Instructional Program Plan 

Robert E. Swenson Library/Learning Resources Center
Spring 2018

I. Background, Evaluation & Analysis
A. Program Description

The Cabrillo College Library is the most highly used student space on campus. Every week we provide over ten thousand students with collaborative spaces, robust technology tools, and a responsive environment to help them succeed in their academic endeavors. The library contributes to the college mission by serving as a thriving intellectual center and providing instructional focus and support for all campus programs through a full range of information resources and services. Faculty librarians are available for questions and consultation at the Reference Desk in person or by telephone during all library open hours. During the 2016/17 academic year, nearly 300,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members came to the library. The library has over 60,000 print books in its collection, 36% of which were published from 2000 to present, and over 5,000 videos/DVDs consisting largely of titles requested by faculty for specific educational programs. The print collection continues to be up to date through the efforts of librarians who carefully select additions to the collection in all subject areas and identify aging materials no longer suitable to keep. The library’s physical book circulation has dropped steadily in recent years, reflecting a national trend in library book usage. Responsive evolution of our collections by librarians enabled us to record over 16,000 checkouts and in-house uses during 2016/17, plus an additional 29,000 checkouts of course textbooks and other materials borrowed from the library, the CTC, the MLC, and the Watsonville ILC, all using the library’s check-out software. During 2016, students conducted over 65,000 searches using the library’s 34 online databases, representing thousands of periodical titles (most available fulltext) and a collection of over 150,000 e-books covering topics across the curriculum. A systemwide purchase of a core collection of databases for all California community colleges, initiated in 2012, greatly expanded our ability to provide quality online resources to our students and faculty. The library has 71 public student computers, 10 circulating laptop computers, and a 26-computer classroom. Nearly all of the library’s student computers are VDI (Virtual Desktop Interface) stations, with no local CPUs. Assistive technology available within the library includes multiple reader/scanner stations with ClaroRead screen reading software, a Jaws/ZoomText workstation, and one enlarger/reader workstation. The library continues to be the most active student printing center, with over 215,000 pages printed in 2016/17, representing 52% of all campus printing using the student printing system. 

Library Instruction

Credit and Noncredit Courses
Library 10, Information Research, is the library’s primary credit course offered. Since the late 1980s, Library 10 has been the one unit co-requisite to the college’s transferable English 1A course. Library 10 reaches approximately 800-1000 students per semester. The course evolves continuously to keep pace with the changing world of information, yet has remained consistent with our core pedagogical elements. Library 10 is a primarily online Canvas-based course, used in conjunction with a print handbook, and students submit all their work online. Converting Library 10 to a largely online course has allowed us to contact students much more regularly, and increase the frequency of turn-in exercises for a more sustained instructional experience.

The library also has several other formal courses:

  • LIBR 10H, our basic course enhanced for pairing with the English 1A honors section.
  • LIBR 40, focusing on health information resources, not yet offered. We plan to pilot the course in 2018, geared towards students in Allied Health, Dental Hygiene, Health Science, Human Services, Kinesiology, Medical Assisting, Nursing, and Psychology.
  • LIBR 500 & LIBR 501, two scaffolded noncredit digital literacy courses created in conjunction with CABT to match their CABT 500 & CABT 501. Only LIBR 501 has been offered since Spring 2017 as a linked course for the STARS learning community, with modest enrollment to date.
  • LIBR 203 is a tutor-training course used for training peer student tutors wishing to work in the Tutoring Center, the English Learning Center, and other tutoring centers. This course is listed under the library primarily because it is non-discipline-specific and the Tutoring Center reports to the Library Director.

Course-related Instruction
The library has an extremely active course-related instruction program. Faculty librarians partner with classroom faculty to develop structured exercises tailored to individual courses which provide exposure to the research process as well as appropriate electronic and print resources within the discipline. Between 150-200 instruction sessions are created and conducted every academic year, and are held in the library’s classroom, in other campus classrooms, or at the Watsonville Center during all hours of instruction. The Library has also begun to develop modules in Canvas that can be used to offer online, embedded course-related instruction for a variety of disciplines. Information literacy partnerships with faculty have occurred in nearly 50% of the departments within Instruction.

