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The Pierce College Library has been named the best community college library in the nation by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
The ACRL has honored the Pierce College Library with a 2005 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, which recognizes the staff of a community college, college, and university library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.
The Pierce College Library, winner in the community college category, was recognized for being a national leader in outcomes assessment focused on student learning. The Pierce College Library, following the service model one library in two places, is at both the Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup colleges.
Pierce College librarians and staff work as a team with faculty in achieving the five core abilities of a Pierce education, particularly information literacy which enables students to achieve personal, academic and workplace goals, said Helen Spalding, chair of the 2005 Excellence in Academic Libraries Selection Committee. Pierce College Library is the only community college library in the nation to support an INTEL Computer Clubhouse, by leading an innovative collaboration with the local school district and city government to provide Computer Clubhouse members, age 10-18, with an opportunity to explore their creativity and learn how to learn.
Pierces five core abilities are critical thinking and problem solving, effective communication, information competency, multiculturalism, and responsibility.
Debra Gilchrist, Pierces dean of library and media services, said that a number of years ago the Pierce library shifted its focus from being a service library to being a teaching library. The library has fostered creative practices by its faculty and staff, developed strong relationships through community involvement, and implemented programs that can be modeled on a national level.
“We are proud of the commitment our library faculty and staff have made to supporting quality instruction across the curriculum and for their special talents in promoting information competency, said Michele Johnson, president of Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. They are a wonderful team of professionals led by an exemplary leader, Deb Gilchrist, who sets the vision and inspires others to reach our outcomes.”
Pierce College District Chancellor Steve Wall said, The approach of Deb Gilchrist and the rest of the library faculty and staff to ensure that our library is a teaching library and is fully integrated into our instructional programs has been a very important accomplishment.
This years other recipients are the Mount Holyoke College Library, South Hadley, Mass.; and the University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va. Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipients campus. The winners also will receive special recognition at the ACRL Presidents Program during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference on June 27 in Chicago.
ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.