CCL-EAR Committee Chair Report

By Tamara Weintraub, CCL-EAR Chair

Hope springs eternal. In my December report, I optimistically observed that many of us were preparing for expanded on-campus library services in January. “Delta” was beginning to subside, more people were getting vaccinated, and it really seemed like this was going to happen! Then [cue ‘wah wah wah’ sound effects]…”Omicron” arrived, and before classes even began we pivoted back to remote learning and programs. For just a few more weeks. Or so we hope.

Now that Spring 2022 is underway, there is only one thing I am still certain of: we’ve got this. Even if we can’t give students the amazing in-person experience that is the hallmark of California’s community college libraries, we can continue to meet their information needs online. The Council of Chief Librarian Electronic Access & Resources Committee (CCL-EAR) is here to help California’s community college librarians do this. We are your e-resource peer advocates and will do everything we can to ensure students have ongoing, free (to them), and equitable access to the reliable and credible information e-resources they need for college success.

To this end, we continue to have conversations with vendors about coverage and representation of diverse voices and content in their products that accurately reflects the experiences of California’s large community college population. Last year representatives from SAGE Publishing attended our March 19, 2021 meeting to discuss bias in CQ Researcher entries. SAGE listened to our concerns, and told us of plans to create an advisory group of diverse voices (including librarians, faculty, writers, and others) to help them systematically address this in the structure and publishing of their content. Subsequently, a CCL-EAR member was invited to join the planned group, but so far none has been formed. We are concerned about Sage’s level of commitment in addressing the DEI concerns raised about CQ Researcher – which continues to be an important resource for our students -- and had hoped to see more progress by now. While CCL-EAR feels that all vendors should be responsible in this way, we wanted to update you on this specific issue -- initially brought to our attention by Consortium member librarians -- as you consider upcoming product renewals.

Your CCL-EAR Regional Representatives continue to be busy in other ways as well:

•Several new product reviews are underway;
•we continue meeting with vendors to address CCL needs for products to align with our and student values of equity, privacy, and credibility;
•updates to the CCL-EAR website and review templates are almost complete;
•the project to remove weeded titles in the Netlibrary/EBSCO eBooks CCLC shared collections from the ExLibris LSP continues;
•CCL-EAR is planning a Consortium Wednesday Webinar on ebook acquisitions strategies;
•CCL-EAR representatives will be reaching out to you directly for input on other needs and interests.

Remember: CCL-EAR is composed of volunteers from CCL member libraries who share the same interests and concerns as you. We are now recruiting to fill upcoming vacancies for Regional Representatives, so please consider joining. I count serving on this Committee one of the most meaningful professional contributions of my long career.  Feel free to contact me or your Regional Representative, or attend CCL-EAR meetings (all CCL members welcome). Learn more about who we are, what is involved, and meeting dates and times.