 

Distance Education and Services to the Watsonville Center

The distance learner has access to the library’s 34 online databases and over 150,000 electronic books, can check the status of their checked-out books and renew their titles online, and can send an email reference question to a librarian and receive a response within 24 hours. The library has continued to grow its presence at the Watsonville Center, as we strive to achieve equity in the library services available to Watsonville Center students. We have librarians available 20 hours per week in the Integrated Learning Center, managing all of the library’s available services and resources on site. The librarians also conduct a growing number of research skills sessions for English 1A courses, basic skills courses, and others. Watsonville now has a heavily used course reserves collection, a growing collection of high-interest books that students can check out, several print periodical subscriptions funded by the Student Senate, a small core collection of reference books, and a scheduled librarian available to assist students in their research.

Staffing

The library currently has only two contract faculty librarians, a library director, and thirteen adjunct faculty librarians totaling 4.6 FTE. The library has five classified staff positions, representing 4.5 FTE, down from a high of 8 FTE prior to 2003. The library relies heavily upon student workers, funded through our temp-hourly budgets. Student employees represent over 230 hours weekly in the various library functions, without which the library would cease to function.

As a result of recent contract faculty retirements, the library’s faculty positions have undergone unprecedented flux. During much of 2016/17, the library was down to a single full-time librarian, as our remaining full-time librarian was out on extended medical leave. A new full-time librarian started in Fall 2017, replacing an earlier retirement, improving the staffing situation considerably. However, with another retirement in Spring 2017, the library was immediately down to two librarians again, just as we were during our last program plan in 2011. Although many of the responsibilities have been assigned to various adjunct librarians, the lack of continuity and full-time presence represents a grave danger to the library’s ability to sustain its effectiveness as a premier student service center.

 

B. Relationships   

The library is a strong component of the overall college mission of student instruction and success. The library works as an integral part of the college and maintains close relationships with most departments within Instruction, Information Technology, Student Services, and Administrative Services. All of the full time library faculty, the library director, and several adjunct faculty and classified staff serve on regional library committees and college-wide committees such as Faculty Senate, Accreditation, Institutional Effectiveness, Guided Pathways, Curriculum, Technology, Distance Education, Professional Development, Sustainability, Honors, Puente, and CCEU.

Instruction
Students and faculty from nearly every department on campus make heavy use of the library’s growing course reserve materials, its nearly 100 desktop and laptop computers, the rich collection of online resources, and our print and video/DVD collections. The library has a strong partnership with the English department through the co-requisite classes of English 1A and Library 10, with instructors and librarians working together on student success, course needs, and collection building. The library’s course-related instruction program mentioned earlier continues to be one of our core activities in partnership with classroom instructors across all Instruction divisions. The library’s collection development program offers every college division and every faculty member the opportunity to contribute to the selection and maintenance of its holdings. The library meets monthly with the heads of all the Hub learning centers and ASC to discuss shared issues and concerns.
 
Student Services
The Counseling department hosts more Information Literacy sessions for individual classes than any other department on campus except English. The library director works closely with the Student Senate on a number of ongoing initiatives, most notably the ongoing grant of $15,000 annually for the provision of a single copy of the more expensive required textbooks for check-out at the library, the CTC, or the Watsonville Center. Librarians work with Admissions & Records staff on the challenges of registration for the Library 10 co-requisite class, and with ASC on numerous issues to accommodate students with special needs. As one of the larger employers of students on campus, the library works closely, and often, with Student Employment. Through our collaboration with Student Employment, our student workers were able to attend resume workshops and meet individually with the head of Student Employment. Also, the library developed a regular book display to build awareness of topical issues and campus themes by highlighting selected materials available to our students, staff and faculty.  Since 2013, we have promoted our continued commitment to and engagement with our students through displays focusing on numerous student services: Accessibility Support Center, Foster Youth Program, Student Health Center, Student Employment, Veterans Information Center, as well as various Learning Communities.

 

Administrative Services
The library relies on a strong partnership with Information Technology. The library is dependent upon IT for support, development, planning, and maintenance of the library’s complex world of applications, servers, and desktops. The library works closely with the head of CTC on the ongoing maintenance and development of the thriving campus pay-for-print system, through which students print nearly half a million pages annually across campus – over half of those pages at the library. In addition, both the Watsonville and Aptos CTC labs house collections of circulating course reserve textbooks, with ongoing training and support provided by library staff on use of the library’s online system. The library also works closely with the Bookstore on providing updated course reserve textbooks in the library for students, and through participation on the Auxiliary Services Committee.

