Annual Report of the Committee on Annual Report for 2019-20

To: Steering Committee, Academic Senate

From: Chair, Committee on Committee on the Library

Date: August 2020



Membership/officers

Danny Mangra, Engineering Technology (2020), Biao Wang, Mathematics & Computer Science, (2020), Hayes Peter Mauro, Art & Design (2021), Cheryl Tokke, Business, (2021), Angela Ridinger-Dotterman, English (2022), Jodi VanderHorn-Gibson, Speech Communications, (2022)

Student representative: Dhanmattie Khan, SGA/ Women in Science


Liaisons

Jeanne Galvin (President’s), Hayes Peter Mauro (Academic Senate Steering Committee), Bryn Mader (Committee on Committees)


Membership Composition Changes

The committee welcomes its new members for the upcoming academic year: Prof. Wenjian Liu (Mathematics), and Prof. Emily Pelletier (Social Sciences).


Committee Meeting Dates

The committee met four times during the academic year: October 31, December 4, February 26, and May 4 (online).


Narrative summary of committee work

Over the course of the academic year, the committee pursued several issues important to the QCC community. The most significant of these issues will be addressed categorically below.

 

  1. STEAM lab/ NEH Grant: As noted in the 2018-19 committee report, the STEAM initiative took much of the committee’s attention at that time. This year’s committee took up the mantle on this initiative and put it to action. During the summer and early fall of 2019, we submitted an application for a Planning Grant with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

The grant application sought funding for faculty development to create interdisciplinary digital textbooks focused on the archives of the KRC, the Queensborough Library, and the Senator Frank Padavan Archives (also housed in the library).  The goal is to improve campus and public use and access to the materials housed in the archives by digitally curating the texts. As committee chair, I would especially like to extended the Library Committee’s thanks to Dean Wang and Professor Namdar (Chair, Engineering Technology) for writing letters of recommendation in support of the grant, as well as Dean Landy and Michael Laurence (Director of the Technology Lab) for their help in planning the scope of the grant project. Mr. Laurence in particular graciously offered to construct a time sharing agreement between the potential lab and the already existing Engineering lab, which contains much technology helpful for STEAM.

During the spring semester, the committee distributed questionnaires to faculty for feedback on the STEAM lab proposal, and to solicit input in terms of what faculty expectations for such a space would be. There was a significant response from faculty on the issue of STEAM pedagogy. Despite these extended efforts, the NEH declined the application in April. However, the diversification and expansion of pedagogy at QCC is an ongoing endeavor and will continue during the upcoming academic year.

  1. New charges: At the committee’s first meeting, it was noted that the then-existing committee charges were extremely vague and required updating and specification, so as to ensure that the full breadth of work actually done by committee members would be reflected. The new charges were then written, distributed, and voted on by the committee, and were unanimously approved. The committee will work toward their implementation by submitting the revisions to the Bylaws Committee of the Academic Senate for feedback. Following their approval, the revisions will be brought to the Senate for approval.

 

  1. Accessible bathrooms: this has been an ongoing issue of concern for the committee for the past couple of academic years. The committee reached out to VP Faulkner as well as Prof. Danzi-Engoron of the Committee on Environment, Quality of Life, and Disability Issues. In follow-up meetings with VP Faulkner, it was discussed that city and state funds have been given to the school to hire a firm to redesign the restrooms. Additional funds are available to implement the remodeling. As of December 2019, the bid process was still open.  It is expected that the redesign will be completed 1-2 years after a final bid is accepted. As of the spring 2020 semester, the college was still searching for a contractor; although as noted funds are in place.

 

 

  1. Library improvements/ marketing/ food service: In coordination with QCC Student Government Association representatives, the committee tackled several issues pertaining to the quality of student experience in the library, as well as the wider publicizing and marketing of library resources to the college community.

