The learning college library concept : the role of the community college library in a learning college environment



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Since first being advocated by Terry O’Banion in the 1990s, the Learning College concept has been adopted by numerous community colleges. This concept focuses on student learning by placing students first. This strengthens the community colleges fundamental foci of emphasis on teaching and learning and providing higher education to underserved populations. It is essential that community college libraries support the learning college concept. The purpose of this study is to determine if community college libraries can support the learning college concept. The study examined two types of libraries, one in a designated learning college and the other in a college that has not adopted the concept. This examination utilized individual interviews and a review of institutional documentation. Interviews were conducted with librarians and students from a college that adopted the learning college concept and a college that had not. This study found that there was little difference in the function and perception of the libraries in both types of institutions. However, it was also found that the libraries supported the learning concept of the learning college concept. Specifically, the literature review evidenced that libraries were perceived as repositories of books but the review of the documentation indicated that libraries were active participants in student learning by offering curriculum based workshops and individual instruction, thereby fostering a learning-centered environment.