July 2004    


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  Meet the Librarian

Scotty Zollars
Scotty Zollars
Library Director
Labette Community College Library

Labette Community College
Parsons, Kansas

Scotty is the Library Director at Labette Community College (LCC) in Parsons, Kansas. He oversees the management of 2 employees and three student assistants. The library provides services to all LCC students, administration, staff, and faculty as well as any community person that lives in the service area. The LCC library also provides interlibrary loan service and Scotty assists with KANAnswer, a virtual reference service from the state library.

In July 2000, Scotty began working at LCC. Previously, he worked at North Arkansas College from 1990-2000 and before that, at Lead Hill, Arkansas School District from 1985-1990. He is a member and Chairman this year of the Southeast Kansas Academic Librarians Council, a group composed of all of the area community college library directors and the library director of the area university. Scotty is also a member of the Parsons Public Library Board of Trustees and Friends of the Library. On the state level, he is a member of the Kansas Library Association, College and University Libraries Section and the Two Year Academic Libraries Interest Group. He is a card carrying member of ALA, ACRL, CJCLS and IFRT and has presented at conferences on library history, cheap book buying, and food and drink in the library.

Scotty boasts a colorful educational background. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Foreign Language Education (Spanish) and minors in German, Library Science, and Theater. He also has a Masters Degree in Library Science. His thesis focused on preparation of two-year colleges for censorship challenges to print materials.

His first job dusting books and helping out at the Moline, Kansas public library led Scotty to a career in librarianship. "The librarians trusted me and the librarian at Moline even called me her assistant librarian," Scotty recalls. "I would watch the library while she was on vacation while I was still in high school." He also worked in his high school library (West Elk, Howard, Kansas).

Scotty explains that the best part about his job is helping students do research. "I love the variety of topics. You would think that the topics on a community college level would be pretty basic, but that is not the case. There are some really exciting topics out there." One such topic he mentioned was the Black Sox Scandal. "We had to really dig for information on that one. The paper was for Composition II and they had to have a certain number of each type of resources. The Internet was fairly easy, periodicals were a little harder and then books were really difficult. Another topic that was fun was the chemical makeup of cosmetics. That one took some digging, too."

The LCC Library is host to a program that Scotty finds quite special. The Paper of the Year program, established in 2003, encourages students to write research and creative papers for publication. "I think it's a shame that people have to wait until they get advanced degrees to have their research published," Scotty remarks. The program has two categories (research and creative) and awards three places each year. The first place winning papers are bound, processed, and placed in the library collection. The 2004 winner in the research category was a paper on Glioblastoma Multiforme. The program began with under 10 submissions and has grown to 23 this year. You may view the criteria for this award at the conclusion of this interview.

Scotty vividly describes some of the tactics he uses to motivate and engage patrons to visit the library. "You have to grab the new instructors. Get them to look at what you have to offer. Listen to their suggestions and buy what they consider good material for their areas. They are experts in those fields. You have to be out among the people and grab every chance you get to sell your product," he says. Scotty puts out a newsletter each month, Ad-Libs, with the latest additions and other news items. In addition, the library offers food, drawings for giveaways, and some special events.

The hot items used by patrons of the LCC Library include non-fiction, especially in the social science and allied health areas. "Our electronic databases also get quite a workout," Scotty observes. "The Web catalog was set up in 2002 by the guy that developed the entire Library system. In fact, he has had a part in programming the entire MIS system for the campus. Tony Rabig is an awesome programmer. He can make the system do about whatever we want. It makes it extremely difficult to look for a commercial system, because none of them offer the options that we have. The only fly in the ointment is the possibility (God forbid) of something happening to Tony!"

Scotty feels that the biggest challenge facing community colleges is the idea that everything is on the Web. "Probably the same things that all academic libraries would say," he ventures. "Instead of battling the trend, we have to adapt. Help the students to become efficient information consumers. Help them to see the good, bad, and ugly of the Internet and then introduce new items to them. Also, trying to convince instructors to move away from assignments based solely on the Internet by showing them how other sources will do the same trick." Scotty echoes the funding concerns of other librarians. "Of course, this is also in addition to our fighting the never ending battle of decreased funding, increased use, and inadequate staffing and facilities." The LCC Library facility is a renovated gym in a building constructed in the 1920s. "This has provided some interesting and irritating building concerns," Scotty indicates.

The Labette Community College library has nearly 27,000 volumes, and over 600 periodicals in print, microfilm, and electronic formats. To learn more about Labette Community College, visit them online at http://www.labette.cc.ks.us/ or check out the library website at http://www.labette.cc.ks.us/library_resources.htm.

Paper of the Year Criteria

General Criteria

  1. There will be two divisions, creative and research.
  2. All papers will be typed, double-spaced in 12-point font with one-inch margins.
  3. The copy of the paper submitted to the Library will become the property of the Library, like a book donation. The student will retain ownership of the intellectual content.
  4. This will tie in with the writing requirements from the General Education Core Requirements.
  5. The prizes will be for 1st place a $100 savings bond and plaque; for 2nd place a t shirt and certificate; for 3rd place a notebook, a pen and a certificate.
  6. There will be a limit of three submissions per semester per applicant.
  7. The papers must have been completed within the past academic year, March 14 to March 15). This will enable us to get the end of the year papers.
  8. The deadline for submissions is on or near March 15th.
  9. The award will be presented at the annual awards assembly.
  10. The committee reserves the right not to give an award every year.
  11. No one with a degree above the Associate's level may submit a research paper. Our assumption was that anyone above an Associates would have done research papers.
  12. The submitter must be enrolled at Labette Community College when the paper is submitted.
  13. The papers will be coded by the Library Director before submitted to the committee members.
Additional Requirements

Reference Papers
  1. The paper must be for a Labette Community College class.
  2. Citations of sources are required for the research division paper.
  3. Research papers must be a minimum of four pages in length including work cited.
  4. The style guide used will be the one requested by the instructor of the course.
  5. A variety of sources should be used with only 10% being from the Internet. Electronic periodical databases (i.e. ProQuest, InfoTrac, etc.) will be excluded from the 10% limitation.
Creative Papers
  1. There will be no minimum length but the maximum length for creative paper submissions will be 7500 words.