Letter from CCL President Doug Achterman
Library Services Platform Project Vendor Demonstrations
During the second week of April, the Library Services Platform Procurement and Selection Committee will meet in Sacramento to participate in vendor demonstrations.
The goal of this committee is to arrive at a recommendation for a vendor contract by the end of the week. As this project is being managed by the CCC Technology Center, any contract recommended must be approved by the Butte-Glenn Community College District board, which hosts the Technology Center. An approval by this board before the end of the spring semester keeps us on track for implementation beginning in late summer and continuing through the year.
The initial $6 million funding covers the creation of the RFP, selection of a vendor, and the first year of implementation. Our ability to secure ongoing funding will depend upon a sizable number of colleges migrating to the new system and demonstrating the value of the investment. The details about migration and implementation are necessarily vague right now, as this will depend on the vendor selected. Stay tuned for details, but know that the LSP Task Force has been working on this.
At the Deans & Directors meeting in Sacramento in March, representatives from Pasadena City College presented aspects of their College 1 program. This program incorporates many elements of a Guided Pathways approach and is helpful in thinking about how our libraries might best support Guided Pathways efforts on our own campuses.
If library representation is not present in the planning of Guided Pathways efforts on your campus, now is the time to start. One characteristic of the College 1 program, which has a fully integrated information literacy and research component, is that library faculty participated from the beginning of the effort. Library support is not added on; it is built in.
If you are having difficulty getting representation in the planning of Guided Pathways efforts, you may want to take advantage of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) resolution passed in the fall calling for “Inclusion of Library Faculty on College Cross-Functional Teams for Guided Pathways and Other Student Success Initiatives” (https://asccc.org/resolutions/inclusion-library-faculty-college-cross-functional-teams-guided-pathways-and-other). This resolution was developed with input from the CCL board’s Advocacy Committee and Senate President Julie Bruno and was ushered through the ASCCC resolution process by Dan Crump. You may bring this resolution to the attention of your local senate and ask for their support in gaining a voice in Guided Pathways efforts.
I’m looking forward to the CCL Guided Pathways workshops—planned and facilitated by Santa Barbara CC’s Elizabeth Bowman and Cabrillo’s Aloha Sargent and Michelle Morton—which will give us a chance to meet and think together about how our colleges can best support Guided Pathways efforts. We are all figuring this out together, and having an opportunity to spend a day with colleagues thinking about this will surely benefit us all. The north workshop, at the Embassy Suites in Walnut Creek, runs from 8:30-3:00 on April 18. The south workshop at the Doubletree in Ontario will be held on April 25th.
The Value of Academic Libraries
One of the highlights of the Deans and Directors meeting was Megan Oakleaf’s talk on the value of academic libraries. As a leading thinker about academic librarianship, Oakleaf has made important contributions to the field by identifying ways to document and share the value of academic libraries beyond the traditional metrics we depend too much upon: gate count, circulation, number of orientations, etc. Her work is extremely relevant to the Guided Pathways movement in our state, in that we have a critical obligation to define the value of what we do in ways that may not be captured by traditional metrics. Just as the value of a community college to its community extends well beyond numbers of students who stay in school and ultimately earn certificates, degrees, and transfers, the value of our libraries extends far beyond how many books we check out or how many one-shots we provide.
As part of her presentation, Oakleaf stepped the audience through a process of self-assessment that would be useful for any library staff to engage in. Also included were key questions to ask about identifying the true purpose and identity of the library, and strategies for communicating and marketing the importance of our work to the broader community.
Check out Oakleaf’s presentation and support materials, along with other presentation documents from the Deans and Directors Meeting, at http://www.cclibrarians.org/news/2018-deans-and-directors-meeting-presentation-materials.