Fall Beginnings and Time to Breathe

Students, thousands of them, fill all spaces in the library. Lines form to use computers and textbooks. All library staff are on their feet every moment the library is open to direct and support any need. Students come and go with alacrity, which is a joy to experience, and I smile to our role as a central place on campus. It’s the fall semester and, as I write this letter, we have just completed our third week. Finally there is a calming energy after so much activity. It’s the space between beginning and middle. To add to the huge number of students, we also went live with the WorldShare Management Services platform this semester (eight other California community college campuses are actively migrating, with a few more still in the works). It’s been a very full three weeks for us and I am certain that each of our campus libraries can share a similar story for the fall semester beginnings.

In my role as President of the Council of Chief Librarians (CCL), we have been busy this fall finding ways to better support our libraries and our students. Two major efforts are currently underway: proposing revisions to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) standards and secondly, developing a Strategic Plan for CCL. I couldn’t be more impressed with our Executive Board for the time and effort they have contributed to these two projects. Following a brief in-person presentation to ACCJC this past June, we began drafting specific language revisions to the standards. They are now close to complete and have been distributed to all library deans and directors in California for their review. Though the Commission has not set a deadline, we hope to have our recommendations sent to them by the end of September. Our other major project is the creation of a strategic plan to lend support to our community college libraries. We have contracted with the RP Group to facilitate our plan development and have held a 2-day meeting in July to start us off. A second all-day meeting is planned for October 11 in Oakland followed by a final gathering in January to affirm the plan. It’s an exciting time and we hope this will provide the framework for leading us into the next decade.

It probably goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: Vote YES on Proposition 30.

Enjoy the fall.