What a whirlwind of a year 2010-2011 was! One major project was scarcely complete before another was under way. These projects represent all the hard work of Ramaker Library's talented staff and point to their determination to offer outstanding library services to the Northwestern College community.
As 2010 brought the previous five-year strategic plan to a close, 2011 started off with strategic planning. We are pleased to report that our mission has shifted from being agents of access to partners in the learning process. Our new statement summarizes both who we are and who we hope to be: "As innovative partners with faculty and staff, we aspire to integrate library services and resources into the academic life of Northwestern College, empowering students to transform information into knowledge." We have set the bar high yet feel strongly that this is what we are supposed to be doing as stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
Just as we were wrapping up the strategic planning process, we were delighted to learn that a $2 million gift brought us much closer to groundbreaking for the Learning Commons. The design development stage commenced immediately thereafter and took the project from a diamond in the rough to a polished concept that will transform both the look of campus and student learning at Northwestern College.
More mundane yet still important were the changes we made to our working group structure. Groups were given greater responsibility and authority to implement their ideas related to information technology, serials and technical services, and reference and instruction services. Many innovative ideas have come out of these teams, including upgrading our website, adding new types of resources to our collections, and partnering with the faculty in meaningful ways.
Visitors to the library will note a few changes:
- the renovated Circulation Desk
- the new Research Help Desk
- the Coffee Corner where free coffee is now offered Monday-Friday
- the various pieces of new furniture.
Other enhancements to library services include Document Delivery for faculty members and a Ramaker Library Facebook page that lists our hours and serves as a platform for communicating events and changes in the library.
As always, thanks are due to the staff for a very productive year.
-- Tim Schlak, Library Director