Everyone wants the key to success but where does one begin to find that key? For centuries, the library has been the world’s official bank of knowledge in civilization by providing the human race with colossal amounts of information, education and intellectual escape.
The CCBC Library is the student’s broker into the world’s market of information. Librarians help students achieve their educational and research goals by giving hands-on assistance with technology, providing information literacy instruction and helping students to use collections of printed and digital resources. Library services and resources are also used to accommodate the varying levels of learning on and off campus.
In an effort to satisfy diverse informational needs among college-level believers, dreamers and doers, the CCBC librarians use several online tools. For instance, students can access the service called Maryland AskUsNow!. This is a 24/7 live chat cooperative where online librarians help the public with research and information questions. Three days per week, the librarians of CCBC take turns as online information providers and contribute either a 1 or 2-hour session to the service. AskUsNow! is also staffed by global librarians who can provide time and expertise to help a student regardless of his or her local community.
As explained by Ms. Erika Hodge Harris, the head librarian of the CCBC Essex Campus Library, “at any time within 24 hours a student may have their questions answered by a librarian from anywhere in the world.” Furthermore, Harris described the software platform upon which AskUsNow! is built as being, “very robust.” “It’s designed in a way for students’ questions to be answered in a timely and efficient manner. The software has built-in policy links where librarians can directly access specific information about the student’s college library. This information is very helpful when it comes to answering questions as quickly and as accurately as possible.”
At CCBC, the library has become the students’ lighthouse to help navigate through the sea of information and preparing them to succeed in our ever evolving world. As Essex student, Cyril Ikeh remarks, “the library helps me when I’m looking for research for my English paper.”
Students like Ikeh often make use of the library’s article and research databases. These resources are extremely popular and useful when students need to complete papers or presentations and need to seek knowledge on a particular topic.
As librarian, Erika Harris, commented, “The CCBC Library’s website is organized by topics of interest. The links and labels are meant to be user-friendly by pointing students directly to at least one or more good sources of information. Also you’re able to maneuver and find resources within ‘search helpers’ like the research guides, academic videos and an extensive online catalog of books, e-books and media.”
All of this is available in an environment that is fertile ground for growing the skills that students need.Another Essex student, Tyshell Morton, said, “The library help[s] me to be successful because it’s a place for me to study and do school work. I can’t afford a computer at home so the library is beneficial for me because it’s a quiet environment without any distractions. That’s what I love about it the most.”
CCBC Libraries are constantly evolving to meet the needs of the students. During the fall and spring semesters, full-service library help is available six days per week on each of the main CCBC campuses located at Catonsville, Dundalk and Essex. All three campus libraries have the following hours: 7:45 a.m. to 10p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. All three libraries are closed on Sunday and available online 24/7.