Letter From CCL President Meghan Chen

MEGHAN-NEWDear CCL colleagues:

Happy Fall 2016! Each fall term brings renewed promise for students to begin a new academic year toward their educational goal. Their success requires their intentional dedication of time and effort, perhaps with a measure of personal sacrifice. They need the college library as a quiet sanctuary in which to become a new version of themselves, to self-integrate after experiencing the cognitive/affective dissonance that comes with learning new things, and to study with fellow students in a communal act of honoring the right to an education. They need us – librarians, staff, and administrators – to look out for their learning needs that the library satisfies and to improve the library as a place that dignifies the human need to grow.


For us, 2016-17 is also a new year in which we continue to labor on their behalf and to showcase the library’s role in making a difference for students. CCL Board members met in May and July to strengthen our organizational structure/operations; we focused on ways in which we can effectively implement our Strategic Plan, develop library leaders, and create opportunities for membership engagement and succession planning. CCL has a proud and productive history for decades, and it needs members to stay engaged and become future regional representatives, board members, and the next president of the board. The 2016-17 academic year is a year for maintaining our professional learning activities, such as the Fall Workshop on outcomes assessment (coming in October, more hands-on for members), the Spring Workshop on library facilities, and of course, our annual Deans and Directors’ meeting.


We will also continue to identify and assert the library’s role in state-wide initiatives such as the Online Education Initiative (OEI) and the Doing What Matters workforce development initiative. OEI has made huge strides in the state, with 91 colleges adopting Canvas, and many beyond the initial 24 pilot colleges have the benefit of online tools such as NetTutor 24x7 tutoring and VeriCite plagiarism detection. The idea of a state-wide Course Exchange is closer to becoming a reality, launching a first cross-college enrollment in the coming year, among eight Full Launch colleges. CCL has representatives (e.g., board members Will Breitbach of Shasta College and Alicia Virtue of Santa Rosa Junior College) in the OEI library workgroup to ensure the library module that will “live” inside Canvas has what CCL thinks it should have for distance education students. Another major initiative that should have library presence is Doing What Matters for workforce training. This $200 million initiative has four prongs:


  • Give Priority for Jobs and the Economy
  • Make Room for Jobs and the Economy
  • Promote Student Success
  • Innovate for Jobs and the Economy


One of the 25 Recommendations is “Student Success,” and of course, the library is central to student success. A closer inspection of the Strong Workforce Project Plan immediately reveals at least two in which the college library can be involved (emphasis mine):


1a. Provide resources for student support and career center services to raise the awareness of career planning and provide information to high school, adult education and community college students on labor market demand and earnings potential.


1.b Develop and implement common, effective career and educational planning tools for high school, adult education and community college counselors to provide detailed and comprehensive information, resources, and support on career awareness, preparation, and exploration; CTE pathway and education planning; workplace-readiness skills; work-based learning opportunities; and local and regional employer needs and job requirements.


But the plan does not have the word “library” in it. Yet. CCL should invite ourselves into that conversation, and our new Advocacy Committee will work on that and engage you in that effort. Perhaps one way is to participate in conferences like the 2016 CCCAOE Fall Conference (9/27-9/29 in Rancho Mirage). Another is to ask you to get invited to your college’s Career and Technical Education committee or workgroup and to ensure your college’s curriculum development/approval process identifies appropriate library materials to support every course, certificate, program, and transfer degree.


Beyond these two state-wide initiatives, the library should continue to figure prominently in Basic Skills and Student Equity Initiatives. The CCL website has examples of proposals for getting the library into these efforts. Please continue to share your proposals: we don’t need to reinvent the wheel!


Last but not least, a huge “thank you” to the 100+ library leaders who took the integrated library system (ILS) survey recently. The results show there is overwhelming affirmative support for a state-wide buy in the 2017-18 state budget. Your prompt response supports the CCL board to be ever-ready to jump at the opportunity, and we remain watchful for every chance to advance this worthy project. We will keep you informed.


Warm wishes for a great semester,