The Role of the Community College Library in the Academy

Decision makers at all levels need data to make the most effective and efficient decisions. In higher education environments this involves a combination of data regarding constituent use of resources and facilities, and the impact of use of resources and facilities (for example, "ownership of" versus "access to" resources).
An important element of making higher education decisions, however, is the education factor, that is, the background content that assists academic administrators in understanding the critical mission, value and goals of the library, the role of library and information services in student outcomes, and the key role libraries and librarians play in curriculum delivery through the provision of supporting resources and teaching faculty partnerships in the design and delivery of general and discipline-specific information literacy.

Creating educational background information is easily done by librarians in the academy; however, higher education administrators might consider such content prepared by such professionals to be internal or self-serving in nature. Therefore, documentation prepared by librarians and vetted and approved by administrators is the ideal.
Such background information has been designed by community college librarians who are members of the National Council of Learning Resources, a council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). These AACC Position Statements are timely, contemporary, and classic. They have been vetted by the AACC membership (including many presidents) and posted to the website.

These Position Statements can be used in difficult economic times, during periods or growth or expansion as well as during re-accreditation processes to explain why support resources and services are critical. These three statements provide benchmarking information as well as valuable advocacy statements that can be used to justify the existence of, explain the benefits of, or articulate of the mission of library and information services in the 21st-century community college.
Position Statement on Information Literacy
The Statement on Information Literacy illustrates the teaching role of the librarian and the library in the community college. This document provides the definition of information literacy, the role of information literacy in general as well as integrated into the college's curriculum, and the vital partnerships between librarians and classroom faculty in the design of curriculum for student outcomes for finding, accessing, retrieving, analyzing, synthesizing and using information effectively and ethically.
Position statement on Student Services and Library and Learning Resources in Support of Distance Learning
The distance or distributed learning model for delivering 21st century education remotely and/or digitally is a more successful model when necessary support services offer a seamless and equivalent delivery of services to ensure successful students. This Position Statement offers a vision of a unique partnership in the support of student teaching and learning.

Position Statement on the Importance of Libraries and Learning Resource Centers
Although older, less contemporary content on the importance on libraries and learning resource centers is available in a variety of contexts, this classic statement provides a solid foundation and definition of this support service and the major programs, services and resources provided as well as the library.