Relationships with Non-Cabrillo Organizations
The Cabrillo College library is an active member of the Monterey Bay Area Cooperative Library System (MOBAC), a strong local library consortium. The library director and several librarians and staff are members of the various MOBAC committees covering Reference, Technology, Interlibrary Loan, and administration. These consortium relationships serve to improve a Cabrillo students’ access to the resources of other libraries as well as enabling our library to retain currency and relevancy in the services we provide. In addition, through our interlibrary loan service, the library is able to borrow for Cabrillo students and faculty many materials from libraries both within MOBAC and from other libraries. MOBAC committee participation also provides our librarians and staff with exceptional staff development opportunities, as they engage with colleagues working in similar environments and struggling with the same challenges.

In addition to the UCSC library borrowing privileges available to current Cabrillo faculty, there is a long-standing agreement between the Cabrillo College Library and UCSC which specifically allows Cabrillo students to obtain short-term borrowing rights at the UCSC libraries.  

Librarians are increasingly involved in outreach to the community, as we work to reinforce information literacy skills and strengthen connections to Cabrillo. Our Instruction Librarian meets regularly with local high school library staff, and participates actively in organizing the popular regional Latino Role Models conference. Librarians also work with Digital Nest and have been invited to judge speech contests at local Rotary Club events.

Opportunities for participation in statewide initiatives have been increasing in recent years, and the Library has been proactive in our involvement. For example, we have been working with the Council of Chief Librarians (CCL) in planning for the migration to a shared statewide Library Services Platform, and Cabrillo Librarians are also collaborating with CCL to offer a workshop on Guided Pathways for CCC libraries. Additionally, one of our Librarians is working with the Online Education Initiative (OEI) as a Lead Course Reviewer, Design Advisor, and @ONE course facilitator for CCC faculty across the state.

C. Costs

 

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

Department Income (FTES)

101.6

161.2

195.6

185.9

188.2

College Income (FTES)

11,160

10,897

10,800

10,531

10,212

Percent of College Income (FTES)

0.91%

1.48%

1.81%

1.76%

1.84%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department Base Expenditures

$141,716

$141,475

$151,280

$138,569

$150,332

College Base Expenditures

$26,006,944

$25,252,502

$25,706,340

$26,181,028

$26,770,804

Percent of College Expenses

0.54%

0.56%

0.59%

0.53%

0.56%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income/Expense Ratio

1.67

2.64

3.08

3.33

3.28

The library’s FTES contribution to the college increased considerably in 2013 when we changed the Library 10 course listing from a lecture/lab course to a lab only course, which more accurately reflected the nature of the course. Additionally, as of summer 2017 all Library 10 sections are listed as online sections, to acknowledge its evolution to a largely Canvas-based course. The Planning and Research Office (PRO) estimates that this change to an online designation will likely drop our FTES contribution by about 10%. Expenditure figures listed above should be taken with a large grain of salt, since the bulk of the library’s expenses, our non-course-related operations, are not included.

 

D. Student Learning Outcomes

Course SLOs
For the library’s primary instruction offering, Library 10, the librarians used a culminating works-cited exercise contained in the course to measure the first of two course student learning outcomes (Construct a works cited list using the Modern Language Association (MLA) standard). This exercise calls upon students to use most of the skills they learned in L10: search various tools, select quality sources, and cite them correctly. Since all Library 10 instructors participate in our SLO assessments for at least some of their sections, this process results in extremely robust and participatory discussions at our librarian FLEX meetings. This SLO was assessed through 2015, at which point we began planning to assess our more challenging second course SLO, covering student ability to effectively evaluate information (Synthesize and apply evaluation techniques to select quality information sources from a variety of resources).  Our first attempt to assess this SLO was in Spring 2017, and unfortunately did not result in usable or even compilable results. In Fall 2017 we are engaged in our second attempt, using the Outcomes tool in Canvas to collect data via a citation assignment grading rubric. Rubric scores will determine whether students have demonstrated mastery of core evaluation techniques (the ability to evaluate a source for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose). These scores will be compiled, examined, and discussed by all L10 instructors, in order to improve curriculum and student outcomes. We also assessed Library 10H and Library 203; all other library courses either have been discontinued or have not yet been offered frequently enough to assess.

Course SLO Findings:

  • Some student citation skills worsened when we initially moved L10 to our online course system in Spring 2011, particularly in accuracy of formatting & information included.
  • With all L10 instructors assessing the same exercise, we discovered a need to use a consistent and common approach if we wanted to obtain results that were meaningful across the course.
  • After incorporating additional examples and exercises, students were much more likely to successfully produce works cited lists.
  • Students were often confused when using course materials if their circumstances differed from the norm, e.g. honors students, students in online sections, students not taking English 1A.

