Campus and Community Benefits
If students are the lifeblood of a college campus, then it’s safe to say that the heart of campus life is the college library. With plans for the new Emily W. Hundley Library and Center for Graduate Studies already on the drawing board, St. Catharine College is ready to infuse new life and vitality into daily campus life.
“A lot of times, the library is called the heart of academics on campus,” said Ilona Burdette, director of Library Services for SCC. “We try to fill that role with the College’s faculty to provide the resources needed to support the curriculum offered at St. Catharine College. We hope it is an academic hub of activity as well as a place to get assistance using software such as MS Word and PowerPoint.”
The new Library will be a signature facility for the college, designed to reflect trends in learning and integrate technology to meet the needs of a new generation of students. Burdette said plans for a new building have been in the works for quite a while.
“I’ve been here for 12 years and there has been talk about a new Library since I came on board,” she said. “We have received some generous contributions from Ms. Hundley and the Dominican Sisters that enabled us to renovate the current space, but we’ve known for a long time that our current location would not be adequate as the College moves forward.”
The library currently houses around 25,000 books. Its location has changed several times over the College’s 80-year history. The current library facility has adapted to meet most of the College’s needs on-campus, but with growing enrollment comes a shortage of study space.
“In 2006, we expanded about 50-percent beyond what we had before,” added Burdette. “That bought us some time, but we’ve been in cramped quarters for a while. With the addition of new students and new programs, our space has run out. We have reached capacity in terms of the volumes we can store in the library, so we’re continually trying to upgrade those, but we can’t grow in numbers at this point. In today’s academic environment, a lot of libraries are not bound or constrained to physical limitations. A lot of our resources, such as books and journals, are available online on the Internet 24/7. Even on-campus, most of our journals are available electronically. But we still look to grow our physical collection and we also want to be able to provide more opportunities for service.”
More computer lab space is needed, Burdette said, as well as more individual and group study spaces.
The library at SCC also has access to materials through interlibrary loan and through reciprocal borrowing through FoKAL, the Federation of Kentucky Academic Libraries, which includes Kentucky’s public universities, members of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities, KCTCS (Kentucky Community and Technical College System) and others.
“Anyone with a valid SCC ID can walk into any one of the FoKAL libraries and borrow a book as if they were a patron at that institution,” said Burdette.
Burdette said the new library will become the centerpiece of the Campus and she is looking forward to the library having a permanent home.
“For starters, the building is going to be a beautiful facility,” she added. “Knowing that we can’t anticipate all of the technological changes that will happen in the future, we’re trying to build a maximum amount of flexibility into the structure, both wired and wireless. We’ll be able to offer more selections on the stacks, have expanded group study areas as well as individual study spaces, additional classrooms which are much needed, conference rooms, a café, computer labs, plus an archive section showcasing a lot of the history of not only St. Catharine College, but we also hope to house special collections such as materials from Elizabeth Madox Roberts. This is going to be the centerpiece of the Campus and a source of pride for the College and the community. A special collection of genealogical materials, with roots in 16th century Norwich, England, is currently being acquired through the generosity of a former SCC trustee.”
The Library currently has a staff consisting of Burdette, assistant director Kaye Peterson, Clara Logsdon (Interlibrary Loan Librarian), Instructor Kim Hardin and Mary Parrott (Technical Services). Burdette anticipates growing the staff once the new Library is open.
“Talk of a new Library is generating a lot of excitement among students, faculty, even visitors to the College,” added Burdette. “There’s a lot of buzz going around. We’re really eager to see how it will enhance what we do – both in the College and in the community. We anticipate folks from all around to use the library. They are welcome now and will be welcome going forward. All they need to bring is proper ID and we’ll get them a courtesy card.”While 100-percent of St. Catharine College’s faculty and staff have pledged over $205,000 toward the new library, that amount is only a fraction of the $8 million needed to build the facility. The college is asking for your help to complete the task. There are naming opportunities on many levels for those who wish to give toward the project.
If you would like to make a gift toward the new Emily W. Hundley Library and Center for Graduate Studies, contact Molly Smith, Director of Development (859) 336-7707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.