ACRL 2000 Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education…Really??” Jackman is President of the National Forum and the principal and founder of Mélange Information Services, Inc.

You may also want to check out “The Framework is Elitist,” a viewpoint essay by Christine Bombaro, Associate Director for Information Literacy and Research Services at Dickinson College, and “Is the Framework Elitist? Is ACRL?,” a response to Bombaro’s essay by Meredith Farkas, Faculty Librarian at Portland Community College.

Check out the CJCLS listserv archives for more on this topic.

Categories
Fundraising

#GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday

By Lindsay Davis

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday is upon us!

Does your community college do a fundraising campaign for scholarships? Does your library participate in some way?

I’m now at a university, and I’ve been looking over the scholarships the university is highlighting for this year’s giving event. I know many of us make monthly deductions from our paychecks to our community college communities. Some may give in other ways, too. At the community college I was at previously, the faculty, which includes librarians and counselors, would raise money to purchase Thanksgiving turkey dinners for students in need. In our local communities, many of us are probably involved in our local public libraries in some way, which often includes holding office or membership in the local library’s Friends group.

One thing that I hadn’t realized about Giving Tuesday is that it is more than making financial donations. It’s also about donating your time, goods, or voice. As librarians in public education, we constantly advocate for issues facing our students, campuses, communities, profession, and the information landscape. Giving Tuesday can offer another avenue for raising awareness about these and other related issues via social media.

For Giving Tuesday, I do plan to donate money for a scholarship, but there are many other ways to give. I also plan to raise awareness of other library-related organizations I am involved with in my personal channels. Is there something you plan on doing?

Categories
Collections Programming

Global Literature in Libraries Initiative

Global Literature in Libraries Initiative

By Lindsay Davis

The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign isn’t just for school libraries or public libraries. Community college, college, and university libraries also need diverse books. When I attended the National Diversity in Libraries Conference, I attended a great lightning round program, Academic Libraries Spearheading Diversity and Cultural Initiatives on University Campuses. In that program, the University of Cincinnati Libraries discussed their Reading Around the World book club.

What is your community college or community college library doing to highlight materials from other parts of the world? Do you have a collection of translated works from your international students’ home countries? Do you have a book club focusing on books from around the globe? How do you learn about books from other countries?

The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI), newly founded by Rachel Hildebrandt, works to raise awareness of world literature:

…for adults and children at the local, national and international levels. We intend to do so by facilitating close and direct collaboration between translators, librarians, publishers, editors, and educators, because we believe that these groups in collaboration are uniquely positioned to help libraries provide support and events to engage readers of all ages in a library framework that explores and celebrates literature from around the world.

We want to increase the visibility of international works in English translation so that more readers can enjoy the amazing diversity in these books and the perspectives they present. And we would like to do this by increasing cooperation between literary translators, international literature advocates, and librarians, who are already experts at guiding readers to new titles. Whether you are a children’s librarian or a YA blogger, a rural library director or a teacher at a large urban school with a diverse student population, we would welcome your insights as we explore collaborative opportunities to encourage readers to explore beyond the boundaries of their own culture and language.

Goals & Projects:

  • Book lists and guides tied to major translation awards and library themes

  • Programming ideas for various library user groups: children, teens, college students, adults, English Language Learners, etc.

  • ALA conference involvement: workshops and sessions, networking through various ALA units and offices to explore the best ways to provide information and services to librarians

  • Joint webinars with various ALA offices

  • Publisher and journal lists organized by vendors/distributors to help librarians more easily acquire books in translation

  • Advocacy on behalf of small publishers to increase their visibility on the review platforms that librarians commonly use for their acquisitions decisions

  • General education efforts to help librarians understand more thoroughly the value of translated literature and of contemporary foreign-language literature

  • Pan-publisher catalogs crafted specifically for librarian users, as a form of “one-stop” shopping to learn about new works coming out in translation

  • Exploration of ways in which non-US publishers of English translations and non-US, non-English-language publishers can more easily promote their works among libraries (Global Literature in Libraries, “About,” 2016)

If you would like to get involved with GLLI, please contact Rachel Hildebrandt at rehildebrandt@gmail.com. GLLI also have a Facebook group, which you can find here.