Actions Taken:

  • Examples of correct citations, plus an additional citation turn-in exercise, were incorporated into the course.
  • Several drop-in study sessions were scheduled in Aptos and Watsonville, scheduling around the citation exercises, and communicated to students.
  • Exercises were spread out across the semester, encouraging students to remain continuously engaged with the course rather than ignoring it for weeks and then doing all the work over a weekend.
  • Much more frequent check-ins with students were initiated by all instructors, structured around various key turn-in dates.
  • Students in special circumstances (Honors, independent, etc.) receive repeat, and targeted, communication from their instructors identifying where their assignments varied from those documented in the common handbook.

Library Administrative Unit Outcomes
The library’s Administrative Unit Outcome, covering all aspects of the library other than formal courses, was reviewed and revised during Fall 2012. The final text of our AUO is: “Cabrillo library patrons will be able to successfully use the library’s physical and electronic services, information tools, and resources, to find and evaluate information, and accomplish academic endeavors in the pursuit of formal and informal learning.” Initially, we identified four core areas to assess: computer services, Circulation services, Reference services, and information resources. Although we pursued assessment efforts on two of these areas, it became apparent over time that our initial categorization was too inwardly-focused rather than student-focused. Ultimately, the areas we opted to assess were: computer services, information resources, and access.

Computer Services
In Fall 2013, two specific questions were included in the library’s annual student survey regarding the library’s computing environment. Although 87% of responding students were satisfied or very satisfied with the library’s computers, 37% indicated that they often or very often were unable to find a computer to use. In response to this finding, the library initiated the following:

  • More regular policing by library staff of the computer areas during peak times
  • Increased advertising of available laptops for students to borrow
  • Additional student workstations were installed in the library, ultimately increasing the number of student workstations from 58 to 71 (a 22% increase)

Information Resources
Our assessment efforts for this category were two-fold: inclusion of database-related questions in our annual Fall student survey in 2013 & 2014, and the creation and distribution of our first-ever faculty survey in 2014. The annual student survey results determined that 63% and 79% of the responding students in the two surveys had used our databases at least to some degree. Of those who used our databases, 60% & 55% indicated that they often or very often were able to use our databases for their class assignments. More actionable results were obtained from our first faculty survey, in which we asked faculty to rate the importance of various library services, and to describe their use of video resources. Interestingly, a surprising number of comments included requests for services or tools already available from the library. In response to the results of this survey, the library pursued the following:

  • Introduced an annual faculty newsletter from the library, distributed each fall and providing faculty with information about new or key resources from the library.
  • Initiated conversations with IT regarding the network’s ability to handle an increase in streaming video.
  • Investigated streaming video subscription databases, culminating in new subscriptions to Films on Demand and Swank Video in 2017.

Access
Our assessment efforts for this category were two-fold: inclusion of questions about library hours and space issues in our annual Fall student survey in 2014 & 2016, and the use of our first interactive poll for students. The annual student survey results indicated that students were very satisfied with our group study rooms but wanted more of them, and that they would most like the library to expand its open hours to include Saturdays. In 2016 we engaged our students in an interactive whiteboard poll, asking students to respond to a series of related questions, beginning with what facilities improvements were most needed in the library (furniture), proceeding to what area in the library most needed better furniture, and finally asking students what specifically they wanted in those areas (quiet study rooms). Over 50% of the respondents wanted more comfortable chairs, with half of the respondents specifically mentioning the original wooden chairs still found in many areas of the library. In response to the results of these surveys, the library initiated the following:

  • Planning for resource juggling after a contract librarian retirement to enable us to pilot opening the library on Saturdays from 11am-6pm, which was initiated in Fall 2017.
  • Extended hours before Finals Week were added, and adjusted over the years as we identified the most popular/desirable times.
  • Submission of a program planning annual update request for funding to begin replacing the library’s old wooden chairs. $14,000 in one-time funding was approved in 2017, and the chairs should be in place before summer 2018.

E. Student Success

Every week, over ten thousand students from all campus programs benefit from the library’s collaborative spaces and robust services and technology tools, as they pursue their academic goals. Librarians have always known this, even though it is challenging to try to measure the impact of such support services and spaces. The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) released a report in early 2017 that provides compelling evidence that libraries concretely contribute to student success. The report, Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success, summarizes the results of multi-year assessment projects undertaken at over 200 postsecondary institutions that participated in ACRL’s Assessment in Action program. Some of the main identified positive connections:

  • Students who receive information literacy instruction during their initial coursework perform better in their courses than students who do not.
  • Students who use the library in any way have better GPAs, grades, or retention rates than students who don’t use the library.
  • Library collaborations with other campus units regularly yield such positive benefits as higher grades, better retention, or increased confidence.

