Interview with Jackie Ray, Blue Mountain Community College
In an effort to help OR ACRL members to get to know our colleagues and library leaders from around the state, Board Member Arlene Weible recently interviewed two community college library directors who are new to their positions.
In this second of two posts, meet Jackie Ray, Director of Library and Media Services at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon.
1. Tell us a little bit about your work background.
Jackie has a work history that has taken her both near and far from the Northwest. Originally from Washington State, she started at UW-Bothell as a library technician, and then moved to Oregon where she took a summer gig as a park ranger at Heceta Head Lighthouse in Oregon. She then worked as a Reference Assistant at Linn-Benton Community College and as an adjunct Librarian at Lane Community College before moving on to become the Learning Resources Center Director at Klamath Community College. Jackie decided to adventure around the country and left the state for several years with stints as the Head of Access Services in universities in New Hampshire and San Francisco. She has landed back in Oregon at Blue Mountain Community College about six months ago where she assumed the role of Director of Library and Media Services. She and her husband, both native Northwesterners, are happy to be back in Oregon.
2. What has been the best thing that has happened to you since you started your position?
Jackie is very proud of the library’s increased awareness in the library’s role in projects from Achieving the Dream to Assessment. Blue Mountain was selected to be a participant in the ACRL Assessment in Action program. This program provides training and grant support for the promotion of assessment activities on campus. It has been a great opportunity to work with faculty and administration across the college to develop an assessment program that specifically targets Information Literacy outcomes across the curriculum and delivery of IL instruction both for on-campus and distance education students. Having recently passed accreditation, Blue Mountain is using their involvement in Assessment in Action tools as one of the tools leveraging their strategic planning activities. The outcome of this project will be presented at a poster session at the ALA Annual Conference 2016 in Orlando, Florida.
Blue Mountain also hosted an OER conference earlier this spring and along with other community colleges has made great strides in expanding OER in the academic community. Jackie, with help from a grant from Openoregon.org, is also working closely with Eastern Promise faculty to develop an OER textbook for U.S. History courses that can be used both in the local high schools and at the community college.
3. What is the biggest challenge facing your library in the upcoming year?
After replacing a long-term director, Jackie has been challenged by upgrading and promoting the library’s image and services on campus. Blue Mountain has a great old building, but it needs upgrading to reflect the needs of local students. Jackie has observed that student still rely on college-provided technology rather than personal devices, and is optimistic in the Blue Mountain’s investment into an Academic Resource Center (ARC) in the library, equipped with laptops and other media production tools that will be open to both students and faculty. Jackie successfully lobbied for increased funding to acquire more library databases and will be collaborating with other departments to create a more learner-driven environment in the library and in other departments.
4. What would you like Oregon academic librarians to know about your institution?
Blue Mountain has a lot of potential and because of recent funding is in a great position to improve on all that we have, along with a vital “students first” attitude that is constantly being reinvigorated in our campus culture. Blue Mountain is at this time the only community college involved in the WICHE Interstate Passport program whose intent is to develop a two-year degree that is transferrable among seven states. Jackie served on a development team for establishing IL and Critical Thinking Outcomes. The Blue Mountain Community College Library strives for outreach, and hosts events that include a local artist gallery and writers’ readout which is a great resource for the Pendleton community.
5. What would you like Oregon academic librarians to know about you?
Jackie’s professional interests include assessment, information literacy and instructional design and equity, particularly in distance learning.
She loves the outdoors, cooking, and dreams of owning a petting zoo. In the meantime she is a more regular animal lover and volunteers at the local animal shelter, PAWS.
~Arlene Weible, ACRL-Oregon State Library Representative (2013-2015)
Electronic Services Consultant
Library Development Services
Oregon State Library