Today’s Thriving Libraries – MiraCosta Community College

iStudent Blog

Published: August 28, 2019 by Havilah Steinman

Alumni of San José State University iSchool’s many programs are everywhere. In fact, you could run into a fellow grad without even realizing it! MiraCosta Community College has been a fixture of the City of Oceanside since 1934, and the 48,000 square feet Library and Information Hub was built in 2003. I had the opportunity to tour the library with alum Steven Deineh, instruction and student engagement librarian, and he offered a great snapshot of the resources available to the lucky students at the college. 

With two large levels, the Library and Information Hub has dedicated space for library services as well as the Tutoring and Academic Support Center. When first entering the building, a beautiful landing with art installations and comfortable seating is visible. There have been a lot of changes in the organization of the space over the years; for example, the reference desk on the lower level used to be a space for student groups to meet! Now, Deineh believes it’s one of the most well-used areas for students to get help with directional questions, or have a librarian look over their research papers.

When I asked him about which aspect of the library facilities he enjoys most, he commented, “I like the research help desk, formerly or also known as the reference desk, and the library instruction classroom. This is because these are the primary locations for teaching students!” This desk is pictured below.

Signage is a useful tool librarians at MiraCosta Community College Library employ to educate students on the resources available. Some are placed on the edges of stacks, depicting the e-Books students have access too. Other signs in the open study areas instruct students not to leave their items unattended and explains what will happen to their things if they do. Finally, some signage is more art-based, and encourages the mission of a diverse population of learners that MiraCosta Community College upholds.

When I asked Deineh which of the library facilities he sees most used by students, he commented, “I would have a difficult time saying which of our facilities are most used. In my observation, students are usually using all of our spaces equally, wooden study carrels, wooden tables with chairs, Agati pods and Gee pinwheel chairs, and group study rooms, which emphasizes the importance of having multiple types of furniture for students to use!”

MiraCosta Community College’s Library has a large collection of over 41,000 books and 324,000 e-Books. The facility also houses DVDs, online videos and CDs. The intentional choice of building up the electronic collections are directly correlated to opening up more space for students to study.

I asked Deineh if he had seen a shift from physical stacks to more dedicated learning spaces in his time at the library. He responded affirmatively, “Absolutely. As electronic resources are purchased in a significantly higher quantity than print materials, we have been able to take out numerous bookshelves and create more study space for students. This process is ongoing and continuous.”

This shift from physical stacks to study spaces is a well-known trend in many libraries. When I asked Deineh what he sees for the future of MiraCosta’s library facilities specifically, he commented, “I see less and less space dedicated to physical and print materials and more and more space dedicated to group study and collaboration.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about the library facilities of MiraCosta Community College, where current hot library trends are exemplified. If this inspired you to go check out the facilities of a local library near you, feel free to tell me about it in the comments! 

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