Friday, June 6, 2014

Georgia Northwestern Technical College Libraries in the Spotlight!

By Pete Bursi

If you live in northwest Georgia, the next time you have your car serviced or receive medical attention there is a good chance the technician, nurse, or EMT who helps you has benefitted from the services of a Georgia Northwestern Technical College library. That's because GNTC enrolls over 8,000 students in those and other career programs at its five campuses, and each year thousands of northwest Georgia residents directly benefit from the services of GNTC graduates. Georgia Northwestern Technical College, which began in 2009 as the result of the merger between Coosa Valley and Northwestern Technical Colleges, now serves students in nine counties through its campuses in Rome, Rockmart, Rock Springs, Calhoun, and Dalton as well as the Aviation Center in Rome. The campus libraries employ a total staff of 18. The Director of Library Services is based at the Floyd County Campus (Rome), while each of the libraries has its own coordinator. A sixth library will be added in 2016, when the Catoosa County Campus (Ringgold) opens.

Floyd County Campus Library
Recently, the GNTC libraries have played an important role in supporting the college's Math Matters initiative which was borne of the SACS QEP. This support has taken the form of library displays of math related books and DVDs as well as a college-wide contest in which students were asked to find the answers to questions about math and mathematicians by using – and citing - library resources. The library collections at each campus are focused on the needs of the programs offered at those campuses. In addition, the libraries offer popular fiction books and feature film DVDs to suit the wide range of personal interests of their students, faculty, staff, and community borrowers.
Many GNTC students will continue their studies at colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia. Accordingly, the GNTC libraries offer print resources suitable for argumentative essays and speeches as well as literary criticism assignments and other research papers. Of course, these print resources are complemented by the GALILEO databases which are promoted by and offered through the GNTC libraries.

Walker County Campus Library
The GNTC libraries function as branches of one library system, but they each have their unique offerings and characteristics. For example, the Gordon County Campus library has floor to ceiling windows providing panoramic views of the surrounding area from its second floor vantage point. The most unique arrangement, however, belongs to the library at the Whitfield/Murray Campus (Dalton). The GNTC library there shares space with the library for the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy and Phoenix High School. Like adolescent twins sharing a bedroom, the college and high school libraries employ an imaginary dividing line to split one room into two. The considerate and cooperative staffs make this unique situation work remarkably well – aside from the occasional confusion over whose phone is ringing.

The GNTC libraries own over 75,000 volumes in addition to well over 100 periodical subscriptions. Also, the libraries annually provide approximately 100 library instruction sessions reaching nearly 2,000 students. So, rest assured, your automotive tech, nurse, and EMT have been exposed to the most current library resources making them well prepared to serve you in their state-of-the-art North Georgia worksites.

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