CCL-EAR Committee Chair Report

By Tamara Weintraub, Palomar College and CCL-EAR Committee Chair

Since Spring Break, I’ve been reflecting on all that CCL-EAR Committee has accomplished entirely online this academic year (after spending Spring 2020 getting our “sea legs” with the sudden shift from in-person to remote services due to the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home order).

We’ve done a lot: we wrote and published several product reviews, undertook projects to better help member libraries meet their e-resource needs, and began addressing what CCL-EAR can do to address and influence equity and inclusiveness in content provided through the Consortium. Here’s a recap of CCL-EAR’s work over the 2020/21 academic year:

  • Product Reviews:
  • CCL-EAR began the first stage of the current e-book collection weeding project, involving an initial identification of out-of-date titles. As of this report, it is almost complete, and the second stage -- an in-depth review of the remaining collection – is slated to begin sometime Fall 2021. A call will go out inviting CCL member librarians to join the second stage.
  • CCL-EAR is exploring ways to ensure the voices and experiences of California’s large and diverse community college population are accurately represented in Consortium products. Moving forward, we’ll be examining content through an equity lens, both in conversations with vendors and in our reviews.
  • CCL-EAR administered its annual Electronic Access and Resources Survey of California Community College Libraries in November 2020. Fifty-six percent (56%) of CCL libraries responded, and the survey revealed some interesting findings about the state of our e-resources since March 2020 and several areas of interest or concern for the Committee to address, including:
    • Most libraries increased orders for non-textbook e-books and streaming films specifically due to COVID, and plan to continue purchasing more of these formats moving forward, budgets permitting.
    • The problem is…budgets. Most respondents report funding cuts or anticipate budget reductions in the coming year, which will impact their libraries’ e-resource collections and orders. Comments indicate how they plan to deal with this, such as switching to lower-cost e-resources or discontinuing print and e-products. CCL-EAR and CCLC will do its best to make sure you have as much information as possible about the products offered through the Consortium so that you can make informed resource collection decisions.
    • After the shift to remote learning last year, libraries found creative solutions for safely meeting students’ information needs, including touchless delivery of print materials, low- or no-cost e-content, and reconfiguring budgets to purchase more e-resources. Comments revealed a need for better options to obtain and make available e-textbooks, identify high quality, lower-cost or free, academic e-resources, and get targeted training on fair-use and copyright for library and other materials used for educational purposes.
    • Approximately fifty percent (50%) of the e-resources you purchase directly from vendors or through other consortiums are available from the CCLC. Reasons vary, but mostly, selectors stated they were not aware those resources may be obtained through the CCLC. Contact Consortium Director Amy Beadle to see if you can reduce costs and simplify the purchasing process by getting as many of your e-resources as possible through the CCLC.
    • Most respondents only acquire accessible e-resources, with limited exceptions, and rely on the Consortium to ensure current legal standards are met. All consortium products must meet the standards recommended by the CCC Accessibility Center (CCL/CCLC Policy on Accessibility Standard and CCC Accessibility Standard). The Consortium also monitors developments that would impact the accessibility and availability of e-resources for our members.
    • Approximately one-third of respondents will not acquire products without clear evidence of vendor practices that support library privacy standards, and an equal number avoid products -- with limited exceptions – that have known privacy problems. Comments revealed that user privacy is important for CCL members, but many want more guidance on how to effectively assess this. The CCL offers members some recommendations in its Position Statement on Library User Privacy, and privacy is one of the criteria addressed in recent CCL-EAR reviews.
    • CCL members value and want more product reviews from CCL-EAR, and want to hear more, and more often, from the Committee. We are committed to doing both in the coming year! Members who have questions or concerns may contact me or their Regional Representative

Finally, as this academic year comes to an end, I want to recognize the CCL-EAR Representatives who have done the work mentioned above and so much more. And, to those members leaving the Committee after 3-6 years of service (noted by an asterisk*), goodbye and thank you for your contributions:

  • *Steve Hunt, Past Chair/Vice Chair (Interim Dean, Santa Monica College)
  • Megan Kinney, San Francisco/East Bay Representative (Librarian, City College of San Francisco)
  • Sean Flores, Southwest Bay Representative (Electronic Resources Librarian, San Diego Mesa College)
  • Nancy Golz, East Central Region (Electronic Resources Librarian, Merced College)
  • Tom Stough, West Central Region (Librarian, Oxnard College)
  • Lauren Saslow, Los Angeles Region (Library Dept. Chair, Los Angeles Pierce College)
  • Yvonne Reed, Desert Region (System Librarian, Victor Valley College)
  • *Mary McMillan, Southcoast Region, (Professor/Digital Resources Librarian, El Camino College)
  • *Lauren McFall, San Diego/Imperial County Region (Web Services & Emerging Technologies Librarian, Mira Costa College)

Remember: CCL-EAR is composed of volunteer librarians from CCL libraries. Consider joining CCL-EAR as a Regional Representative or attend our meetings – all Consortium members are invited. Learn more about who we are and what is involved.