By JW McNay/campus editor

Updates are coming to libraries across all five TCC campuses throughout the semester, which officials say will better meet the needs of students and speed up services already offered.

TCC students will soon be able to self-checkout books after updates are made to each library including new security gates and retagging books, said NE library services director Mark Dolive.

“The retagging will be going from an old magnetic system technology, which is 40 years old, to an RFID, radio frequency tags, which is only 10 or 12 years old,” Dolive said.

The J. Ardis Bell Library on NE will be the first to receive the updates over the coming months with the Jenkins Garrett Library on South being the last, he said.

Students also have access to many of the textbooks through each library’s reserve desk.

“The books must be used in the library, but we have scanners and copiers available if you just need a small reading assignment or a couple of chapters while you wait for your financial aid to arrive,” said TR library services director Susan Smith, adding a new program is coming to provide additional textbooks to veteran students.

In addition to physical books, TCC students also have access to over 200,000 e-books and other databases through the library website, said NE library manager James Ponder, adding students can find resources such as movies and self-paced video tutorials.

“Any student can use them, and that way they are available 24/7 online in your pajamas from home,” Ponder said.

Students can also come into NE’s Library Computer Learning Center, or LCLC, to use various software, utilize 3-D printing or receive assistance on projects, Ponder said, adding the staff is trained to help with Microsoft Office software.

Laptops are also available to check out to use around campus, said NW library services director Alex Potemkin.

“This will allow students to find their favorite study spot on campus and do work on a computer even if they don’t have their own laptop,” Potemkin said. “There is no cost for this service, but students are responsible for the laptop, so if it is lost, stolen, or damaged students are responsible for those charges.”

The length of time that students can keep the laptop checked out for varies from campus to campus, he said.

Students may not know that they can also make appointments with librarians to receive one-on-one help with research.

“We encourage students to make an appointment, to make sure they get seen, but walk-ins are always welcomed, but may have to wait for a librarian to become available,” Potemkin said. “We can also help online through chat and email, phone and even texting.”

The NW library can be a place to relax as well, providing board games to play and binoculars to check out for bird watching, he said.

Throughout the semester, displays will be set up offering students even more ways to use the library for fun as well as work.

SE library services director Jotisa Klemm said the Judith J. Carrier Library will have a Harry Potter display from Sept. 17 to Nov. 1.

“[SE] assistant director of library services Tracey Minzenmayer has created an Escape Box game to go along with it,” Klemm said. “By following a series of clues and using their library skills, teams of participants can solve the puzzles and get a prize.”

Students are encouraged by each library to give feedback on what services to add or change by using suggestion boxes, talking to library staff or sending emails with ideas.

“We want you to be successful, and we want to know how we can help,” Smith said.