Library Awarded Federal Grant to Seek Ways to Maximize Space and Technology Access
WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Library has been awarded a $23,655-grant to develop a plan that will maximize existing study space and provide students with greater access to technological resources.
PCC Library Director Xudong Jin said library surveys consistently show dissatisfaction with the number of individual and group study rooms the facility currently offers. Many patrons are also unhappy with the number of computers available during peak study times, he said.
“From approximately 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. every weekday, when the largest percentage of the student body is on campus, the library is inundated with students needing computer access,” Jin said. “… Some do wait for an available computer, but many leave in frustration.”
Jin explained that the library’s current situation stems from an increase in student enrollment over the years and a steady increase in online course offerings. He noted that when the Clifton W. Everett Building was built in 1987 to house PCC’s library services, curriculum enrollment was roughly one-third of what it is today – 3,172 students in the fall of 1987 compared to 9,023 in the fall of 2012.
Jin said the library’s lack of adequate space was compounded further when five rooms within the Everett Building were reclaimed for classroom space and several student-related service departments.
PCC administrators asked Jin to look into ways of addressing the library’s space issues last year. In response, he formed a team that researched the problem and worked in consultation with PCC Director of Grants Helen Parke to apply for a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) EZ Planning Grant in February.
The grant that PCC was awarded this month will be used to hire a consulting firm to create a plan that addresses the library’s space needs and technology access issues. It will also provide approximately $2,000 for PCC librarians to participate in related professional development opportunities in North Carolina.
“When the resulting plan is implemented, students will attain a greater level of satisfaction with their overall experience in the library,” Jin said, adding that he was thankful for the efforts library staff made to secure the grant.
LSTA grants are awarded by the State Library of North Carolina and made possible through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
A total of 42 competitive grants for fiscal year 2013-14 were awarded to North Carolina libraries from this year’s federal allotment of $4,171,823.
PCC was one of three community colleges in the state to receive an EZ Planning Grant, along with Central Piedmont in Charlotte and Edgecombe in Tarboro. In all, 11 planning grants, which are primarily used for consulting assistance and require no matching funds, were awarded in North Carolina libraries, totaling $296,572.
For more information on North Carolina’s LSTA program, visit http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ld/grants/lsta.html, or contact the State Library of North Carolina’s Federal Programs Consultant at (919) 807-7400.