By Jamil Oakford/managing editor

As homework and projects are assigned, students can find all the resources for getting a good grade on campus at the library.

TCC’s libraries offer both physical and digital services to help students succeed in various areas of their education.

“I think the most valuable resource we provide is our knowledgeable librarians and staff who can help them [students] find what they need,” SE library services director JoTisa Klemm said.

Klemm credits the staff and librarians for knowing which services will help students for any assignment or need.

NW library director Alex Potemkin believes the digital aspect of TCC’s libraries is an important service provided by the libraries across the district.

“Basically, students have access to libraries beyond library walls,” he said. “Any information they need can be found through our website so they don’t have to use Google and Wikipedia.”

He said it’s particularly helpful to avoid the confusing sources one can run into by using Google.

“One of the advantages of using our databases over the wild, wild west of Google is that we can weed out the noise,” he said.

Instead of combing through 10 million search results, students can narrow their search down to specific topics within a broader category, Potemkin said.

TR public services librarian Tracy Soto agreed about the importance of accessible information for students.

“If students don’t know how to find that information or how to sift through all those sources of information, we provide help to them as well,” Soto said.

The college offers several services through the library’s website. For example, if there is a book students need for research but it can only be found on one campus, they can request the book on their home campus.

While most students can access general services easily,  some library resources may surprise students. Libraries districtwide have laptops available for students to check out although supplies are limited, Soto said. Laptops can be checked out for 48 hours.

Potemkin said it’s surprising more students don’t know about the streaming video service provided by the college.

“We’re no Netflix or Amazon Prime. We can’t compete with them,” he said, noting however that everything from educational videos to popular and recently released films are available through the library’s website.

Soto said people should also know about the one-on-one research consultation provided by librarians.

“The librarian will actually walk through that process [research] with that student, specifically for that assignment,” she said.

Students can use this service to navigate their way through a research paper or project and are provided with many resources and materials to help them be successful.

Another little-known service the library provides is private study rooms, Klemm said.

She also said students should know the online databases are not just articles from periodicals and professional journals.

“We have a few databases that help students learn new languages or study for exams like if they’re studying for the nursing exam,” Klemm said.

For avid book readers on each campus, Little Free Libraries are available to students. Started by SE government adjunct instructor Allan Saxe, students can take a book from the colorful birdhouse library and also donate a book to replace the one taken.

Libraries maintain the locations and boxes as well as taking book donations.

SE students can find the Little Free Library on the east end of the ESEE building by the portables. The NW library might change its location.

“We currently have it in the library, but I don’t like that, so we might move it,” Potemkin said.

He said he wants this to become more of a book exchange and find ways to get students involved in that process.

Each campus library has events it runs through the semester.

SE’s Judith Carrier Library has an exhibit up about World War I and how Camp Bowie in Fort Worth was involved in training soldiers for deployment. For Black History Month, the library will have a speaker discuss the role of African-Americans in World War I Feb. 20.

NW’s Walsh Library will host Phi Theta Kappa scholarship parties Feb. 1, March 1 and April 5 for students who want help filling out scholarship applications. The event will start at 10 a.m. each of those days. For Black History Month, it will have a book display available for students.

TR’s Tahita Fulkerson Library will hold Maker Mondays, chances for students to learn how to make things. Some will be arts-and-crafts-based while others will be technology-based. These will be held through March and are open for drop-ins with no pre-registration required.

But TR’s Lynda.com introductory course will require pre-registration. The website, used by professionals to help build careers, has a series of videos on topics ranging from how to answer interview questions to how to build a resume.  Other topics include creative subjects like learning Photoshop and editing music.

“All TCC students have access to those videos, and a lot of students don’t know they have free access to those videos,” Soto said.

The campus library also provides media literacy classes for students. Those interested in attending should reserve their spot ahead of time.

Students can register at libguides.tccd.edu/infolit.

South’s Jenkins Garrett Library will hold monthly, theme-based book displays for Black History Month, Women’s History Month and National Poetry Month.

In February, it will also have an African-American read-in and later in the semester will host a Literacy Read-a-Thon outside the library. People can volunteer to read aloud for 5-10 minutes at a time throughout the day.