Member Spotlight - Jefferson College Library
Jefferson College is among the few public institutions in Jefferson County that have an impact on every individual, regardless of age or residence. Since its creation by voters in 1963, Jefferson County residents have continually regarded the College as the preferred source for higher education. In addition to its core mission of preparing students for transfer and career education opportunities, the College plays an integral part in the community by leading and hosting numerous programs and services that reach far beyond the walls of its classrooms and locations.
Jefferson College's mission is to serve their community by delivering quality learning opportunities that empower individuals to achieve their goals. One major way the college mobilizes this mission is through the campus library. Unique in its broad reach of service, this community college library serves three secondary functions: it administers and houses the Jefferson County History Center, featuring documents dating back to the 1790's; it is a congressionally designated selective depository for U.S. Government documents; and it serves as a public library to the local community.
"The importance of assessment can't be overemphasized - even if you are not planning a remodel", shared Jefferson College Library's Director of Library Services and Government Documents Librarian, Lisa Pritchard. "We had a decade of data we were able to draw from that showed us how our spaces were being used and what improvements students wanted. We were keeping up with the trends, and we were able to bring all that data and show it to decision makers ... We used ACRL's Project Outcome field test for initial assessments [of the new spaces]." You can learn more in their Assessment Libguide.
By conducting research through all stages of the process, sharing ideas openly and adjusting to patron needs, the library has seen wonderful results from its Library Reimagined project and renovation completed in 2018. "This project showcases what I think is best about libraries, and that's the way we connect. We connect with other libraries to bring our communities more resources ... and the bigger world", says Pritchard. "We informed the process by bringing a lot of data to it but then we also used real stories of people in the community who need our services."
To aid in providing the best resources to patrons, the library takes advantage of the discounts on electronic resources and library supplies negotiated by Amigos while saving thousands of dollars. Pritchard believes that, "Library partnerships, especially for smaller institutions like ours, are important connections that increase what any individual library can offer its community, both in additional resources and better training opportunities for staff."