Craven Community College (Craven CC) is celebrating National Library Week, which runs April 7-13, with a display of resources for students and the community in Godwin Memorial Library, located on the second floor of Barker Hall.
Founded by the American Library Association in 1958, National Library Week is an annual celebration that emphasizes the valuable role libraries and library staff play in changing lives and strengthening communities. This year’s theme, Libraries = Strong Communities, is a national public awareness campaign that illustrates how today’s libraries provide significant resources, programs and expertise for cities, schools and campuses. They also provide a public space where all community members of any age, culture or income can connect and learn together. From free access to books and online resources for families to support for entrepreneurs and specific training programs, libraries offer opportunities for everyone.
“National Library Week has always been a special time for libraries,” said Cathy Campbell, Craven CC director of library services. “It’s a week for academic, public and school libraries to celebrate our impact on our community.”
The Godwin Memorial Library staff has set up several displays of different careers to demonstrate how the library can help people in all fields. Highlighted careers include nursing, welding, pharmacy technician, information technology and teaching, all of which are programs of study offered at Craven CC. There will also be DVDs and gardening, music and art books, as well as free pens and bookmarks that describe the library’s many electronic resources.
In addition to illustrating the diversity of resources and the positive impact libraries have across all facets of the community, the college and library staff hope to shed light on how they influence student success. In 2015, three groups in the North Carolina Community College System were surveyed: librarians and other library staff, students and faculty. In a publication of findings from the survey results entitled “Community College Libraries & Librarians and Student Success,” researchers found a direct correlation to library usage and increased student success. They found that of those students who receive help in the library at least weekly, up to 75 percent rated the library as an excellent contributing factor to their academic accomplishments.
They also found eight types of librarian help associated with student success: finding information within the library; finding information from online sources; using library computers and other equipment; learning research skills to find information on their own; choosing, defining, or focusing a research topic; evaluating the quality of an information source; citing sources appropriately; and completing class assignments.
Regardless of all the proven benefits, there remains a level of stigma when it comes to libraries. Many people conjure up memories of stacks of clunky, outdated books and consider libraries to be obsolete institutions. However, this is far from the truth. Craven CC recently took steps to renovate and modernize its library to keep up with the times and adapt to today’s learners.
Godwin Memorial Library underwent a drastic renovation and held a grand reopening in February 2018. Designed to promote a welcoming environment, it provides access to an abundance of technology and collaborative work areas, including plenty of seating, tables, charging stations, study areas, a teacher resource room and a modular multipurpose room. Several rooms have 55-inch TVs that can connect to student laptops for joint projects, as well as white boards and furniture on wheels so students can put together a table big enough for 12 people.
“The community college library of today is not like the library most remember,” said Campbell. “While print materials are still available, we have tried to accommodate the new learners with more ebooks and electronic resources. Whether you are researching climate change, learning a new language, updating your résumé or figuring out how to change the spark plugs in your pre-computer car, the library has an information resource for you.”
A lot of students and library visitors may be afraid to ask for help or even feel overwhelmed with modern technology, but librarians want everyone to know they are there to assist in multiple capacities. Craven CC librarians have thorough knowledge of all the resources Godwin Memorial Library offers, from where to find the most helpful books to locating digital articles from trustworthy sources. It is home to over 1,200 DVDs and over 15,000 books available for checkout.
“One of the biggest challenges is helping students wade through the multitude of resource options and help them isolate the best source of information,” said Campbell. “Students are very savvy on their phones and on the internet but sometimes have a hard time unraveling fact from fiction.”
Whether visitors prefer to go solo or work in groups, the library provides an ideal environment for everyone’s studying style. It can also serve as a nice escape from the hassles of everyday life.
“I’ve have students tell me that the library is a place they can work without the distractions of home life,” added Campbell. “No laundry or dirty dishes facing them; no television to coax them away from their studies.”
Godwin Memorial Library is open to the public. It will be forgiving fines on overdue materials returned during National Library Week. Library hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, contact Campbell at 252-638-7271 or email@example.com.
This article also appeared in the Sun Journal.