Although specific corresponding studies have not yet been undertaken at Cabrillo, we do know that the library is extremely active in information literacy instruction (primarily through Library 10 and the 150-200 annual classroom research sessions), that the library is the most heavily used instruction service on campus (10,000 students weekly), and that the library collaborates extensively with numerous units on campus.

Since Library 10 is a co-requisite for English 1A, success and completion rates for both courses tend to track closely, and success rates for both are 5%-10% lower than rates for the campus as a whole. As the campus moves towards guided pathways, with an emphasis on more structured schedules and status checks with students, particularly for new students (who make up much of the Library 10 enrollment), we expect the success and completion rates of both courses to improve noticeably.

Looking at the data in the following charts, the Library 10 overall success rate as well as the underrepresented minority (URM) success rate have risen in recent years from being a few points below English 1A to having identical rates. The years included in the charts cover a period of increasingly frequent course assignments and check-ins with students, which we believe contributed to the reduction in the number of students failing Library 10. Completion rates in the charts below show Library 10 rates continuing to be identical to, or slightly higher than, English 1A rates. Rates are close to overall college figures reported by PRO for the same period.

The URM success and completion rates are nearly identical to, or within 2-3% of, overall success and completion rates for Library 10.

graph

Additional disaggregated analysis of Library 10 outcomes was pursued using semester data available from the Chancellor’s Office Datamart. Completion and success data from the most recent available semesters is shown below. We were extremely pleased to see that both the purely online sections and the Watsonville sections show the highest numbers for most of the represented semesters. These sections involve intentionally greater student contact, check-ins, and follow-up, which we believe is largely responsible for the higher numbers.

Library 10 Completion

 

Fa14

Spr15

Fa15

Spr16

Fa16

All L10

83.87%

78.07%

83.66%

84.09%

83.26%

Aptos F-F

82.88%

76.20%

83.40%

83.29%

80.59%

Wats

88.59%

81.48%

84.06%

88.74%

86.58%

Online

83.02%

82.41%

81.13%

86.54%

89.94%

Independent

88.37%

96.43%

81.82%

71.43%

87.50%

Honors

100.00%

 

100.00%

 

96.67%

L10 completion

Library 10 Success

 

Fa14

Spr15

Fa15

Spr16

Fa16

All L10

61.35%

57.57%

62.21%

65.48%

64.25%

Aptos F-F

60.84%

53.69%

62.32%

63.26%

59.39%

Wats

58.39%

68.89%

55.07%

72.19%

65.77%

Online

66.04%

70.37%

61.32%

76.92%

80.47%

Independent

69.77%

60.71%

63.64%

46.43%

56.25%

Honors

100.00%

 

96.43%

 

96.67%

L10 success

 

F. Results of Student Surveys

The library continues to be the most highly rated student service overall on campus. In the 2012 Cabrillo College Campus Climate Student Survey, for the 1174 student respondents asked to rate their overall experience with the library, the average rating was 4.29, higher than any other student facility on campus. Interestingly, the library was among the lower rated services in terms of student satisfaction with hours of availability. In the 2015 Employee Campus Climate Survey, the library received the two highest average ratings, for employees responding to questions about the library’s responsiveness to faculty input, and the library’s contribution to student learning.

Since 2005, the library has conducted an annual user survey, distributed to 200-300 students in the building on survey days every Fall semester. These surveys provide us not only with ongoing measures for student satisfaction with the library, but also with specific information on changing patterns of library use by students, awareness of issues highlighted by the respondents, and student opinions on numerous varying topics. Additionally, these surveys enable us to provide students with a clear message that the library wants their input and cares about their opinions. Every Spring FLEX week, the entire library staff reviews the results of the previous semester’s survey, and identifies any action or planning needed as a result. Some of the primary findings of these surveys so far:

  • Every year, over 90% of the responding students report coming to the library to study.
  • Students always seem to want more computers, even after several increases.
  • Additional group study rooms continue to be one of the most frequently mentioned requests.
  • The percentage of respondents bringing their own laptop or computing device has risen from 8% in 2006 to 47% in 2011.
  • Newer students who have been at Cabrillo less than one year are harder to please, and somewhat less aware of the benefits of the library than continuing students.

