Letter From CCL President Meghan Chen

MEGHAN-NEWDear library leaders,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at this year’s Deans and Directors’ meeting in Sacramento last month! My appreciation goes to all who helped make this year’s program so rich and to all who actively participated in this collective learning moment. For those who were unable to attend, we missed you! The presentation materials for nearly all sessions will be posted online at cclccc.org.

Coming right up is the Spring Workshops on Library Design/Re-Design featuring Will Baty and his co-presenter. We have registrants signed up, and I believe there is still space. Please sign up at cclccc.org.

April 26 Ontario DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

April 27 Walnut Creek Marriott

CCL continues to advocate for a centralized library management system (or ILS) in the Governor’s proposed budget for 2017-18. Lots of things can happen on the long road to the May Revision, and we will work together to advance this important budget item for CCC students’ equitable access to libraries and their absolutely crucial resources for lifelong learning and success. To continue to think about how this project would work if it were funded in 2017-18, CCL’s ILS “think tank” (including two board members and two librarians with expertise in implementing library systems from the field) considers myriad issues in such a statewide effort, starting with a “fact sheet” on what an ILS is/is not, if only to mitigate rumors or misunderstanding by others outside of our world. I thank Doug Achterman and Alicia Virtue for leading that group’s important work and for sharing it with us at Deans and Directors’ meeting.

This year, the board has been keeping our focus on advocating for libraries throughout our state, beyond the ILS proposal, as we strengthen relationships with other groups. Articulating the value of the library and conveying its impact on student learning and success are more crucial than ever (see D&D keynote Karen Brown’s presentation slides). I say what may sound obvious to underscore an observation: while the state has offered new monies tied to student success initiatives, it seems that the language describing these efforts does not explicitly include “library”, “information literacy,” or “critical thinking as it relates to information competency.” Without these words explicitly embedded in the initiative’s description, even as suggested activities, libraries don’t seem to be accorded a place in the dialog unless we invite ourselves into that space. That may not be a major barrier for libraries with more librarians, but what about solo-librarian libraries? How can we advance the conversation with key stakeholders within and without our group so that the library is central to every college’s student success effort and so that libraries are part of projects funded by these new initiatives? These complex questions are on the CCL board members’ minds as we move forward on our Strategic Plan 2016-17.

Thank you for all you do for students! Have a great rest of the spring semester!


Meghan Chen