Reference Lead & Liaison Librarian
I have the opportunity, as a LCC Faculty Librarian, to teach students how to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively for coursework or for personal use. Students receive research help to learn skills on how to sift through fake news or alternative facts to find credible and reliable information. Research help is available through Library Instruction classes and by the options of 24/7 chat, email, telephone. Of course, students can visit the reference desk, plus book an appointment with a LCC Librarian for private, uninterrupted consultations. I wish to share a story about a particular student’s Library experiences that serves as an inspiration to the importance of the college’s mission of inclusion, equity, and diversity.
Tallman (a pseudonym) is a former LCC student currently attending one of the University Center’s colleges to further his education in social work. He’s approximately 6’ 5” in a lanky skeletal frame, from Africa and in his early thirties. With Tallman’s dark skin and bald misshapen skull, he tends to garner stares from others. On several occasions I’ve witnessed Tallman ducking his head as he exits the elevator to enter the Library on the second floor of the TLC building. With his eyes darting and lips pursed (possibly conscious of others looking at him) Tallman usually walks in a determined manner to secure a place to work near the Library Reference Desk.
Tallman will flash a bright smile at many Library staff who have made him feel welcomed and comfortable to ask for research assistance or computer help. He has repeatedly told me how appreciative he is to have the LCC campus services, like the Library, available to him even as he continues his education at another college. I am proud to have been the recipient of Tallman’s beaming smiles he selectively shares. I have guided him on several research quests and watched him grow into a confident student who will ask for help when he’s uncertain about his research strategies.
Tallman practices his lifelong learning skills gleaned from his education experiences with the support of LCC campus resource services. He is an example of the importance of a college with open-access that strives to provide equal and fair treatment to all students. People with accents, from all walks of life and far-away places are welcomed and supported at LCC with academic services like the Library – a place known for not judging a book by its cover!
Welcoming individuals for who they are and a being a place where students can reach for potential success is the pure essence of a community college existence.