Mary Logue. . . information to more on how to evaluate, how to use, and how to integrate information. In addition, the library staff can begin to incorporate other non-traditional library instruction, such as reading, taking notes, and learning to study well. Adding these less-traditional skills to the library instruction repertoire need to be carefully and thoughtfully done in collaboration with faculty and partnering with them in providing space, resources, and staffing to teach students these skills.

Any thoughts about new efforts for “student success”?

The library’s involvement in supporting student success could include more partnership with faculty to provide information literacy instruction in the General Education courses. The library has had success in our work with Biology 6, English 2, and History 10 and it would be our goal to find more classes with various types of assignments through which we could reach a majority of the students early in their career to teach them different parts of information literacy. Some of these classes might include Old and/or New Testament Studies and Philosophical Perspectives, although I would want to work closely with the GE Committee and faculty to find the right blend of classes in which the information literacy instruction would be most effective.

What about ways of serving struggling students?

The library already houses the Writer’s Corner, and my goal would be for the library to collaborate with other faculty and departments on campus to provide similar assistance for other areas in which students may be struggling. While it’s natural that the library assists students with research problems, including evaluating sources, there are many other ways we could assist students such as: reading, integrating sources, studying, and other areas in which faculty would like students to receive more assistance.

Other innovations?

One last area for innovation in the library that only partially falls under the umbrella of integrating more fully into the campus community is developing and expanding our Special Collections. A first step in this expansion could include supporting and highlighting faculty and student scholarship. As appropriate, the library could make this scholarship available online. Another area for expansion would be in making more of the College’s history available online (The Citadel, The Horizon, photographs, etc.). Developing these collections could have a positive impact on potential and current students, and on our alumni. Expanding our other Special Collections could involve partnering with the Montecito Historical Society and expanding our collection of local history.

How does the library best serve the Christian mission of the college?

First and foremost, the library serves the Christian mission of the College through the staff. The example we set for the students and the way in which we work with faculty and staff should reflect Christ to those with whom we interact.  As librarians we work to provide resources and space for students to engage with and explore questions about their faith. Professional librarians are taught to help patrons find answers to their questions without judging. College is often a time when students are first confronted with the decision to continue the faith they grew up with, or have begun to explore, and make it their own. We can provide them with the resources to fully investigate their questions, and along with other faculty and staff, help them work through their questions so they will have an educated and strongly held personal faith by the end of their search.

The library also serves the mission of the College through our student workers. We are able to cultivate deeper relationships with those few students who work with us. These connections allow us to share more deeply in their faith journey. When appropriate, we are able to share our faith journeys with them.

Can you share thoughts on staff development?

The most important place to invest our time and resources is in the staff of the library. It is imperative they are well-trained, able to assist students, and staying current with trends in libraries and teaching. The definition of information literacy is broadening.  Training and mentoring will be needed to help the staff become and continue to be comfortable and capable in their revised roles as information leaders.

We also need to adopt new systems and technologies to do “regular” library work more effectively and free librarian time to better assist students. This means finding better software and systems and being more creative in how we accomplish our work. One area we are currently beginning to implement this process is in evaluating our online library catalog and digital management software. Changing the software in these two areas has the potential to save money and staff time.  It is important to free librarian time to assist students with research and be involved with more campus-wide initiatives.

 What are your thoughts on enhancing the building?

We should ensure we are providing the type of space needed by our students so they will want to come here. The renovation made a huge difference, but there is more to be done. The library should be able to provide an environment where students can interact with each other and ideas. In order to do this the library must have the necessary tools and environment such as enough seating, ability to control noise levels, and temperature control.

On a practical level we need to make sure we have the resources needed for the classes being taught whether they are on- or off-campus. Currently approximately two thirds of the library budget is spent on resources. An ongoing need is to make sure we are evaluating those resources to make sure they are the best ones for the programs and classes being offered. We need to make sure we are not spending too much time maintaining those resources.

What excites you the most about the job?

The world of academic librarianship is a continually changing landscape. While keeping up and staying relevant can be daunting it is also an exciting challenge. I look forward to the challenge of keeping up with the trends and the new demands placed on academic libraries and determining how our library can adapt and provide for those needs in ways that makes sense for Westmont.

In the last decade Voskuyl Library has undergone major changes including the renovation of building, reworking job descriptions, modifying our instruction program, and other changes to our services. What excites me most about being Director of the Library is continuing to improve the library through thoughtful and strategic change. I look forward to being in a position where I can lead the library in a way where we will increase our assistance students and be more involved with the Westmont community.

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