Interview with Rick Ball, Klamath Community College

Photo of Rick Ball
Rick Ball, Learning Resources Center Director, Klamath Community College

Tell us a little bit about your work background.

I started my library career as a K-12 librarian. I then worked as a public library director and now I am the LRC director at Klamath Community College. I feel fortunate to have experienced librarianship in the school, public and academic realms.

What has been the best thing that has happened to you since you started your position?

The best thing that has happened to me since starting my position has been the overwhelming support received by the administration, faculty and staff at Klamath Community College. It is encouraging to work in an environment that values the role you play in student success and in community empowerment.

What would you like Oregon academic librarians to know about you?

I have a passion for helping others succeed. It is what motivates me to get up in the morning. I learned a long time ago that life is about the journey. If I can help, people learn how to embrace and enjoy the journey, to learn from it, success will come. Some of the best moments in my life have been when I’ve seen people whether students or others, stick with it, work through one obstacle after another and achieve a level of success they didn’t realize was possible. It makes me feel good to know that I was a part of that.

What is the biggest challenge facing your library in the upcoming year?

The biggest challenge we face this upcoming year is continuing to build upon the success of past efforts without our “newness to KCC” detrimentally affecting the services to our community. The library experienced a complete turnover in staff this last year. Fortunately, our current staff brings many years of successful librarianship and library leadership to KCC.

What would you like Oregon academic librarians to know about your institution?

Klamath Community College has formed a partnership with other colleges and universities in order to realize a shared vision. That vision is to empower our communities through education. KCC is dedicated to student success and to the economic success of the communities that our partner institutions and we serve.

What does advocacy for academic libraries look like from your perspective as an LRC director?

I see two major components to advocacy. The first is demonstrating a spirit of service and trust. Model professional excellence. People will notice. Academic libraries exist to serve. We are here to support our students, faculty and staff in their efforts to be successful. They need to trust that we can and will provide them with the educational support and resources they need to realize their goals. The second component is networking. Librarians need to network with other librarians, institutions, governmental entities, community organizations and businesses. If you are not talking with people, not listening, how do you know what they need? How do you learn where to go for resources? You have to communicate with people and build positive relationships.

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