Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, VA, is a Films On Demand subscriber. We recently talked with Marcia Seaton-Martin, assistant coordinator of library services at PHCC’s Lester Library, about how her library handles technophobes, alerts faculty about new resources, and more.
Tell us one way you’re helping users who may be hesitant to embrace technology to take advantage of your library’s online resources.
We help our students to embrace technology through orientation, whether it be one on one or an entire class. We walk our students through the process of how to go to our school’s webpage and then how to get to our library page. We sit with them and explain the process while they get the hands-on experience of navigating the internet. Having them go through the process helps them to feel more confident about using technology and more confident in where to go to start their research.
What is your favorite part of being a librarian?
The most rewarding part of being a librarian is seeing the look of accomplishment on a user’s face when they have been able to start research on an assignment/project without help. Knowing that we taught someone how to do research and then seeing them use those skills to successfully complete their assignments is extremely rewarding.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your college?
Our library usage has increased a lot since our library renovation. We now have several study pods that have USB access for charging tablets and phones and an outlet to plug in laptops. We have two media stations with five laptops in each station that connect to a 4K TV that groups can use to display their work on the screen.
I also feel that our presence, availability, and making sure we can be seen by students attributes to the increase in numbers as well. We have a friendly, positive staff not only in the library but on the entire campus.
How do you alert faculty to the new resources that your library acquires?
Ways in which faculty and staff are alerted to new resources in the library are through our displays and through email. However, there are times when we discuss the new materials face to face.
Tell us how you are making the most out of your library budget in these uncertain economic times.
Part of making the most of the library budget is talking to instructors to see what they need, making sure we have materials for any new programs, and keeping up-to-date materials on current programs, like nursing. Also listening to the needs of our students, faculty, and staff by keeping a list of materials that someone mentioned in an email, conversation, or simply asked us about. We especially want to do this when students request items that can help them complete assignments. It is also important to mention that sometimes purchasing eBooks or subscribing to a new database can be a better way of using the budget because of the thousands of eBooks you can gain access to through a database subscription.
What role does social media play in your relationship with your patrons?
We are a small library with a staff of three, and, as such, social media doesn’t play a large role with our library at this time. We get information to our students through word of mouth, displays, brown bag seminars (at times), and through the monitors around campus that advertise different college events.
What do you think is the library’s most important responsibility to your institution?
The most important responsibilities that our library has to our institution are to aid in the college’s mission and to make sure everyone has access to the resources needed to help in the success of our students, faculty, and staff.
Tell us about your favorite YouTube video/LibGuide, etc., your library has created to promote a resource.
We do have some course-specific LibGuides. For example, we have a LibGuide on cultural and social understanding, which includes resources from our print and eBook collection. We are currently in the process of creating an updated orientation video of navigating our website and databases, as well as LibGuides to aid users in this process. We have already completed our print copies, and I am very excited for us to get started.