CNCC, library explore future

Thursday's meeting outlines relationship between two groups


There are several different possibilities for how the community college and library in Craig will interact in the future, but the one thing for certain is that they will become closer and more integrated.

The Moffat County Library Board and the Colorado Northwest Community College Board of Control met Thursday night to review their relationship, discuss future collaborations and projects, and set the groundwork for more frequent communication.

The library is integral to the college because CNCC-Craig has no library of its own.

The Moffat County Library and CNCC combine resources such as a law library and work together to create the library's collection.

The library recently ordered $3,000 worth of videos for the college.

"We work well together," said Donna Watkins, director of libraries for Moffat County. "We've worked in cooperation with individual instructors to buy needed materials."

The library is also an important resource for students, and not only for the books and computers.

"One of the things I've heard form a lot of students is that they want the library to study," said Gene Bilodeau. "They want a quiet place to do homework, study and do research."

The Moffat County Libraries and the library on the CNCC-Rangely campus have worked together in the past, and both support their continuing partnership.

The two libraries are working on merging their catalogs, allowing both library systems to be accessed electronically as one entity.

Another issue discussed was how the library could track use by CNCC students.

The college and library have tried to gather this information in the past without success.

Now that the library has replaced its databases and operating systems, this information can easily be gathered, Watkins said.

The only negative aspect in the relationship is the budget crunch CNCC is facing due to Colorado's $550 million shortfall.

"We're probably going to lose another one percent of our budget," CNCC Vice President Dean Hollenbeck said. "And maybe another one percent in the spring. That directly affects our operating budget.

"But I want to be clear to the library board: The college wants to be a partner as much as it can, but there are limitations," he said. "We have to justify every dollar spent."

Hollenbeck also said that the proposed college expansion will not affect CNCC's relationship with the library as the plans do not include a library.

The future of the relationship includes a more advanced infrastructure,

The Craig library will be one of the county entities given access to the DS3 telecommunications services purchased from NC Telecom. The college and the library could also become involved in constructing a recreation center, or a library expansion could include CNCC participation, and possible funding.

The two boards agreed to hold these joint sessions annually or semi-annually, but the next such meeting date was not set.

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