Many changes have been initiated as a result of these surveys over the years, including:

  • Student computing workstations increased by 22%
  • Old staff conference room converted to two group study rooms for students
  • Longer library hours restored on Fridays, the library now opens  at 7:45am for students with 8am classes, and Saturday hours were re-introduced
  • Large areas of book stacks have been removed and converted to student study areas
  • Additional electrical outlets were installed throughout the library, and multi-user charging towers are being piloted at several student study tables
  • A large banner describing the library’s primary services is hung outside the front of the library during the first 1-2 weeks of each semester

G. Curriculum Review  

Library 10, Information Research

  • Reviewed & updated course description, 2013
  • Reviewed as hybrid requisite for English 1A, confirmed by both English and Library faculty, 2017. Robust discussions were conducted in 2017 with both faculties, ultimately resulting in a strong commitment to the ongoing pedagogical and foundational connection between the two courses.
  • Course converted from positive hours to online designation as of summer 2017

Library 40, Health Information Research

  • Created in 2015, expect to offer in 2018 for Allied Health programs

Library 500 & 501, Digital Literacy I & II

  • Created in 2015, offered twice since then

Library 203, Tutoring Methods

  • Revised extensively in 2015

Retired courses

  • Library 18, Advanced Internet Searching
  • Library 100, Introduction to Information Skills

 

 

II. Goals & Recommendations

  • Progress on Previous Goals/Recommendations

 

  • Replace Full-Time librarian. Completed – Position hired as of Fall 2013.
  • Establish permanent administrative library director. Completed – Position filled as of July 2012.
  • Restore library technology position to 100%. Revisited – Position moved to IT in 2012.
  • Increase Watsonville presence to 20 hrs/week. Completed.
  • Restore Technical Services classified position to full-time. Revisited – No longer being pursued.
  • Expand Library 100 program. Revisited – Course did not prove successful as an independent class, and was deactivated, with curriculum elements migrated to the new noncredit offerings as well as to our course-related research sessions.
  • Initiate 1000 building space review. Ongoing – On list of possible bond projects.
  • Keep upstairs library/Hub doors open during all regular hours. Completed.
  • Promote physical library space/services to students. Ongoing, & continuous.
  • New Directions

 

Staffing
With the retirement of another contract librarian in Spring 2017, the library is again down to two contract librarians, which is 50% of the four positions we had from 2000-2011.  The reduction in continuity and full-time presence represents a real danger to the library’s ability to sustain its effectiveness as a premier and well-used student service center. The library’s success over the years has been heavily dependent upon having sufficient full-time faculty to pursue and support new and evolving services and programs. It is impossible for part-time faculty to provide complete oversight and planning needed for core library services. We will be consolidating, reassigning, and juggling responsibilities as needed during these transition times, but it is vital for the library’s future health and success that we fill open contract positions as quickly as possible.

Additionally, with our classified staffing now at 4.5 FTE, the library is down almost half of the classified resources we had 15 years ago. The years of reductions resulted in a considerable amount of work reduction and redistribution, as well as changes to how we work and the services we provide. In spite of being at half-strength, the library has needed to engage in considerable service expansions in recent years, with the growth in Watsonville services, expansion and increased complexity of our online resources, and increase in the volume, customization, and expectations for the hundreds of course-specific research sessions we have conducted. Yet we also continue to step up and engage in the broader college environment, with 100% of our permanent faculty and classified staff participating in campus committees, initiatives, and unions. We are going full-tilt, and we are stretched, and we are not able to continue at this pace. Already we have seen opportunities we are simply unable to pursue: a fuller exploration of noncredit opportunities, responding to individual faculty wishing to explore online textbook alternatives, effective assessment of new and existing services, and participation in critical statewide initiatives.

Space
Space in the library building continues to be a high-profile issue. The library is regularly filled to capacity, and far exceeds the fire marshal limit of 143 during daily class pass-through times. For most weekday hours, students can be found at every computer, every table on the main floor, and in most individual study carrels as well. The library classroom stopped being even marginally adequate several years ago, as now students in nearly every one of the 100+ classes we host annually must share computers during our research sessions. In addition, students completing the annual Library Services Survey frequently ask for more group study rooms, which are all in use for most of the semester. We will continue to examine existing library space, and will continue to repurpose areas from less-used activities to more student-centered purposes. An example of this is our withdrawing over 10,000 aging and low-use books and removing over 1,700 linear feet of shelving to create a large central space for additional individual and group study stations. However, we will not be able to significantly increase the number of group study rooms and other group study options without a building remodel or influx of facilities funding support. Finally, the library was last remodeled in 1997, and is definitely showing many signs of wear, from twenty years of having 10,000 students weekly coming into the library.

