Johnna_HortonBy Johnna S. Horton, Director of Library/Media Services

I can always tell when we’ve passed spring break by the number of research and reference questions I get. All of a sudden, project deadlines have moved from “I’ll deal with it later” to “Wow! This is due soon!” Students get serious about finding information and don’t always leave themselves enough time to work through their projects. In a perfect world, they would search the catalog, find titles of books they want to use, and then go to the shelves and retrieve them. Unfortunately, during this time of the year, it can be a scavenger hunt that ends in the student placing an interlibrary loan request for the materials missing from the shelves.

How do we fix this?
In a word: Inventory. When we take stock of the physical items on the shelves, we are able to do the following things: 1) Examine each item and determine its condition, currency, age, and relevance to the curriculum. Sometimes items need to be fixed, cleaned, or updated. 2) Map the collection to the classes being taught. This tells us if we are supporting programs adequately or if there are gaps to fill. 3) Finally, it allows us to sync up the electronic catalog with what’s actually on the shelves, getting rid of the misleading information that can cause student panic.

How can the SCC community help us with this process?
Please return any materials you have checked out before May 4th. That’s it. Pretty simple, right? And, if you happen to be on either campus while this process is happening, feel free to stop in and say hi!