Riverland Community College in Austin, MN, is a Films On Demand subscriber. We recently talked with Jeannie Diggs, librarian at Riverland Community College, about how her library handles technophobes, encourages usage among researchers, and makes the most of its budget.
Tell us one way you’re helping users who may be hesitant to embrace technology to take advantage of your library’s online resources.
I have recorded tips and tricks videos, which are made available so students can watch them in their own time and at their own pace. I also make it a priority in my schedule to present a library orientation in classrooms for any instructor who asks. I try to make this engaging for students and answer any questions while showing them all the navigation and tools within our online content. I am very much a people person and put myself out there to interact with the students every chance I get. This gives them more confidence to approach the reference desk when needing help with assignments and projects.
What is your favorite part of being a librarian?
All of it! I love books, choosing and ordering books, and working with books. I love explaining to students how to interact with the online resources. I love cataloging. I love engaging with students and presenting in classrooms. I think I have the best job in the world!
What do you think is the library’s most important responsibility at your institution?
From an academic library point of view, making sure my faculty and students have the resources they need to be successful is the #1 most important responsibility. Whether the resources are physical or online, I make that my top priority when budgeting.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your college?
This has been a big thing for me in the eight years of being librarian here at Riverland. Our library is beautiful and was basically empty of students, which should be unheard of for a college. After becoming Librarian I removed most of the study carrels and added a mix of comfortable seating with the tables and chairs. We have an area with a table where a jigsaw puzzle is always in process and a bookshelf with card and board games that are available for use in the library at any time. Our downstairs area is for group study, and it is always buzzing with game play, studying or just hanging out. Upstairs is the quiet study area, and many students prefer this area. We have created an area downstairs that is considered an event area. Our tech folks have installed a screen that drops down from the ceiling, projector, speakers, microphones, and a camera for recording and live streaming. This area is used for monthly library lectures, presentations, athletic signing, and other great events.
Tell us how you are making the most out of your library budget in these uncertain economic times.
As I previously stated, my top priority when budgeting is making sure my faculty and students have what they need to be successful. A large percentage of our enrollment is online, so making sure I offer excellent online content, such as Infobase products, is important. When I need to get the most bang for my buck, it is amazing to work with folks like Hayley Bloch at Infobase. She is always so helpful in offering product information that helps me make wise decisions.