Lisa Hinchliffe and I are currently analyzing data from a survey looking at factors that facilitate the creation of an assessment culture in community college libraries (it’s a sister study to the one we did with Amy Harris Houk on four-year and above schools reported on in C&RL). We’ll be presenting the results at the Library Assessment Conference in Seattle in August. I’m not going to give away any big results here, but I will say that those of us at BA, MA and PhD-granting schools can learn a lot from community colleges about building a culture of assessment and a culture focused on learning.
What I’m finding in the survey results is definitely making me feel validated in and excited about a recent decision. Starting in the Fall, I’m going to be joining the library faculty at Portland Community College! I could not be more thrilled about this. I’ve been watching and admiring the work of my colleagues at PCC for years. They’re deeply collaborative and a true learning community. They have a strong focus on assessment and do a lot of user experience research. The conversations I’ve had with PCC librarians around instruction have always been deep and thought-provoking. They are committed to ensuring student success and improving their own practice, and that’s just the sort of environment in which I know I will thrive. As my instructional focus has moved towards general education and working with our first-year and academically under-prepared populations, a community college environment feels like a natural next step. I look forward to working at an institution with a laser-like focus on student success.
I feel so lucky that I was able to find a dream job without having to leave an area I have come to love. I can now see why Portland is a place where librarians live even when they have to cobble together several jobs to make ends meet. It’s an amazing place to be; beautiful, vibrant, and full of friendly, interesting people. It’s the perfect place to raise my son and a place I never want to leave. I’m grateful that my current job allowed me to discover this wonderful part of the world.
There are a lot of things I will miss about Portland State and a lot of people too (though fortunately, I’ll still be within “getting coffee distance”). In spite of the difficulties I’ve encountered at PSU, I am proud of what I’ve accomplished, am pleased with who I got to know, and am lucky for what I’ve learned. Everything I’ve done and learned at Portland State will make me a better librarian and a better person.
I want to thank those people who supported me these past three years. I hope you know who you are and I hope you know how much I’ve appreciated your kindness. Difficult situations are more likely to pull people apart than to bring them together, and I’m glad it was the latter for us.
I can’t wait to dive into the world of community college libraries! I promise to share the interesting things I’m sure I’ll learn.
Photo credit: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— by swim parallel on Flickr