Access Issues  
Increasingly, we hear from students, via surveys and in person, who ask that the library be open more hours that we currently are. The library’s hours had been reduced considerably over the past ten years due to budget cuts, from a peak of 71 hours weekly to a low of 53 hours. We have slowly been able to restore our hours back to our current 62 hours per week, most recently with a pilot of Saturday hours starting Fall 2017. Students continue to ask that the library be open earlier – and later – with additional hours on weekends.

Access to the library’s services at the Watsonville Center has been in flux recently, with the appearance, and subsequent disappearance, of new equity funds for service extensions to help improve the equity of library services in Watsonville. The library’s presence at the Watsonville Center had risen to a high of 25 hours weekly, but the loss of equity funds has reduced our presence to 20 hours weekly, and even that level is likely unsustainable without additional resources. The Watsonville Center is also a strategic location and growth opportunity for the college, and the library hopes to remain in step with campus needs in Watsonville.

Another form of access that continues to change is the nature and depth of our partnerships with classroom faculty. As information tools have become more complex and more central to instruction, our librarians are more often working closely with individual faculty to enable them to successfully use new information tools. These new tools are, by their nature, resource-intensive, so the library needs to have available contract faculty librarians to meet these growing needs, particularly in light of the coming Guided Pathways overlay on student support and instruction.

Online Presence
The library has been increasingly focused on expanding our online presence in order to provide equitable access to resources for both students and faculty. Recent projects have included: Creating library videos, designing library modules and pages in Canvas, promoting open online textbooks, retrofitting for accessibility, and mobile-friendly design. Without additional librarian resources, it is unclear how we will be able to handle the growing numbers of  specialized requests from faculty teaching both online and face to face classes, each of which requires investigation and customized deliverables.

Evolving Technology  
Information technology continues to be a core driver for the library’s services and tools, with an even faster rate of evolution in recent years. The library’s online resources now include films and books, not just journal articles, and these new materials pose unique challenges, for library staff and for IT staff. In addition, the growth in online educational resources (OER) are often providing discipline faculty with challenges that they bring to the library for help and investigation. Another impactful technology heading our way is the new statewide integrated library system (ILS) initiative, which will result in a low or no cost library system for all California community colleges, to replace all of their current catalog processing functions: ordering, cataloging, checking out, and student lookup. It is extremely likely that the state will contract with a different vendor than our current ILS provider, so the library will need to plan for and implement wholesale process changes, impacting internal training, student instruction through Library 10 and other instruction and support venues, and other as yet unknown impacts.

Guided Pathways
The conversion of the college to a Guided Pathways structure will definitely impact the library, and in different ways than other disciplines. As a uniquely cross-disciplinary service, the library must serve all students and faculty, in all pathways, but we will need to discover how best to contribute to those pathways. Many of our core services will require at least some retooling, and staffing to accomplish this will be an issue. Our core Library 10 instruction program is already being impacted as we work with the English department on implementation of their planned basic skills acceleration and redesign of at least some of the English 1A sections. The library is eager to grapple with these new directions, and strongly supports the direction as a solid improvement for students. Librarians and library staff are members of 4 of the 5 GP workgroups, an indication of how much we believe in the importance of this evolution.We are also engaged in planning a workshop in 2018 of librarians from other community colleges now involved in guided pathways initiatives, to help explore ideas and possibilities for best embracing this new structure.

Our robust program of in-person research sessions for courses across the curriculum, focused on teaching students about the research methods, issues, and tools specific to their programs of study, is intrinsically related to the guided pathways model. The library has invested heavily in these courses, now offering 150-200 sessions annually across the curriculum, and with eight librarians participating. We are also working on developing an equivalent program for online classes.

Noncredit
The college is grappling with the unique opportunities offered by noncredit instruction, figuring out what type of courses and how much to grow in this area. The library contributed two scaffolded noncredit courses leading to a digital literacy certificate, LIBR 500 & LIBR 501, in partnership with CABT, who produced the equivalent CABT 500 & CABT 501. It is uncertain whether the library service and support needs for noncredit students and courses will be different from credit students and courses. Our efforts to date in the noncredit arena have been modest, as we simply lack the full-time librarian bandwith to analyze this new world effectively.

Evolving Service Desks
As the nature and volume of student needs change, the library has worked diligently to keep up with and meet these new needs. We are checking fewer materials out at our Circulation desk, but we are more often engaging in teaching students how to understand and use the materials available in the library. At the Reference desk we receive fewer questions but more of them require extensive research and investigation, and more of them involve detailed explanations of our technical tools and environments. The library needs to continue to observe and understand changing student needs, and be nimble enough to respond successfully. It is no surprise that our two unfilled full-time librarian positions were responsible for providing oversight over these very service desks, as this is another area where we simply lack the bandwidth to respond completely to these changes.

