Library Starts New Chapter


TCC Library adapts to meet evolving needs of students and employees

The student quickened her pace. Her heart rate gained speed as she approached the door. Stepping inside, she was surprised at the anticipation she felt. She had had blind dates before, but this was different. This blind date could take her on an adventure of a lifetime.

She approached the counter and was greeted with a friendly face. They exchanged pleasantries, but she was here for a reason and would not be delayed with small talk. Her eyes darted across the counter, wondering which one would be hers.

The librarian, who studied the student’s questionnaire beforehand, chose exactly the book that he thought she would enjoy. He handed her a hardback and confidently said, “You’re going to love this one.”

The TCC Library will hold its second annual Blind Book Date in February. The event gives students and employees the opportunity to be “fixed up” on a blind date with a book that is based on their preferences. Librarians ask participants to answer a questionnaire with genre choices, and then the librarians match each participant with a book.

Blind Book Date is one of the many activities that the TCC Library holds throughout the year to engage students and employees. The library recognizes Banned Books Week every September by connecting readers with content that has faced censorship in the past. The library celebrates commemorative months such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, LGBT History Month and Poetry Month by promoting relevant literature, creating displays and sponsoring activities.

Students in Professor Lu Ann Thompson’s Honors Composition II course hold brooms that engineering students constructed from one pound of uncooked spaghetti, one phone book and one roll of duct tape. Part of the composition students’ role at the Harry Potter Halloween Bash included judging the brooms based on their similarity to Harry Potter’s actual broom. Students pictured are, from left, Sarah Phariss, Linda Devore, Kaleb Dillard, Paul Tutty and Ken Norton.

In October, the library partnered with Professor Lu Ann Thompson’s Honors Composition II course that had a Harry Potter theme. Together, they had a Harry Potter Halloween Bash in the library on the TCC Northeast Campus on Oct. 31.

“My students enjoyed the Halloween bash, and it wouldn’t have been possible without help from the TCC librarians,” said Professor Thompson. “They planned the event, created a Harry Potter research guide especially for my class, and made sure I had the resources that I needed to teach the class. I am fortunate to work with such innovative and generous colleagues.”

Creating learning experiences within the TCC community is a natural function for the library, which serves as a college wide academic resource that supports learning and teaching at the College.

“By hosting events and programs and by participating in college wide initiatives, the library becomes a place where students, faculty, and staff can connect and develop relationships which in turn facilitate learning and transform thinking,” said Paula Settoon, Dean of Libraries and College Librarian.

Even though learning and teaching has always been the focus, the library has evolved in recent years to better meet the needs of students and employees. Perhaps the biggest change is its name. The former TCC Learning Resources Center is now the TCC Library.

“It was important to change the name because ‘library’ is an enduring name,” Settoon said. “Students understand what a library is, but many were confused by the term LRC or ‘Learning Resources Center.’”

Mike Meisenheimer, Library Manager, said he has seen positive results from the new name.

“We’ve found much less confusion on the part of students, faculty and staff by changing the name to library,” he said. “And, we have also noticed an uptick in reading for pleasure since the change was made.”

The new name has helped librarians better communicate who they are and what they do, promoting increased awareness of services, such as one-on-one appointments and library instruction classes. The classes, typically arranged by a professor, familiarize students with all of the different resources and help available. They break down perceived barriers that the library is a scary place.

TCC Library staff helped facilitate the Hogwarts Halloween Bash on the TCC Northeast Campus in October. Employees from across the College presented literary insight on the Harry Potter book series. 

“These library instruction sessions do an excellent job of helping students get past any intimidation or fears they have of asking a librarian for help,” said Stephanie Ingold, Library Manager.

Once the fear factor is removed, students are on their way to being successful in their research endeavors and, perhaps, having some fun along the way. Amy Norman, Library Manager, said they want to engage students beyond the research assignment. This is where activities such as Blind Book Date come in.

“Extra activities provide an additional way for the students to be a part of the library aside from writing that essay or taking a quiz or researching for articles on a disease which is all work, no play,” she said. “We want their college experience to include fun.”