Letter from CCL President Meghan Chen

MEGHAN-NEWDear CCL colleagues:

The CCL Board of Directors continues its work to support our library community. The fall workshop on outcomes assessment drew strong participation as we recognize the need to keep demonstrating the impact of libraries on student learning and success. Megan Oakley reminds us that we need talk about libraries in language and metrics non-library people understand. We also need to translate that understanding, especially among influential people, into advocacy and ongoing resources for libraries. How are we telling the community college world that “Libraries Transform” our students, institutions, and communities?


The CCL Board is keenly interested in how we engage with and serve our library community. We have organized ourselves into committees: Executive (officers), Advocacy, Communication, Learning and Professional Development, and of course, Electronic Access and Resources. Each group is working on activities to carry out our Strategic Plan action items. You already know about the ILS proposal getting some traction, the now annual CCL Library Leadership Scholarship (due January 31), and Creating A Library Presence in Canvas module commissioned by CCL. Plans are underway to get our members’ feedback on CCL information needs and methods of communication so we can be more effective, for example, combining CCL and the consortium websites and modernizing it for different devices.  The Professional Learning and Development Committee is working on the annual Deans and Directors meeting March 23-24 and a spring workshop in April on library facilities. These are just a few examples of our service to our beloved community. More information on our work is in this issue of The Outlook.


As our nation recovers from a bitter, contentious presidential election, let us reaffirm with deep conviction and resolve that libraries are a safe space for diverse learners: we renew our dedication to the freedom to pursue knowledge and information; to honor inquisitiveness; to engage in open, honest, and civil discourse; to foster diverse viewpoints; to critically challenge biases and partial truths; and to shape our community for a better tomorrow, for everyone. How are libraries overtly expressing these core values at a particularly sensitive time for our students when many have whispered genuine fear for their lives? What can we do more of or differently to provide a safe haven for them and direct them to urgently needed support across campuses and in our communities?


Thanksgiving is right around the bend as 2016 draws to a close. I am thankful for all that I am blessed with, including my amazing library colleagues that make California community colleges extraordinary beacons of hope.