 

  • Relevance to Other College Plans

The library’s commitment to the Watsonville Center as well as to ever more effectively serving our distance education students matches the two primary growth areas identified in the college’s Educational Master Plan. The college’s Strategic Master Plan (SMP) emphasis on sustainable programs and services closely matches the library’s ongoing philosophy of meeting new needs by evolving through repurpose and re-allocation of our resources, and only seeking new resources when absolutely necessary. Additionally, the SMP’s emphasis on institutional stewardship reflects the library’s commitment to continuing to meet the information technology needs of our students. The campus Guided Pathways planning includes the development of a foundational experience for students, and the library expects and is working toward including the Library 10 course in that foundation. Finally, ACCJC’s accreditation standard 2.B states, in part: “The institution supports student learning and achievement by providing library and other learning support services to students and to personnel responsible for student learning and support…sufficient in quantity, currency, depth, and variety to support educational programs, regardless of location or means of delivery...”

 

  • Goals and Recommendations:  
    • Replace contract librarian position. With a recent retirement in Spring 2017, the library once again finds itself with 50% of our previous full-time faculty positions. In order to be responsive to the constant evolution of student needs, faculty needs, and the information environment, it is essential that the library have sufficient full-time contract faculty. Major areas we are already unable to focus on include service equity, Watsonville service, growing faculty support needs, and increasing online instruction needs.    
      COST: $40,011/year. 
    • ILS migration librarian support (20 hrs/wk) for 12 months. A statewide shared library system for all community colleges has been approved, and we expect implementation at Cabrillo to take place during the 2018/19 academic year. This will involve conversion of the library’s entire online management system, including library catalog public interface, checkout systems, and item ordering and cataloging systems. The time required to plan, migrate, and test all of our systems is considerable, and our current staffing would not be able to take this project on in addition to their regular duties. The additional temporary staffing should be a librarian, experienced in the intricacies of our library systems and processes.
      COST:  $34,900 = 16.7 Academic Specialist TUs (one-time)
    • New library classroom. Over the past few years, the 100+ classes we train annually on information research have grown in average enrollment, and now most of these classes have 30-40+ students. Our existing classroom, room 1051, with 25 stations, has become an insufficient, and unsafe, environment for hosting these larger classes. We need to convert an adjacent space, room 1056, to a larger, 50-seat classroom, with all the typical elements of a smart computer classroom. In addition to a teaching station with projection capability, we would need wiring, workstations, and computer furniture, as well as minor work to secure the space.
      COST:  $200,000 (estimate, one-time)
    • Watsonville librarian TUs (20 hrs/wk). The library has managed to steadily increase the library services available at the Watsonville Center, and is currently providing 20 hours per week of librarian presence to help serve and support the growing needs of students at the Center. In order to provide an equitable library presence for Watsonville Center students, we want to schedule 40 hours per week of librarian presence, to enable us to further expand and enrich the library services available at the Center, one of the expected growth areas for Cabrillo.
      COST:  $34,900 = 16.7 Academic Specialist TUs (ongoing)
    • Increased online instruction presence (10 hrs/wk). The library has been increasingly focused on expanding our online presence in order to provide equitable access to resources for both students and faculty, including both online and on-campus needs. Without additional librarian resources, we will be unable to handle the growing numbers of specialized requests from faculty teaching both online and face to face classes, each of which requires investigation and customized deliverables. In addition, it is imperative that Cabrillo continue to be able to participate in such statewide initiatives as the Online Education Initiative, in order to ensure that the college’s priorities and needs are addressed.
      COST:  $17,467 = 8.3 Academic Specialist TUs (ongoing)
    • Refurbish physical library space. With the library regularly exceeding fire marshal capacity every day, it is apparent that more students are seeking out the library’s services than we can readily serve within our existing space. The changing student needs indicate that we would serve our students best by being able to increase space allocated to private group study, which we would not be able to do without outside assistance. Additionally, the 10,000+ students we have hosted every week since 1997 have taken their toll on the facility, the carpet, the doors, and the furnishings, much of which is now in need of replacement. Finally, outside technicians have informed us that the two sets of double sliding front doors are likely at the end of their lifespan. We would like to work with Facilities to review existing space and work toward identifying the space needs of our library in years to come.
      COST: $200,000 (rough estimate)