The Willis H. Lott Learning Resources Center at the Perkinston campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) in Perkinston, MS, is a Films On Demand subscriber. We recently talked with librarian Shugana L. Williams about how MGCCC handles technophobes, how she encourages usage among researchers and faculty, and what the library’s most important responsibility is.
Tell us one way you’re helping users who may be hesitant to embrace technology to take advantage of your library’s online resources.
Our campus has a large nontraditional student population, as such some students do not have the skills or confidence to access the online library resources or navigate through their online classes. We have learned that one-on-one instruction for these students creates an opportunity for them to learn varied technologies and to build a relationship with the library staff. This type of instruction requires patience, repetitiveness, and service-minded orientation.
What is your favorite part of being a librarian?
Thinking of creative ideas to promote active learning, community enhancement, and student success.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your college?
For the past two years, the library has hosted a series of Science Café programs on the Perkinston campus. The programs have been a huge success with attendees including students, local elementary and high school students, and the general public. Our attendance has been amazing, thanks to faculty encouraging students to attend and community partnerships. We have also partnered with the Science Café consortium, which involves collaboration with the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Library, Harrison County Library System, Long Beach Public Library, and Hancock County Library System. Being involved with the group has been a great way to share resources and ideas.
How do you alert faculty to the new resources that your library acquires?
We find that good “ole-fashioned” email is the best way to inform our faculty of the library’s new resources. Each month a librarian sends a campus-wide email to faculty and staff about new titles, exhibits, and programs.
What role does social media play in your relationship with your patrons?
The college-wide social media platforms have been instrumental in sharing the library’s programs and resources. We have even found that student leaders such as Residential Assistants (RAs) gleefully share our activities to residential students. For example, during the Fall 2017 academic year, the librarians hosted several quick mini workshops in the campus residential dormitories. RAs shared the program on various social media platforms (Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.) to alert residential students of the program.
What do you think is the library’s most important responsibility to your institution?
Our highest priority is serving the needs of our students. The library strives to ensure that students are aware of the resources available in the library and other campus departments. We have to keep abreast of campus-wide activities, services, and events in order to better serve students.
Tell us about your favorite YouTube video/LibGuide, etc., your library has created to promote a resource.
In conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the library created an exhibit related to college campus assault and awareness. Visitors were encouraged to participate in the exhibit by picking up a domestic violence ribbon and commenting on campus violence on an adjacent discussion board. Additionally, a LibGuide was created with information on book titles related to campus assault and domestic abuse, research databases, and credible web sources.