By Robert Lisiecki
Earlier this week, we told the story of Carol, the Library Director of the Community College on Gale U’s campus. Today, we’d like to revisit Carol and tell a different story.
Here is Carol’s real story:
Many people don’t realize the trials and tribulations people like Carol face on a daily basis. Many community colleges are seen as a stepping stone for students before they go to a traditional, four-year institution. Students could choose to attend out of necessity (maybe they didn’t get into the school they wanted or couldn’t afford to go to a traditional institution) or they choose to go to a community college to get their core classes taken care of before deciding on their futures. Either way, community colleges play a vital role in today’s educational system.
As the Library Director, Carol knows that this student isn’t the only student she sees in her library. She arguably has one of the most diverse populations on our campus. Unlike some other libraries, Carol deals with both traditional and non-traditional students.
On any given day, Carol may need to assist the aforementioned student, a middle-aged man looking to advance his career, a single mother looking for a new career, a high school student looking for a new challenge and to gain an advantage over her peers, or even someone who just can’t decide what he wants to do with his life.
Problematically, while Carol has a surplus of people she needs to help, she doesn’t have a surplus of resources to help them. This doesn’t mean Carol can’t help her students; it simply means she needs to make the right decisions and choose library resources that gives her students the best chance for success.
She needs resources that are cost efficient. They must be able to help her students, be easy to use, and be trustworthy. Carol needs to help students build a solid foundation, restructure their foundation, and sometimes add to an already established foundation.
So, how does Carol use Gale resources to help her? How do Gale’s resources help Carol solve her specific problems and fit her specific needs? Let’s break down a couple of scenarios.
Community College as a Stepping Stone
One of Carol’s biggest goals for students who are looking to eventually move on to a traditional, four-year university is to make sure they are ready for college. This means she wants to help them smoothly transition from high school learners to college thinkers. She needs to help them grow in their academics. But this growth needs to be engaging and not frustrating.
Carol trusts Gale’s In Context Suite to help her students make the transition. For this example, we’ll focus on Opposing Viewpoints in Context.
Carol trusts and uses Opposing Viewpoints in Context because it’s dynamic, intuitive, and engaging.
The product is constantly kept up-to-date, which is a must. Information is constantly being added about today’s most compelling topics. To ensure students can see these updates, the home page gets four new banners each month, and has new and updated portal pages indicated below the banners in a categorized format. This ensures Carol’s students will be informed and able to discuss important issues based on current information.
For instance, Carol notices that currently a banner displays news that on October 6, the U.S. Supreme court lifted the ban on same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. While this information is nice, Carol likes that if a student clicks on this banner, it doesn’t just lead them to an article. Instead, it leads them to a portal page about same-sex marriage.
Portal pages are filled with both old and new information about the specific topic, in an organized format, to give students what they need to know. They’re constantly being updated with the latest articles and stories from trusted news sources, magazines, etc.
The best part? It’s all easy to find. Students aren’t left searching hours for what they’re looking for. If they need different viewpoints, they simple click on viewpoints. If they need the latest news, they click on news. If they need pictures, they click on pictures.
Everything they need to complete an assignment, research for a paper, or learn the entire story behind an issues (both pros and cons) is located in this convenient portal page.
There’s more to the resource, but Carol rests easy knowing it allows students to gather the information they need to begin critically thinking about different issues, which is vital for college success.
Another student that Carol deals with frequently is the career changer. This student has decided he or she isn’t satisfied with his or her current role and wants to make a change.
Some people are changing to find their passion while others just want to work in a better paying industry. For this example, we’ll focus on a woman who wants to work in a better paying industry.
Carol trusts and values Career Transitions to help guide her student to a better career. This resource helps job seekers navigate the economy in an innovative and accessible way. What does that mean?
It serves as a student’s one-stop-shop for everything she needs when making this transition. She can browse potential careers to find out what the career entails, what the average salary is, how many people are employed, what the growth rate looks like, and more. This allows her to make an informed rather than blind decision. Plus, it’s convenient.
Since it is online and easily searchable, it fits in with her busy lifestyle. After she finds a career that fits her needs, Career Transitions helps her take the next steps with game-changing tools. It provides tips and advice on topics like interviewing, applying, training, and more.
Once the student figures out what she wants and how to get there, and after some schooling, this resource helps write a resume, write a cover letter, simulate an interview, and even look for a job.
Instead of browsing the internet or using various resources to help the student, Carol can rest easy knowing her money is being put to good use with Career Transitions.
These are only two examples of students Carol assists and two ways Carol can help these students with Gale. We encourage you to learn more about Carol and the resources she trusts at gale.cengage.com/university/carol. Join us next week as we delve into more unique issues and solutions for other members of our university.
Resources that Carol trusts allow her to assist the Community College students in their research and help familiarize them with using databases.
Carol may be busy, but it’s all for the success of her students. She loves recommending National Geographic Virtual Library, because it’s a robust resource she can trust. But it’s not the only resource that fits Carol and her library’s needs. Find out what other resources Carol can trust, visit www.gale.com/university/carol. To learn more about Gale U, visit www.gale.com/university.
Robert is a left-handed person living in a right-handed world. He is showing English majors that it is possible to get a job in the “real world” with an English degree. He likes giant carrots.