Santa Barbara City College’s (SBCC) Eli Luria Library was named the national winner in the community college category for the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) 2011 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award competition. The ACRL selection committee cited the Luria Library’s commitment to student learning and library outreach to the community.
Under the guidance of Director Kenley Neufeld, with support from the college administration, faculty, staff and donors, the Luria Library, which is located on SBCC’s West Campus, has substantially expanded its services and offerings to faculty, staff, and tens of thousands of students every semester. Library staff uses a variety of technologies such as wikis, blogs, web pages, and instant messaging to interact with faculty and students.
Visits to the library have doubled over the last few years from 250,000 to 500,000 annually. Library faculty has increased instruction in library related classes from 2,500 to 5,000 students annually. The library holds more than 118,000 titles and 300 print periodical subscriptions along with 22,599 electronic books and subscriptions to 34 electronic databases.
For the special challenges that English as a Second Language (ESL) students face, the library worked with faculty to significantly increase the size of the ESL holdings, both fiction and non-fiction, for comprehensible input at an appropriate reading level. At the recommendation of the Early Childhood Education Department, the library also added a children’s reading area. Students with small children can come to the library to read together increasing literacy and the parent-child bonding time
Other outreach activities established by the Luria Library include:
Creating a more user-friendly environment by moving computers to a centralized location, re-arranging furniture to create more casual conversational areas, and establishing a café within the library with beverages and snacks.
Expanding hours of operation to include Sunday from 1:00 – 9:00 p.m. during the regular semester
Hosting community outreach events such as the week-long Day of the Dead exhibits, Great Reads! participation with UCSB and the Santa Barbara Public Library System, and the Edible Books Festival with the SBCC School of Culinary Arts
Working with the Friends of the Luria Library, a group of volunteers and donors, to provide book scholarships to deserving SBCC students and to purchase and expand textbook reserves and electronic databases.
Creating one of the only community college Library Residency programs in the country with the support of the Luria Foundation.
In recognition of the award, the Luria Library will host a special celebration on Thursday, April 14 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. for the college campus and the community at large. ACRL representatives will be on hand to make a formal presentation followed by a library open house with tours, exhibits, and refreshments.
“During the past few years, our library learning environment has experienced a renaissance, and this award both honors and recognizes the hard work and commitment of the library staff,” said Library Director Kenley Neufeld. “The award will continue to solidify the library as a component of student success at SBCC.”
SBCC Superintendent/President Dr. Andreea Serban said, “Our exceptional library is an integral part of our college learning environment. The outreach to students, faculty, staff, and the community have been significant. This award is well-deserved.” She added, “I would like to take this opportunity to also thank all donors who support our college and our library, particularly the Luria family and foundation. Their support makes a great difference in making it possible for us at SBCC to offer exceptional programs and services as well as support our students financially in ways that the state does not fund.”