My last library trip of the year was to attend the North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (NCICU) Library Directors meeting at High Point University on Dec. 16th. I had not been to HPU since I was in high school and was amazed by all of the growth and new buildings. Even more amazing (and slightly scary) were the 50 large Nutcrackers lining the campus roads.

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Library directors in attendance gave some interesting updates about things they are doing at their libraries. Some things that caught my attention include:

  • Elon has a “maker” cart stocked with creative supplies that students can use
  • Queens is checking out guitars
  • Meredith checks out bikes
  • HPU and several other libraries have collections of board games they check out

After the updates. Prof. Lisa O’Connor, Chair of the Library & Information Studies program at UNC-G, spoke about library education trends. She spoke about some of the challenges she faces at UNC-G, which include:

  • Online education environment is changing the type of student LIS programs attract
  • Some students choice online education to avoid in-person interaction
  • She has difficultly filling classes that are the future of libraries, such as information literacy and GIS
  • Some students still seek the “traditional” librarianship role

Prof. O’Connor also discussed the ALA accreditation process, which a number of library educators feel is not keeping pace with changes to the profession.

In the afternoon we discussed the potential for deeper collaboration between NCICU institutions. Some of the items proposed are similar to our TALA agreements. There is also a group interested in pursuing a shared ILS. NCICU may pursue a LSTA planning grant to develop a structure for greater collaboration.