New library to benefit community, students in Maywood Park

Learn why, at a time when many people access information online, Mt. Hood Community has dedicated a new library at the Maywood Park Campus, on the edge of the Parkrose Neighborhood …

Mt. Hood Community College students – and members of the community – are welcome to use the new library on the campus of the college’s Maywood Park campus.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On the southeast corner of NE 102nd Avenue and NE Prescott Drive, Mt. Hood Community College’s Maywood Park Campus – actually located in the City of Maywood Park – is the school’s educational outpost for outer NE Portland.

And, on November 15, the campus celebrated the opening of a library.

“Even though this campus has been open to the public for about 10 years, this is the first time we’ve had a library,” staff librarian Sergio Lopez told East Portland News.

“Our goal in operating a library is twofold,” Lopez continued. “First, to serve the community of students who attend here at this campus, with their information needs; and secondarily, to provide more of that college feeling to the students who come to class here.”

Mt. Hood Community College’s Maywood Campus staff librarian, Sergio Lopez, says it’s valuable for students to learn how to look up information in books, as well as online.

We asked why, in the “Internet age”, a school would open a new library, with printed materials on the shelves.

“Many of our students are working on their adult basic education GED,” responded Lopez. “And, others are contemplating higher education, such as getting an Associate or perhaps a Bachelor degree transfer.”

Moreover, he continued, “Even though libraries have been moving toward the digital format, academic libraries are still widely using the printed form. We wanted our students to learn how to research printed matter, the way that it’s currently still done in academic libraries.”

Additionally, Lopez pointed out, the library also offers digital information. “We also have computer terminals and laptop computers that students can rent for two hours at a time. This gives them access to all the databases and all the electronic versions that Mt. Hood Community College has to offer.”

Talking with ‘Ski’
Also at the event was the affable President of this intuition of higher learning, Dr. John “Ski” Sygielski. Because he asks everyone to do so, we’ll refer to him as “Ski”.

“I’ve come to the Maywood Campus today for a ‘listening session’,” Ski said.

“What we’ve learned is an affirmation of the good things in which Hood Community College is engaged in the metro Portland area. We’re also getting confirmation that we need to continue to work more closely with Portland Community College and ensure that our business community, and those we serve, know that it is the entire metro Portland area that both of our institutions are serving.”

Mt. Hood Community College’s President, Dr. John “Ski” Sygielski, engages a community member in dialog while visiting the outer East Portland campus.

Ski pointed out that their college serves outer East Portland, primarily from 92nd Avenue eastward to Government Camp, at the foot of Mt. Hood; Portland Community College serves the western portion.

“Additionally,” Ski added, “We’re looking to find ways to minimize barriers to people seeking access to higher education.”

He’s enthusiastic about the Maywood Campus library project, Ski said. “Adding a service, like our library and information services center, helps us better serve our changing community. It came about as a result of what we learned on our last ‘listening tour’.

The community college’s effort, Ski explained, is to stay in tune with the needs of  outer East Portland, and becoming more engaged in the community.

“As we’re realigning our Workforce Development efforts, I believe we will be looking to local business organizations to engage those groups, to help us understand how we can work better with our business community.”

Got an idea for Ski? He said that the best way to give it to him is to send an e-mail to: “This e-mail comes into my office; we love to hear from folks.”

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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