Lorain County Community College (LCCC) and the Elyria Public Library System have developed a partnership strategy that will provide area residents, from toddlers through senior adults, with enhanced library services and resources when the new LCCC Library/Community Resource Center is built on the College’s campus beginning in 2007. This joint venture would designate the LCCC location as an official branch location of the Elyria Public Library System.
The boards of both organizations demonstrated their commitment to this concept by signing a resolution that highlights this as a unique partnership opportunity to meet the expanding expectations and needs of our community for learning, access to technology and personal growth and development.
“This Library strategy reinforces the ‘community’ in Lorain County Community College. Its prominent location visible from Abbe Road will become the new front door for the campus and will connect to the community’s array of learning needs, from students, to senior citizens, to returning workers, and entrepreneurs,” said LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church.
“In accordance with its mission, the Elyria Public Library System recognizes the responsibility to serve as a catalyst and pathway for life–long learning. The potential for joint–use collaboration provides an opportunity to enrich community access to information, services and resources. The Elyria Public Library family is proud to explore avenues for connection and to build bridges for association with LCCC,” said Sherman Jones, president of the Elyria Public Library System Board of Trustees.
“The addition of Elyria Public Library collections and services will wonderfully complement the College’s more academically related resources,” said Keith Washburn, director of LCCC’s Library/Learning Resources Center.
The partnership is an exciting development for the library trustees and staff, said Janet Stoffer, Director of the Elyria Public Library. “Both the college library and the public library have resources to contribute to provide a much–enriched collection and services for all of our customers,” Stoffer said.
Construction of the 86,000 square foot Library/Community Resource Center is expected to begin in February 2007 with an opening in late summer 2008. The overall design reinforces its role as a portal to information and technology. The first floor will feature popular periodicals, newspapers and books, as well as DVDs, CDs, and a children’s area with children’s and juvenile books.
The second floor will include an information commons with computer terminals, public services desks, group study areas, and bookshelves for approximately half of the library’s book collections. Additional shelving for books will be located on the third floor, with many more group and individual study areas.The center will also have wireless access or laptop computers.
New Library to Meet Future Needs of Community
The new LCCC Library/Community Resource Center will address the needs of today’s technology–based knowledge economy and is a central feature of the College’s Master Plan.
The original LCCC campus was built 40 years ago to accommodate about 6,600 students. With increases of 50 percent since 2000, LCCC’s enrollment has jumped to more than 10,600 students.
“We’re expecting to see more than 15,000 students by the year 2015,” said LCCC President Roy A. Church. “The new library will address the future needs of the community.”
The concept of a joint–use library emerged from the College’s Vision 21 plan as an innovative opportunity to maximize resources while at the same time enhancing library access and services to the public. The facility will be funded through federal grants the College has assembled during the past several years, along with state funds that are allocated to LCCC as part of its facilities funding plan.