 

At our first meeting, SGA leaders presented several concerns to the committee including noise levels in study areas, food consumption in the library, and the appearance of unauthorized individuals using library space and resources. To remedy these problems, a new configuration of tables and carrels has been implemented in library study areas. Silent study areas are being expanded. Security officers are being placed at regular entry points to monitor who is entering the library. Also, a card scanning system has been implemented. This will ensure that all library patrons are also registered members of the QCC community. Finally, in order to alleviate the food problem, the committee has worked with VP Faulkner, SGA leaders, and VP Kerr on moving the student cafeteria as well as the Starbucks to the Student Union building, which is currently an extremely underutilized space. The food vendor’s contract expired this summer, and it was discussed during the spring that this would have been an opportune moment to move both Starbucks and the cafeteria to the SU building. This coincides with the initiation of the reconstruction of the atrium next to the current cafeteria. It is felt that moving these implements would shift the center of campus social life to the SU and thus free up library space and resources for serious studying.  

 

In addition to logistical improvements and security measures, the committee considered ways to publicize the library’s resources to the college community.

 

The library has procured additional laptops that students can check out from the library to take home.  This is a wonderful resource for students and it required better promotion. Ideas for promoting the resource included adding it to the digital signage on campus and posting it on the QCC Instagram feed.  Also, 24-hour reference help is going to be made available to students soon through the software Question Point.  Additionally, the library’s next student-centered technology wish is for hot spots that can be checked out for students who do not have internet access at home.  All of these resources should be promoted. To this end, the committee worked with the QCC Marketing Department to improve the library’s presence on the college’s social media and website. As an ongoing initiative, the committee will have a regular liaison meeting with Marketing.  


Assigned Committee work as per Bylaws Charge/Strategic Plan/Middle States Items/ or Actions of the Academic Senate

Bylaws Charges (at start of 2019-20 school year)

Section 24. The Committee on the Library

The Committee on the Library shall consist of six (6) members of the instructional staff and one (1) student.

The Committee on Library shall:

  1. Report and recommend to the Academic Senate on matters pertaining to the Library of Queensborough Community College. (COMPLETED)
  2. Serve as an advisory group. (COMPLETED)


Recommendations for Next Academic Year

It is recommended that the 2020-21 Library Committee continue to pursue all issues addressed this past academic year: student pedagogy, teaching technology on campus, accessibility, quality of life and security in the library, and improved publicity for the library. In addition, it is recommended that any issue to be addressed by the committee in the future be approached with consideration of the committee’s new and more detailed charges. These revised charges will better reflect the work of the committee and as stated will be forwarded to the Senate Bylaws Committee for feedback. The new charges are enumerated here:

 

  1. Report and recommend to the Academic Senate on matters pertaining to the Library of Queensborough Community College.
  2. Through direct interaction with student representatives, consider and advocate for students’ interests in the use of the library and its resources, including (but not limited to) the allocation of space, the rules and regulations of use, and the availability of resources.
  3. Consider and refer to other administrative offices (e.g., Buildings and Grounds, Academic Affairs) issues related to the function and condition of the library building.
  4. In consultation with the Library Department, consider, make recommendations, and advocate for initiatives that build or improve access to the library’s collections.
  5. Evaluate the current state of pedagogical technologies in the Library, and make recommendations to the Library staff and Senate regarding the maintenance and upgrade of these technologies.


New Committee Members – newly elected Chair and Secretary

The newly elected chair is Prof. Angela Ridinger-Dottermna (English) and the newly elected secretary is Prof. Jodi VanderHorn-Gibson. 


Acknowledgments

The Library Committee extends its thanks to Library Director Jeanne Galvin for sharing her expertise and her enthusiastic commitment to  addressing the library-related concerns from QCC’s students and faculty; Professors Steven Dahlke and Jannette Urciuoli, for their availability and guidance; Professor Hamid Namdar, Chair of the Engineering Technology Department, former Dean Cathleen Landy, Mr. Michael Laurence, and Dean Shiang-Kwei Wang  for their support for the STEAM lab initiative; VP William Faulkner for his further work on the accessible bathroom issue;  and Student Government officers, Dhanmattie Khan. Jason Bhimani, and Brittney Vasconcellos, for sharing students’ concerns with the committee and working with us for actual solutions.


Respectfully Submitted,
Hayes P. Mauro

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