NTCC Library adds new tech with ALA COVID relief grant

Dulce Soza Staff Writer

The Charlie and Helen Hampton Library at NTCC recently received a $20,000 Covid Library Relief grant from the American Library Association. With this grant, the college library was able to provide technology that is allowing easier and faster access to student needs. The grant also allowed for a full-time library assistant to be hired in the fall 2022 semester.  

With the grant, The Charlie and Helen Hampton Library was able to purchase two bluetooth wireless scanners, two desktop computers, one laptop computer, and two radio frequency identification readers, or RFID scanners for short. 

Librarian Heather Shaw said the new technology has improved productivity. The two RFID scanners allow new books to be processed and put out on the shelves quicker for students to access.

“We do shelf reading, which is making sure books are in the correct shelf, in the correct order,” Shaw said. “Prior to the new technology, it was done by a person reading each individual title but now it’s sped up shelf reading by double the speed.”

Since the RFID scanners were introduced, 537 new titles have been able to be completely processed by the library catalog and are now sitting on the shelves waiting for students to find.

The NTCC library also subscribes to a program called Gimlet which is used to log the type of questions asked by students regarding new titles. In the 2021 fall semester this position was vacant, but thanks to the grant, Alexes Spencer, Library Assistant, was able to be hired as a full-time employee.  In the 2022 fall semester, the questions logged increased by 26% and allowed for more answers to be provided.

A grant “this big” has never been awarded to the NTCC library before and to have qualified for funding such as this is something Shaw said the Charlie and Helen Hampton Library is grateful for. Shaw also stated that the grant has been of great use to NTCC students and its employees to acquire what they need every day.