Letter To CCL From Brian King


briankingChancellor, Los Rios Community College District President, Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges



Author Jarrett J. Krosoczka once said, “The library is the heart of a school, and without a librarian, it is but an empty shell.” I want to thank you for your service within the heart of your college.

I don’t have to tell you that your work is challenging. You know. You are continually adapting to change. You have to be flexible as needs shift.

While the printed book is not dead (despite many predictions of its demise through the years), information appetites are always evolving. And you respond. You have your finger on the pulse of your community and work hard to adjust your services.

When you work with faculty to set aside textbooks on reserve for students who have financial struggles, you are the heart of your community. When you work tirelessly to make sure your research databases are the best they can be, you are the heart of your community.

One of your greatest services is helping your community – students, faculty, and staff alike – make sense of the information overload that is out there. Author Neil Gaiman has famously said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”

There are two truths in that statement.

  • One, you empower people to focus on the best information possible. Whether it is a student working on their first research paper or a colleague trying to find a resource that is just beyond their reach, you help narrow down and define what people are looking for.
  • Second, you help train people to be researchers themselves, so they can take your mentorship and apply it to their daily lives.

In many ways, you are helping us all deal with an unprecedented flood of information. With information coming at all of us from so many directions, who will help us learn to prioritize this data tsunami? Who will help new college students develop long-term habits that will serve them throughout their lives? Who will help our communities make sense of a search engine world that returns thousands of replies but little real direction?

Thank you for your service in watching over this information avalanche. I encourage you to keep up the great work you are doing. I know it is often difficult work. But it is vital work to our colleges and communities. You are helping create a more educated and empowered society. It is hard to imagine more important work than that.