National Library Week makes a difference

By: Jessica Peña, Staff Writer

National Library Week was from April 10-16, and Volunteer State Community College celebrated the nationwide event with a week full of activities coordinated in conjunction with the Thigpen Library.

The American Library Association (ALA) that encourages schools and communities to recognize library staff and resources for the work do to make a difference sponsored national Library Week.

Vol State coordinated events like Game Day, Open Mic Day and Secret Cinema as part of Library Week activities.

“Library Week was definitely a success for us this year. Rochelle Center was packed on Game Day with students playing ping-pong and playing games. Secret Cinema was also very popular,” said Laura Sheets, librarian and Instruction Coordinator at the Thigpen Library.

Due to a lack of participants, the Open Mic Day in the Rochelle Center was canceled midway.

“Open Mic was poorly attended, mostly because there were several other events going on that day.

Next year, we’ll take a closer look at the campus schedule and try to pick a better day and time,” said Sheets.

“Yes, we did have to cancel our Open Mic because of lack of participation – as was to be expected when the Student Leadership Luncheon and Speech Competition events were scheduled at the same time,” said Sara Smith, Director of Library Services and Learning Resources.

“As often happens, organizers aren’t particularly aware of other events on campus when they plan their own; and, sometimes guest speakers’ schedules force dates and times of events,” added Smith.

During the week, Thigpen Library had a whiteboard set up so students could express their feelings for the library staff and share what they appreciated most.

“Responses to our ‘Express Yourself’ whiteboard prompt revealed a great appreciation from students for the helpful library staff,” added Smith.

The library staff said they were surprised with what Smith said will go down on her list of most cherished library memories.

“Two of our students made a lovely card for us, obtained signatures from a great number of students and baked us brownies and cookies.

“I’m proud of their success, and I am honored that they felt that the library’s spaces, resources and staff contributed to it,” said Smith.

Olivia Burkeen and Hailey Averitt were those two students.

“I believe we all enjoy being appreciated. So why not let the librarians know that we really appreciate them?

“All in all, it was nothing I can take credit for. The love of Christ is the only one worthy of praise,” said Burkeen.

Averitt and Burkeen will be graduating this spring and are enrolled in nursing schools at Middle Tennessee State University and Cumberland University.

Sheets and Smith both said that was their favorite part about National Library Week and that it was successful this year at Vol State.