SBCC library still offering curbside pickup for laptops, Wi-Fi, books

The+Eli+Luria+Library+on+City+College%27s+West+campus+has+been+closed+since+last+March%2C+but+library+staff+has+been+working+to+offer+the+same+resources+available+to+students+through+rentals%2C+online+distribution+and+more.+%E2%80%9CWe+have+had+a+lot+more+students+accessing+our+collection+electronically+instead+of+physically%2C%E2%80%9D+said+Camerin+Poulson%2C+library+technician.+File+photo+of+Eli+Luria+Library+from+Feb+19%2C+2021%2C+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.

Ryan P. Cruz

The Eli Luria Library on City College’s West campus has been closed since last March, but library staff has been working to offer the same resources available to students through rentals, online distribution and more. “We have had a lot more students accessing our collection electronically instead of physically,” said Camerin Poulson, library technician. File photo of Eli Luria Library from Feb 19, 2021, in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Cassandra Wilkins, Associate Editor

During the Spring 2021 semester, the Luria Library continues to offer Chromebooks, Wi-Fi hotspots and many other services to students and staff members.

“We have added probably another 100 devices since last semester,” said Library Director Kenley Neufeld, which has been paid for by the CARES Act Emergency Grants

There are currently 1082 Chromebooks and 877 Wi-Fi hotspots checked out by students and staff, and devices are still available for checkout.

“Here we are in the seventh week of the semester and students are still needing them,” Neufeld said.

Books can also be checked out through Pipeline, and then picked up later in person.

When [the students] find the book, they can click on request item and they log in with their Pipeline,” Neufeld said. “We send an email when it’s ready to pick up.”

Students can also request to electronically view chapters from textbooks by filling out a Google Form.

Neufeld said the process of requesting books works fine, but it’s time-consuming.

“We have had a lot more students accessing our collection electronically instead of physically,” City College Librarian Camerin Poulson said.

The library seeks to request funds from the HEERF stimulus bill to improve its textbook reserve process. Funds would be used on updating its digital management system.

The library also continues to offer live chat with a librarian on its website and curbside pickup for Chromebooks, Wi-Fi hotspots and library books.

For the library to provide all of these services, the three classified employees [have] continued to work on campus throughout the pandemic. To minimize exposure, none of them are there at the same time.

“We try to follow good safety protocols,” Neufeld said.

Devices are wiped down and sanitized prior to students and staff receiving their reserved items, and all books are shelved for 72 hours before being checked-out again.

Prior to COVID-19, the library might have eight to 12 student workers at a time. There are currently four faculty librarians, three classified staff and two student workers.

The library had to let go of two staff members within the past year, but they have still been able to function. There are currently no plans to replace these positions.

“When the time comes to open the library again, we won’t be able to return to our old hours unless we refill the staff position that we lost,” Neufeld said. “And of course we would hire a lot more students.”

This February, the library made an effort to honor Black History Month by curating books written by Black and African-American people. 

“There are lots of books written about African-American history that are written by White people, so we tried to focus just on those [African-American] authors,” Neufeld said. 

The library staff hopes to reopen in-person services soon.

“We miss having people in the library, we’re looking forward to getting everyone back,” Poulson said. “But we’re glad that we can still connect with them online and still get them the stuff they need.”