Letter From CCL President Doug Achterman
CCL has been busy these past months, devoting substantial energy to two statewide projects: the RFP and selection of a database vendor to provide a set of core databases for all California community colleges similar to what EBSCO provided over the past five years, and the creation of an RFP for a statewide purchase of a library services platform.
Notice of Intent to Award Database Contract
The RFP and selection of a database vendor for the statewide database contract is complete, and the CCC Technology Center has posted the “Notice of Intent to Award,” indicating that EBSCO will again get this contract. Details of the contract will be released in October, when agreements are signed. However, it is reasonable to assume that a similar collection of core databases will be a key element of the package. The statewide purchase five years ago resulted in two major benefits. We were able to leverage California Community College buying power to get the best possible deal. Even more significantly, this core collection helped establish some equity across our system, so that students at all of our colleges are guaranteed access to a baseline set of high-quality resources, which is then supplemented by each college according to local need. A new contract represents a commitment to these same operating principles.
We are grateful to the CCC Technology Center for their management of this project, and especially to the CCL Statewide Database Task Force, who provided so many hours of assistance and guidance during the process. Details of the new agreement will be released next month, when the contract is finalized.
$6 Million Funding for Statewide Library Services Platform
Funding for a statewide library services platform finally made it all the way through the budget process after many years of behind-the-scenes efforts by CCL.
The creation of an RFP for the library services platform is a complex undertaking. Guided by the CCC Technology Center, this process will require input from all major sectors of our library community in identifying needs related to user experience, cataloging and collection development tools, circulation, data collection, and more. Given the diverse nature of our colleges and their libraries, we need a platform that supports both solo librarians and large library staffs and that allows for both shared features and the ability to customize according to local needs.
As with the database purchase, a statewide library management system will provide significant cost savings. There are many other benefits as well:
· A common library services platform will offer students a similar environment and toolset for locating and using digital library content regardless of the community college, allowing for easy use by students taking courses at more than one college.
· A state-of-the-art platform will include robust tools enabling community college libraries to better coordinate and share library resources, both locally and regionally, further producing cost savings currently not realizable.
· The economies of scale achieved by a statewide purchase also will result in more equitable access for all students to the best information tools available.
· A common platform affords community college library professionals an opportunity to build a community of practice around use of this tool, creating a network of support and innovation that will result in greater sharing of both instructional strategies and resources to increase student success.
CCL will advise the CCC Technology Center in all phases of the RFP development, and the process itself will undoubtedly lead the library community to a deeper understanding of its own practices and needs. The initial round of funding, $6 million, includes the development of the RFP and the first contract with the selected vendor. We are at the beginning of what will be a lengthy process that will benefit our libraries, faculty, and students for years to come. The CCC Technology Center is gearing up for this project; expect to hear details and calls for feedback and participation on a regular basis, beginning this fall.
Libraries and Guided Pathways
As we move fully into our fall semester, CCL is also actively promoting conversations and sharing ideas about how libraries can best contribute to Guided Pathways. One exciting potential is in the raised awareness of the need for deeper integration of academic support, classroom instruction, and student support. From a library perspective, such integration affords greater promise of achieving information literacy goals across the curriculum. We encourage you to be involved in this initiative at the local and state levels, and to seek out opportunities to strengthen your own college’s vision and creation of Guided Pathways.
In order to capture Guided Pathways grant money, colleges need to meet some requirements that have upcoming deadlines:
1) attendance at an IEPI Guided Pathways Workshop (Several options in September and October).
2) the completion of the Guided Pathways self-assessment (due 11/15/17);
3) the completion of a Guided Pathways multi-year work plan (due 2/15/18).
The Guided Pathways Awards program is a $150 million allocation toward implementation of Guided Pathways across the California community college system. The expectation is that, while there are common principles to Guided Pathways, each college will interpret these in the way the make best for local needs. The time is now to be thinking about how libraries can support this initiative. There is a set of introductory resources available at http://iepi.cccco.edu/guided-pathways. Bailey, Jaggers & Jenkins Redesigning America’s Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success (Harvard University Press, 2015) offers a more expansive look at the issues related to Guided Pathways and includes a rich discussion of the role librarians might play. Participate in the thinking and conversations about Guided Pathways at your college and with librarians across the state.
Information Literacy Professional Learning Opportunity
CCL is sponsoring workshops conducted by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) to explore concepts and pedagogical approaches outlined in the ACRL Information Literacy Framework. The framework stakes out six threshold concepts that are foundational to developing information literacy and offers ways to examine those concepts across a spectrum of increasing complexity. I see exploration of these threshold concepts as a means to deepen our own understanding of information literacy, and so deepen our own approach to information literacy instruction. The threshold concepts are truly part of a framework that goes beyond development of discrete skills and focuses on core principles less subject to change in the face of nearly constant technological change.
The workshop will be offered in the south at Pasadena City College on October 13th and in the north at Diablo Valley College on November 3rd.
CCL Web Redesign
CCL is a complete redesign of its website. Over the past several months, we’ve been identifying the needs and priorities we hold in constructing a site that helps us achieve our core goals. The site will have a new look and feel and use responsive design, so that users can easily view content on a range of devices from laptops to tablets to smart phones.
The CCL site will share its basic design with the Community College Library Consortium, which manages much of the database purchasing that occurs in our libraries. Look for the new site in October.