If there’s one thing our site visits teach us, it’s that all of our members share the goals of unbridled dedication to their patrons but each has a slightly different approach and slightly different obstacles to reach those goals. All of our site keepers are generous with their time and anxious to give us tours highlighting their buildings’ strong suits. The diversity of type and design is pulled to a member unity by shared issues and the always-present need to convince the budget directors of the extreme importance of these institutions to the successful running of whatever organization they are a part of, being corporate, academic or public.
One of our recent sojourns was to Jamestown Community College which is in a peaceful, more rural setting even though it officially resides in the city of Jamestown. It boasts a mix of buildings, both new and older, and the library’s staff of eleven ministers to an enrollment of over 3,000 of first-time and returning and continuing students. Hultquist Library on the main campus works in conjunction with the Cattaraugus County site of JCC in Olean with a library staff of five there.
The Hultquist collections have changed with the times and needs and the rise of certain degree programs. Trending now are nursing and biotech and environmental sciences classes but there is a strong emphasis on the Humanities also. A tour through the comfortable, busy library revealed an unusual amount of art work adorning the walls which, we were told, is part of an impressive collection of art that college staff has amassed over the years. It all adds a relaxing, erudite feel to the building which, like many other academic libraries, is attempting to keep up with a change in furniture needs. More space for group gatherings, more private study rooms, more versatile arrangeable furniture is the goal currently. What will not change, however, is the beautiful Chautauqua Room, a gift from Scandinavian and Italian organizations with artifacts from both groups illustrating their influence in the historical life of Jamestown.
All of this is overseen by Tim Arnold, the library’s new director who had the honor of witnessing a truly banner winter after his move here from a university library in Hawaii. He is welcomed by an able and energetic staff which wears many hats and serves this varied student body well.
Director Tim Arnold,Staff and Sheryl Knab
Our next visit was a number miles north of JCC to a completely different campus locale: urban D’Youville College. Though geography might be different, challenges and issues facing the library of the future are the same. D’Youville, like JCC, is trying mightily to face these head-on and has had great success in adapting to the needs of this 3500FTE student body. Though access to the informational material will always be of paramount importance to libraries, the physical layout is taking precedence everywhere. Students want 24 hr access and they want study rooms and flexible meeting places where they can have group discussions and work on projects without being hindered by requests to be quiet and, by the same token, many need an absolute quiet space. These are serious students in pursuit of health sciences degrees, physical therapy and a series of doctoral degrees so proper study space is paramount. Rand Bellavia, library director, and his staff are working diligently to focus their efforts on removing shelving and re-orienting furnishings and spaces. Great attention is being paid to the collection and if these items are the last regional copy in an attempt to honor good collection development practices and to clear space from unused items. This staff of over 10 people make it a point to be as flexible as D’Youville itself has been in re-making the vision of this prominent college.
Skeletons that circulate
Ear Plugs For Quiet Study