Tulsa Community College Receives National Library Award


The Association of College and Research Libraries recently named Tulsa Community College an Excellence in Academic Libraries award winner for 2021.

One of three awards given by the national association, the Tulsa Community College Library was chosen for its assessment-based approach to decision making and for building relationships across the four campuses. The Association of College and Research Libraries presented the Excellence in Academic Libraries award during a virtual ceremony in June.

“As part of TCC’s culture, we believe every role at the college contributes to the success of students,” said Dr. Leigh Goodson, TCC president and CEO. “The TCC Library plays a big part in our vision of an educated, employed, and thriving community by partnering with faculty to provide targeted support to students, increasing students’ access to technology, and creating community both on campus and virtually for the students we serve.”

The national organization recognizes one community college, one college and one university each year from across the country in delivering exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.

“The TCC Library is notable for their use of different types of assessment to enable data-driven decision making. The staff were quick to adapt in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, moving services online and partnering with other units to expand technology lending for their community,” said Lauren Pressley, 2021 ACRL Excellence in Libraries Award Chair.

The TCC Library and associated space is an essential academic common area, a social hub for learning, technology, and resources. With a one-college mindset, the TCC Library conducted a study related to nine library services and student success. With a year of data, preliminary results show library usage has a strong positive impact on student performance and success. In addition, the Library team used student focus groups to gain additional insight.

“This assessment process helps the Library make decisions about services and be responsive to TCC students, faculty and staff,” said Paula Settoon, dean of libraries and knowledge management at Tulsa Community College. “The focus groups provided interesting and unexpected insight into library use, such as preferences for lighting and seating. It also identified barriers to service at key contact points in the Library.”

With a mindset that education was disrupted but it would not be delayed, the award recognizes TCC for the groundwork and quick reaction to the pandemic. Prior to 2020, the TCC Library recognized the need to expand student access to technology and address the digital divide. What started in 2016 as the Hotspot@Home pilot, providing hotspots to students for a three-day checkout, has grown to a high-demand service with more than 200 devices available for semester-long checkout. In response to the pandemic, the Library, in partnership with Student Affairs, provided semester-long checkouts of more than 150 laptops for students under the Student Laptop Loan program. Both programs have been instrumental in helping students be successful in their courses.

The TCC Library has also embedded librarians in each Academic School making these experts readily available to provide support to faculty and students in specific subjects. Through these efforts, the TCC Library was essential in helping faculty transition to the online environment during the pandemic helping faculty navigate options for course content on subject matter, copyright and Open Education Resources.

The Excellence in Academic Libraries Award comes with a $3,000 cash prize, funded by a gift from GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO.

Other recipients of the 2021 Excellence in Academic Libraries Awards include Davidson College E.H. Little Library, Davidson, North Carolina in the college category and Loyola Marymount University William H. Hannon Library, Los Angeles, California in the university category.